Adjusted for population, Belgium is dealing with the US equivalent of 177,000 daily COVID cases a day, on avg. Netherlands: 132k. France: 100k.

This summer, the US seven-day avg of daily cases peaked around 70,000.
Adjusted for population, the Dakotas, Montana, and Wisconsin could be dealing with worse breakouts than Arizona, Texas, or Florida faced over the summer.
Not all surges are equal. The hospital death rate has come down by a lot since the spring, which is just one reason why strong early action is prudent. But northern plains/Western Europe are really going through it. This disease does not care if you're bored with it.

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More from @DKThomp

15 Oct
Four years later, there are still two kinds of people:

1. Those who don't trust the national polls at all, because "we all know how wrong those were in 2016"

2. Those who know the national polls weren't really all that wrong in 2016. Image
I have one group of friends for whom the latter point is completely obvious and another group who are so sure that the national polls were a dumpster fire in 2016 that they literally will not believe me even after I start sending links
I think the Smart Anxious position right now is something like

1. The national polls are probably right-ish but the margin could narrow
2. Great Lakes region pollsters adjusted after 2016 but they might still be wrong
3. The EC is still bad for Democrats

Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
I wrote about the Fall Surge—and how to stop it.

theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…

- In the US, daily COVID cases are up 40% in the last month.
- In western Europe, cases have surged past the US on a per capita basis.
- In the UK … just, yikes.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

Here are the official deaths-per-million for various countries.

- Spain: 700
- UK: 647
- US: 630
...
- Indonesia: 40
- Australia: 35
- Japan: 13
- South Korea: 8
- Vietnam: <0.5
Two important points:

1) We don’t know everything we need to know to fully explain this discrepancy.

2) There are things we can learn from countries like Japan and Vietnam RIGHT NOW that would help keep the Fall Surge from becoming a winter calamity.

Read 6 tweets
5 Oct
Failure, cheat, or criminal: 3 interpretations of what Trump's tax records are telling us about his business—and his possible charges if he becomes a private citizen in 2021.

theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
Interp. 1) This isn't complicated: It looks like Trump's losing lots of money, because his businesses are a straightforward disaster.

theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…

The problem with that: The losses are too large, too weird.
Interp. 2) Trump perfected a tax maneuver over the years:

1. Borrow tons of money
2. Spend it/lose it on failed ventures
3. Take huge deductions
4. Persuade bank to write down loan
5. (this part is key) Fail to declare that discharged debt as income
Read 6 tweets
4 Oct
The disease's progression is mysterious; the course of Trump's recovery is uncertain; and the WH is dissembling about that uncertainty, leading to half-baked media theories.

This is Kremlinology, wrapped inside a convalescent mystery, wrapped inside a medical enigma.
Dexamethasone is a perfect example. It could be:

a) accelerating a straightforward recovery
b) a sign that his medical state is being misrepresented
c) "VIP syndrome," where unrealistic patient demands can sometimes result in deleterious effects

More on "VIP syndrome"

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…

The upshot is not just that VIPs are influential and often wrong, but also they demand a bunch of stuff that might not be indicative of typical care. Maybe Trump needs dexamethasone. Maybe he's just demanding the kitchen sink.
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
This looks bad. Image
CAVEAT: The WH is disputing the doctor's timeline, suggesting he misspoke.

It is, of course, totally possible he misspoke.

But I'm leaving the aggregate timeline up for now, for reasons expressed well by @chrislhayes. Just know that it's now disputed.

Just noting that there wouldn't be any reason for confusion here if the doctor just answered the question about when Trump last tested negative!
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
Gonna riff on this because it's goes to one of my favorite questions: How do people come to believe what they come to believe, esp during periods of high uncertainty when they HAVE to make a decision—ie, voting in an election, or deciding on how to behave during a global plague?
I think we can be honest that most people's behavior right now is a blend of:

a) scientific semi-comprehension
b) social mimicry
c) socio-political motivated reasoning
d) prior values

... with different emphasis given to various parts of that portfolio, depending on the person
My (a)-thru-(d) is something like:

a) COVID is airborne, thrives in unventilated spaces
b) my friends/contacts are pro-mask
c) most ppl who disagree with a/b are from another tribe, so I discount their views
d) i trust scientists, not the white house
Read 5 tweets

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