1. One of the oddest things about Covid arguments is that Covid skeptics are constantly claiming that public-health authorities have "finally admitted" something that they've actually been saying all along.
2. Take age. I'm constantly being told that public-health authorities failed to acknowledge that older ppl were at much higher risk of severe outcomes from Covid, and instead pretended that everyone was equally at risk.
3. But go back to March 2020:

CDC says "older adults have higher risk of serious illness"

World Economic Forum: "The COVID-19 fatality rate for people over 60 is much higher than for younger adults and children."

StatNews: "What explains Covid's lethality for the elderly?"
4. Or take the claim that we weren't told ppl with co-morbidities were much more likely to die.

April 2020, Kaiser: "older people and younger adults with serious medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes...asthma and obesity have greater risk of becoming severely ill."
5. Hopkins Medicine: "adults 60 and older, especially those with preexisting medical conditions ... are more likely to have severe, even deadly, coronavirus infection."

WHO, April 2020: " 8 out of 10 deaths are occurring in individuals with at least one underlying co-morbidity."
6. How about obesity, the importance of which was supposedly played down?

NYT, April 20: "Obesity linked to severe coronavirus disease."

AHA Journal, April 20: "Obesity is a risk factor for severe Covid infection."

Reuters, April 20: "Obesity is a major Covid risk factor."
7. Or take the common response to Walensky's comment about vaxxed ppl who died of Covid having co-morbidities: "Why didn't they tell us this before?"

The CDC has published a table listing co-morbidities for ppl who died of Covid for a very long time. It's not a secret.
8. I understand the point of the "they've hidden the truth" myth: it fosters the illusion that we were sold Covid policy under false pretenses. But it's untrue. We've always known the elderly and ppl with pre-existing conditions were at higher risk.
9. Maybe you didn't hear public-health authorities talking about the elderly being at high risk, and obesity and diabetes being major risk factors, because you were too busy pretending Covid would be gone by Easter. But don't project your historical ignorance on the rest of us.

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More from @JamesSurowiecki

10 Jan
This is a lie, one that is getting picked up and repeated by right-wingers and Covid skeptics across social media. Walensky was talking only about deaths in vaccinated people, not Covid deaths generally. She was referring to this new CDC study.
Having said that, while it's totally irresponsible for people like Travis to retail this lie, Walensky made it far too easy, as usual, for people to misinterpret what she said, because she was not clear. Don't say "75% of deaths." Say "75% of deaths in vaccinated ppl."
Walensky seems genuinely unaware that there's an information war going on, in which antivaxxers and Covid skeptics will misuse any poorly phrased or unclear or overstate comment to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the vaccines or the seriousness of Covid.
Read 6 tweets
9 Jan
This is ridiculous. Because of the absurd way that Florida reports deaths, there's literally no way to tell how many people died of Covid in Florida over the past week, so it's preposterous to declare it has the 2nd-lowest death rate in the nation.
In its weekly situation reports, Florida reports a weekly death number. But that number, bizarrely, reflects neither all the backlogged deaths the state reported that wk, nor the deaths that occurred in the state that week, but what seems to be some random collection of the two.
The result is that the weekly death numbers in FL's situation reports dramatically understate the number of deaths that are occurring. Not until weeks, or months from now, and only by digging back thru CDC tables, will we know how many Covid deaths happened in FL this past wk.
Read 7 tweets
9 Jan
1. There are some hopeful signs that Omicron may have peaked in the places where it hit first.

Boston wastewater data suggests cases there are past their peak.
2. New York's positive-test rate has dropped for three straight days, and is now at its lowest in almost two weeks. To the extent cases haven't fallen, it's because of an increase in testing.
3. New daily cases in DC have fallen slightly, and the positive-test rate there has plateaued.

And in Cuyahoga County - which had the highest case rate in the country a couple of weeks ago - cases have fallen by a third over the past two weeks.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jan
Good thread.

Ppl talk about cases and hospitalizations being decoupled w/Omicron. What's missed is that they're decoupled because so many low-risk ppl are getting infected, not because outcomes for high-risk ppl (unvaxxed, and high-risk unboosted) are better. That's not a win.
It's really important to recognize that what matters is not the percent of cases that end up in the hospital, or that end up dying. What matters is the absolute number of ppl who are hospitalized for and dying of Covid. And those numbers are going up, not down.
You do want the case hospitalization rate and case fatality rate to drop. But you want them to drop because the number of hospitalizations and fatalities is falling. Instead, with Omicron, the CHR and CFR are falling because the number of cases is rising. Again, that's not a win.
Read 6 tweets
8 Jan
DeSantis' press secretary, like her boss, seems totally oblivious to the fact that you get tested to protect other people more than to protect yourself, and that even if you are not in danger of hospitalization from Covid, you can put others in danger by infecting them.
Getting tested, and isolating yourself if positive, is in most cases more beneficial to the community than it is to yourself. It enhances public health. DeSantis, by contrast, is saying you should ignore the benefits of testing to others and only do it if it benefits yourself.
As a reminder of what this is about: Florida's new testing guidelines say that if you've had close contact with someone infected with Covid, they do *not* recommend you get tested if you're asymptomatic, even though pre- and asymptomatic transmission of Covid is well-documented.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
What does Ron DeSantis think mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears are, if not tests people take to determine if they're sick?
DeSantis was defending Florida's absurd new testing guidelines, which say that even ppl who know they've been exposed to Covid do not need to get tested if they're asymptomatic, because it won't have a "clinical benefit."
Of course, the real benefit of testing isn't the benefit to you. It's the benefit to the ppl you won't infect if you test and isolate. But DeSantis is indifferent to that - he's more worried a non-contagious person might test positive than about contagious ppl infecting others.
Read 4 tweets

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