Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for February 2020

More info about the community transmission in California

This is extremely disturbing.

The patient arrived on February 19th in bad condition. The doctors at the hospital wanted to test the patient for the virus, but the CDC said NO doesn’t meet the criteria for getting tested. But finally, on Sunday the 23rd, they convinced someone at the CDC to finally do the test. And then it took another 3 days to finally get the result. So many days wasted that could have been used for contact tracing to find out who else might be infected.

This person probably first came into contact with the virus 3 weeks ago. That’s a lot of time for whomever infected this unfortunate person to have infected other people as well, and then those other people infect more people.

Also, the patient was not put on airborne precautions and strict contact precautions until Sunday, which means there was a lot of time for medical works at the UC Davis Medical Center and whatever hospital the patient was transferred from to catch the virus.

How many other virus cases are out there that we don’t know about because the CDC is unable to test anyone? I truly hope that now that Mike Pence is the virus czar, he can get fix whatever the hell is wrong with our government response to this looming epidemic.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 26, 2020 at 11:01 PM

The virus is loose in the United States, it’s happening

Just in from the Washington Post:

February 26, 2020 at 7:00 PM EST

BREAKING: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been informed of the first case of the coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country or have contact with a confirmed case, according to a person briefed on the case. Officials have begun tracing the contacts of the resident to find out how the person may have been infected and who else might have been exposed.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

* * *

I remind you that a few days ago Italy found ONE case, then suddenly they found 453 cases. Does the US even have the testing capacity to do enough tests to find the cases?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 26, 2020 at 7:09 PM

How talk about the virus is being censored

Notice how a misspelling of coronavirus is trending, but not the correct spelling.

All of the major internet companies are shadowbanning or algorithmically deprecating posts about the virus. We rightly decried the heavy-handed censorship in China, but something very similar is happening in the United States. Instead of the government arresting people for posting about the virus, we have the soft censorship of “private” companies like Twitter hiding posts about the virus from people who aren’t going out of their way to look for them.

However, it looks like the censorship algorithm isn’t smart enough to hide “caronavirusoutbreak.” (And the reason this is trending is because people are making fun of Donald Trump for misspelling it in a tweet.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 26, 2020 at 11:44 AM

Posted in Technology

Wednesday morning virus update

This WaPo article makes me very concerned that the government is screwing up with the coronavirus because Trump is hampering containment efforts because he’s more concerned about the stock market prices than saving lives of Americans. Trump is said to be pissed at the CDC for alarming people today and spooking the stock market. My guess is that no one is communicating with each other, and therefore there’s no coordination. And the result is screwups like no one being tested. How do we know if there’s a northern Italy somewhere in the U.S. if we don’t test anyone?

This tweet demonstrates how bad the U.S. is doing:

So we have a guy who returned from northern Italy and has symptoms, but he’s NOT BEING TESTED. People in the same situation as this patient have been tested in many European countries and they have found many positives. The U.S. is letting the virus into the country.

High school students returned from trip to Italy, including Venice where there have been virus cases, they’re ill, BUT THEY ARE NOT TESTED.

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani says that there will be no quarantines and that all the corona virus stuff is just “rumors,” and that the flu is worse. Rouhani stressed the need “not allow enemies to convert Corona virus into a weapon in their hand in order to disrupt work and production in Iran.”

You can look down on the backwardness of Iran, but Donald Trump seems to be following the exact same playbook. Ontario health authorities, this morning, confirmed another case of coronavirus in a woman who returned from Iran.

In South Korea, there are now 1261 confirmed cases, including an American soldier from the military base that we have there, and 12 deaths. In Italy, 374 confirmed cases and 12 deaths. In Japan, 172 cases, but only 2 deaths. There are two new cases in Sinagpore, they now have a total of 93 confirmed cases, but they seem to have the situation under control there.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 26, 2020 at 7:37 AM

Virus in Bahrain

Bahrain is a tiny kingdom of only 1.2 million people, but they have confirmed 23 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, all of them people who traveled from Iran. The virus must be completely out of control in Iran.

By the way, note that this tiny little backwards country can test 23 people in two days, which is all that the United States is able to test, but with our tests taking much longer to process. Our government response to the virus has been pathetic.

Bahrain has closed all schools:

In line with the directives of the Government’s Executive Committee, chaired by Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, the Ministry of Education on Tuesday announced that all public and private schools, including kindergartens, will be closed for two weeks starting from Wednesday.

This is a smart move, but the problem I see is that they have not closed the mosques. If they don’t close the mosques, the virus will continue to spread if it exists in the community of worshipers. Religious services are how the virus spread in Singapore and South Korea, and probably how it spread in Qom, Iran. Allah will NOT protect them.

* * *

Meanwhile, Italy is up to 323 confirmed cases.

How many cases would we find in the United States if we were testing people?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 25, 2020 at 6:26 PM

Election update

Since the last time I wrote about the elections, it appears that Biden did better in Nevada than I thought he would, doing slightly better in first-round polling than predicted by the polls, while Buttigieg did slightly worse than predicted by the polls. This slight difference adds up to a big difference, between coming in second or coming in third. Biden looks stronger than he did last week, finally coming in second.

