Matt Malkus Profile picture
Life actuary. Classical liberal. Lamenting societal mistakes. Sometimes I do baseball things. Brooklyn expat - haven't picked up a southern accent yet, y'all.
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Mar 3 4 tweets 1 min read
Here is a remarkable example of how to write 1,600 words about a problem people were warning about for more than a year, in real time as it was happening, without acknowledging the elephant in the room: What caused these students to be "left behind," exactly? "[Nordengren has] seen many cases where federal funds, which otherwise may have been spent on staffing tutoring programs to mitigate learning loss, were spent instead on things like better ventilation, personal protective equipment and substitute teachers."

I wonder why?
Feb 24 4 tweets 2 min read
"Industry executives and actuaries believe many of these other fatalities are tied to delays in medical care as a result of lockdowns in 2020, and then, later, people’s fears of seeking out treatment and trouble lining up appointments."… “Some of these will be the result of delayed medical care or the increased incidence of societal-related issues, such as the increased prevalence of substance abuse,” Chief Financial Officer Alison Rand said in an email interview.
Jan 29 7 tweets 2 min read
This 2015 article by the American Psychological Association about American fears and sensibilities towards the Ebola crisis explains a lot about what has happened the past two years.… "The minute the Ebola threat was communicated, it hit all of the hot buttons: It can be fatal, it's invisible and hard to protect against, exposure is involuntary and it's not clear that the authorities are in control of the situation."
Dec 20, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
This is happening, as NYC and much of the Northeast faces a winter wave that was eminently predictable, regardless of the emergence of Omicron.

The impact of COVID, however, is largely self-imposed, as can be seen in the policy responses being crafted in affected locations... ImageImage Rather than highlighting the comparably lower hospitalization & death rates - middle of the pack in the U.S. as compared to the Northeast's much higher case rates currently - leaders have pivoted to omicron as a unique, singular driving force in this wave.…
Nov 23, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
"[T]he Left’s position distanced it from any kind of working-class base, since low-income workers were the most severely affected by [lockdowns], and were also those most likely to be out working while the laptop class benefitted from Zoom."… "How did such a simplistic view of the relationship between health and the economy emerge, one which makes a mockery of decades of (Left-leaning) social science research showing just how closely wealth and health outcomes are connected?"…
Nov 13, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Yesterday marked the end of public school mask mandates in Tennessee, as state law was signed prohibiting them except under extreme circumstances.

At the heart of the mask wars were Davidson & Williamson counties - the latter of which made national news:
Davidson (Metro Nashville schools) implemented a school mask mandate via board vote on August 5.

Williamson adopted its own mask mandate, but had pretty generous allowances for opt-outs, to the dismay of many worried about school safety:
Oct 22, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Thanks for (partially) defining an endpoint, Dr. Marr. But let's define what "have a chance" means: Is that a time period, i.e. 45 days after authorization?

Let's say only ~60% do get vaccinated, then. That would match rates & pattern for <40s.

What then? By saying restrictions can be lifted when a very invulnerable group has "had a chance" to get vaccinated suggests you believe that those who don't take that "chance" are bearing their own risk.

But then you say you'd vaccinate your own child for others..

Sep 12, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
As my followers know, I'm personally pro-vax and am myself vaccinated. That said, this thread raises many valid points which public health officials would do well to address rather than assuming that those who are as-yet unvaccinated are simply anti-science morons. Further, public health messaging which lumps COVID vaccines in with other vaccines with much longer histories and much more robust examination and approval by the FDA are equally unhelpful - it may actually sow distrust in other vaccines.…
Sep 9, 2021 11 tweets 4 min read
Two statements dispense with the need for continued COVID measures:
1. You are not morally or ethically responsible for transmission of a respiratory virus.
2. COVID is not a unique risk to society above/beyond myriad other risks we've contextualized & accepted as part of life. The first statement is either categorically true (i.e. not just for COVID but also flu, RSV, rhino/entero, & others which cause meningitis, pneumonia, etc) or it's false.
If false: We've accepted an ethical paradigm shift since 2019.
If true: Why unique precautions for COVID?
Aug 20, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
- 70+% of eligible population vaccinated
- Masks required in all K-12 schools
- Statewide indoor mask mandate
- Pediatric cases are at all-time highs
- Hospitals are reportedly overcrowded just the same. Those who are using the current situation in Tennessee to broadcast their moral superiority, their indignation towards others for presumably helping propel this summer wave, should take a look at Oregon and ask what they, too are doing wrong, or what they should be doing instead.
Aug 12, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
This "Frontiers in Psychology" article has 65 (!!) references to peer-reviewed literature regarding the development of childhood emotional inferences and social development:…

