Table of contents

Burton op-ed references, Washington Times, Dec. 27-28, 2020

Do the math! “Died with covid” means “died from covid” (usually)

These are the references for my Washington Times guest “analysis/opinion” column (Sunday Dec. 27 online, Monday Dec. 28 in print, and archived here). 

  1. The current U.S. population is about 332 million:
  2. In normal times, the U.S. records an average of about 230,000 deaths per month:
    That is about 230K/332M = 0.07% of the nation's population.
  3. Worldometers U.S. Covid-19 statistics (Mondays):
    Total deaths as of 2020-12-21: 327,448
    Total deaths as of 2020-12-14: 308,298
    Average deaths/day over week of Dec. 15-21: (327,448-308,298)/7=2736
    Total cases as of 2020-12-14: 16,947,548
    Total cases as of 2020-12-07: 15,415,382
    Average cases/day over week of Dec. 8-14: (16,947,548-15,415,382)/7=218,881
    Total cases as of 2020-11-30: 13,965,681
    Average cases/day over week of Dec. 1-7: (15,415,382-13,965,681)/7=207,100
    Average cases/day over two weeks: (16,947,548-13,965,681)/14=212,990
    Daily deaths as a percentage of cases 1 week prior: 2736/218,881=1.25%
    Daily deaths as a percentage of cases 2 weeks prior: 2736/207,100=1.32%
    Daily deaths as a percentage of cases 1 to 2 weeks prior: 2736/212,990=1.3%
    Latest U.S. totals (as of 8:30 a.m., 12/23/2020):
    Cases: 18,687,330
    Deaths: 330,841
    Recovered: 10,948,136
  4. U.S. Covid-19 Case Fatality Rate (CFR), calculated over entire pandemic = 330,841 deaths / (10,948,136 recoveries + 330,841 deaths) = 2.93%
  5. From CDC data, here's a spreadsheet of seasonal influenza statistics for the last ten flu seasons. The average Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) was 0.121%
  6. The U.K. government reports that 88% of Covid-19 deaths occur within 28 days of diagnosis.

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Vaccine information:

There are hundreds of Covid-19 vaccines under development, in nine broad technology categories. Several dozen of them are in clinical trials, and an early few are now in use. If you want to understand more about them, I highly recommend this in-depth Tweetorial by Florian Krammer: 

Tweet #1:
Tweet #138 (last tweet):
Unrolled thread, in several formats:
● (best, if you block ads)

The Milken Institute has two similar Covid-19 vaccine tracker web sites:
● (This site is just about vaccines.)
● (This site also has information about non-vaccine treatments being developed and/or tested.)

Here's a very easy to understand educational “Tweetstorm” about the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna; sorry about the gratuitous foul language:
Tweet #1:
Tweet #37 (last tweet):
Unrolled thread, in several formats:

RNA biologist Rob Swanda has created a series of excellent educational videos about Covid-19 vaccines, on his YouTube channel. Currently, there are eight videos averaging about 2.5 minutes each, in English, plus versions in several other languages. 

There is, arguably, an ethical problem with some of the Covid-19 vaccines, because some of them were developed using fetal cells, from aborted babies. National Review has been on top of this issue. Here are two of their articles, reporting that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines do not use fetal cells:
But here's an article reporting that the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines unfortunately do use fetal cells, albeit from cell lines which are several decades old:
Science Magazine had some more details in an article in June, 2020. 

WND: Scott Atlas is wrong, Sept. 2, 2020

Scott Atlas could not have been more wrong in his advice to America's leaders.
by Dave Burton 

CDC Covid Data Tracker

The CDC tracks many Covid-related statistics on their Covid Data Tracker site. 

Covid-19 phylogeny

Nextstrain tracks Covid-19 strains on their “genomic epidemiology” web page. Hover your mouse cursor over the graphic for information about the particular mutations which characterize each strain. 

Worldometers Covid-19 site

Worldometers tracks Covid-19 case and fatality counts, globally and by country

Deseret News: The dysfunctional American regulatory state

COVID-19 has shown us how dysfunctional the American regulatory state can be
by Sally Pipes   (archived here

LOS: Understanding “comorbidities”

COVID comorbidities are not analogous to car crashes: Debunking the 6% mortality claim 

StatNews: “Long Covid” puzzles doctors

Some Covid-19 patients remain sick for many months, and nobody knows why. Explanations for long Covid remain elusive. 

Estimated relative risks of various common activities

Here's some expert opinion about relative risks of catching/spreading Covid-19 through various activities. 

(Unfortunately, they left out a few important high-risk activities out, such as having a plumber or cleaning service in your home, or riding a train, subway or bus.)

Most Covid-19 cases were contracted from a person without symptoms

WaPo: People without symptoms spread virus in more than half of cases, CDC model finds

The tl;dr version is this: a CDC study estimates that more than half of Covid-19 cases were contracted from someone who was asymptomatic or presymptomatic. That's based on a computer model, but it is consistent with anecdotal evidence.

(That's why people without symptoms need to wear masks, and practice “social distancing,” unless they have some means of being certain that they are not infected... e.g., they've already been vaccinated, at least a month ago, and they have no symptoms.)