I previously thought Bernie could beat Biden in South Carolina, totally obliterating any chance that he might have, but now I think that Biden will pull of a narrow win in South Carolina, and Buttigieg will do really bad because blacks hate gays (black people being much more prejudiced than white people). This means that Biden will stay in the race for Super Tuesday, splitting the votes with all of the other not-Bernie candidates.

Could Bloomberg, thus, emerge as the non-Bernie choice? Things are starting to point that way, even though I’ve been saying all along that money can’t buy an election. Maybe money CAN buy an election if you’re willing to spend enough of it.

* * *

Bernie is very smart about how he sells his candidacy. He has a lot of crazy extreme leftist positions, but he never talks about them; he stays laser-focused on Medicare for all, because he is confident that the voters will want that. Even I support Medicare for all.

I also hold the view that the healthcare crisis caused by the pandemic will reveal the severe shortcomings of America’s dysfunctional over-priced for-profit private-insurance healthcare system, and that will only help Bernie.

Bernie also talks a lot about student loan forgiveness, which is something I would have jumped to vote for back when I had student loans. No wonder why he is most popular with younger voters.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 25, 2020 at 2:57 PM

Posted in Politics

Tuesday morning pandemic update

Things can only get worse.

In South Korea, there are now 977 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.

In Italy, there are now 283 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.

In Japan, there are now 160 confirmed cases, but I think there must be a lot more cases in Japan that they don’t know about because they aren’t testing enough people

Don’t forget the outbreak in Iran where the official numbers surely vastly understate the real extent of what’s going on.

Two new cases in Austria. One new case in Croatia of a patient who returned from Milan. In the Canary Islands, and Italian tourist has tested positive and a hotel has been locked down.

There are no new cases in the U.S. outside of quarantine, because if you don’t test anyone then you don’t find any cases.

In Florida, a man with crappy health insurance got billed $3.270 because he got tested for the coronavirus. I think an outbreak in the United States is going to propel Bernie into the White House. People will want Medicare for all after they see how dysfunctional our profit-based healthcare system is when faced with an epidemic.

There’s a dead cat bounce going on in in pre-market trading. The market is still way above where it was just a year ago. When we are facing a pandemic that will be a massive black-swan disruption of both supply and demand, followed by President Bernie who will undo all of Trump’s pro-stock-market tax cuts, this is just ridiculous complacency.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 25, 2020 at 7:53 AM

Harvey Weinstein should have read my blog

In October, 2017 I wrote:

Get the hell out of the country ASAP, before it’s too late.

This is a strategy that worked out very well for Roman Polanski.

Now that you’re public enemy #1, every girl you ever pissed off with your sexual perversity is going to come out of the woodwork, every prosecutor in the country is going to want a piece of you.

And today it has been reported that the jury has found him guilty on two charges, criminal sexual act in the first degree & third degree rape.

The first charge, “criminal sexual act in the first degree” is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, with a mandatory 5 years minimum.

Weinstein should have read my blog and followed my advice. What’s the use of having tens of millions of dollars if you can’t use it to flee the country to avoid spending the rest of your life in prison?

* * *

Don’t take it as a big deal that Weinstein was found not guilty on three charges. It’s a sneaky and effective prosecutor tactic to always have multiple charges for the jury to ponder, so that they can feel like they’ve split the difference, and the prosecutor still gets to put the guy in prison.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 24, 2020 at 11:52 AM

Posted in Crime

Monday morning virus update


There are now a total of 218 cases and 5 dead. Northern Italy is under varying degrees of quarantine.

South Korea

There are now a total of 833 cases and 8 deaths.


An Iranian lawmaker form Qom claims that at least 50 have died in his city (which totally believable) but the official death toll is only 12.


Japan was previously at the forefront, but their number of cases do not seem to be growing that quickly. I am not aware of any new cases in Japan since yesterday morning. [UPDATE: At least 4 new confirmed cases since yesterday. Two more in Ishikawa Prefecture. The virus is all over Japan, not in any one area like in Italy. There would probably be hundreds of more cases found if Japan tested more people with symptoms.]

I believe that the problem is that Japan isn’t doing enough testing, rather than the virus is not spreading in Japan.


Israel is being bad-ass about keeping the virus at bay. Everyone who was in contact with the Korean tour group is being quarantined. They have travel bans against a bunch of countries including South Korea and Japan. (Meanwhile, in the United States, in addition to worrying about people from China coming here with the virus, now anyone from Japan or South Korea could also be bringing it in. Luckily, we have a travel ban with Iran.)

United States

There are no new cases if you don’t test anyone.


As of 6:59:39 AM EST, S&P 500 futures are down 2.43%. There’s still time to sell, stocks can drop a lot more than 2.43%.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 24, 2020 at 7:20 AM

Sunday evening virus update

There are now 763 confirmed cases in South Korea, and 7 deaths.

As of 8:13:36 PM EST, S&P 500 futures are down 1.26%. Bad news about the virus over the weekend finally rattling the nerves of Wall Street?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 23, 2020 at 8:28 PM

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