But no, @AmerAcadPeds, there are no studies to support this concern. "These changes ... could have significant effects on activities of daily living, including social interactions, as well as other situations involving personal interactions such as education."…
Aug 10, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Good morning friend! I suggest you review data from the UK (which was hit with Delta variant before the US), or review weekly mortality data from which shows no change to childhood mortality since the start of the pandemic.
Here, I'll help get you started. Here's hospitalization data from the UK as examined by a pediatric infectious disease specialist there which says what the Tennessee data says: Hospitalization rate from Delta is lower than it was for Alpha / prior waves.
Aug 8, 2021 10 tweets 4 min read
The miniature moral panic that this article set off in Tennessee is a perfect encapsulation of our monomaniacal obsession with a single virus, data be damned.

Here's the tweet and the headline. Follow me on a little journey... Here's a national Democratic strategist with 70K+ followers who predictably got to the conclusion that @natalie_allison was after here: That children's hospitals are full *because of COVID.*
Except the article explicitly states that this isn't true:
Aug 5, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
"Of the 527 Tennesseans hospitalized since July 1, six were children under the age of 10, and 12 hospitalizations were for children between the age of 11 and 20, according to state department of health data"
How do we square this with the below?… "The vast majority of pediatric COVID patients Dr. Banerjee and her colleagues are seeing are not hospitalized. They have mild symptoms and are sent home to be cared for by parents with symptoms that mimic the common cold, including fever, cough, GI problems and headaches"
Jul 21, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
A story of how the AAP destroyed its credibility on COVID in 3 headlines:
6/30/20: "Why a Pediatric Group Is Pushing to Reopen Schools This Fall"
7/7/20: "Trump pushes state, local leaders to reopen schools in fall"
7/11/20: "AAP Walks Back Support For In-Person Schooling" AAP has no more credibility on if schools should require masks than your local elected official does, which is to say, none whatsoever.
Adults have had ample opportunity to receive a highly effective vaccine.
Kids are not at substantial risk from COVID-19.
Jun 13, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
One year ago, a study was released claiming that the use of face masks prevented 77,000 infections in Italy and 66,000 infections in NYC in a one-month period.

CNN, of course, was quick to publish an article, as were many outlets:… How did they arrive at these conclusions? They performed a linear extrapolation of the case curves in each location and assumed those extrapolations would have been materialized in the absence of masking.

Seems legit!
Jun 11, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
"[O]n Dec. 21, MNPS announced the testing plan and MMCV Inc. was formed. Meharry did not announce the formation of the subsidiary for five more months. In January, the Metro Board of Education unanimously approved the $18 million contract with MMCV Inc. without discussion." Here's that announcement, carefully fed to the Nashville Post and Nashville Business Journal. Remarkably, the press release neglects to mention that this entity had invoiced for $10 million in services **before announcing their formation or naming a CEO.**…
Apr 14, 2021 11 tweets 4 min read
The @ACLU has been conspicuously absent with respect to governmental overreach and our authoritative approach to public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But they had an awful lot to say about how a pandemic should be handled in 2008:… "Coercion and brute force are rarely necessary. In fact they are generally counterproductive - they gratuitously breed public distrust...
Minorities and other socially disadvantaged populations tend to bear the brunt of tough public health measures."
Mar 26, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
Nearly one year ago today, @PublicHealthUMN released a COVID-19 model which projected COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota under a variety of scenarios - from prolonged stay-at-home orders to no mitigation - for the next year.

Here is how their model did against actual data. As a reminder: @GovTimWalz specifically cited this model as rationale for implementing his initial stay-at-home orders, and by extension, all of the restrictions which have impeded the lives and livelihoods of Minnesotans ever since.…
Mar 25, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Tonight's comparison of European excess mortality.

Which country:
- Has had mask mandates since April 2020?
- Closed schools repeatedly?

Which one's health minister said: "We could have achieved the same effects and avoided some of the unfortunate impacts by not locking down"? Left: Czech Republic
Earliest mask mandate in all of Europe (3/18/20)
Less than two months of in-person learning in many places

Right: Norway
Second-lowest compliance rate in Europe
Schools open since 4/27/20
Feb 28, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
On Jan 5, Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt & adviser to Mayor John Cooper's office, told the Tennessean that there would be a post-holiday "infection surge [which] will trigger an increase of hospitalizations and deaths."

The opposite happened. Link to article:…

Link to Tennessee hospitalization data:…