The final four weeks of the campaign will be fought over re-opening the economy

Sacrificing the economy, the education of our children, and our collective mental health for the purported purpose of slowing the spread of a disease that is survived by more than 99% of those under 70 who contract it is no longer tolerable, and President Trump is waging his presidential campaign on  ending the madness.

Here is the CDC's best estimate of the lethality of COVID for each age cohort:

  • 0–19 years: 0.00003
  • 20–49 years: 0.0002
  • 50–69 years: 0.005
  • 70+ years: 0.054

Now that we know how to treat it, COVID is not something to panic over unless you are very old and already have health problems (comorbidities) that are very likely to shorten your expected lifespan even without COVID.

President Trump's rapid recovery, despite being 74 and overweight (which caused the MSM to go insane, predicting his impending demise over the weekend), stands as dramatic evidence that the panic used to justify devastating the economy and closing schools is foolishly overblown.

YouTube screen grab.

Heather Mac Donald, writing in City Journal, sums up the false panic being peddled by the Democrats and their media handmaidens:

The media and Democratic establishments are in a frenzy of Schadenfreude over President Trump's COVID diagnosis. Trump's contracting the disease, they argue, discredits any coronavirus policy short of lockdowns and mandatory mask-wearing, outdoors as well as in. Trump is now "exhibit No. 1 for the failure of his leadership on coronavirus," Democratic pollster Geoff Garin toldthe New York Times.

By contrast, former Vice President Joe Biden's basement-bunker response has been vindicated, such commentators allege. Biden drove home his status as the country's premiere symbol of safetyism on Friday by giving a masked and muffled speech in the vast outdoors of Grand Rapids. No one was within yards of him; Biden could not possibly have become infected or infected anyone else, since transmission in well-ventilated outdoor spaces is virtually nonexistent. Yet such displays of coronavirus virtue-signaling will now multiply exponentially, especially from masked television reporters speaking en plein air to a camera yards away.

President Trump's magnificent statement upon returning to the White House from Walter Reed showed what a leader does in the face of panic: face reality and calmly minimize costs and maximize welfare.  With Joe Biden absurdly mumbling through a face mask delivering remarks at a podium at least 20 feet from the nearest human, the contrast could not be more dramatic.

As Issues and Insights put it:

He will also be able to claim that he was right not to hide in the basement, or act like a scared rabbit when he's out in public, like a certain Democratic presidential candidate. The contrast is not going to help Joe Biden's campaign.

The grownups are starting to speak out about the costs and dangers of panicking and inflicting worse outcomes in the name of a risk that has been overblown.  Thousands of medical and public health practitioners are speaking out on weighing costs against benefits of COVID control measures in what is called the Great Barrington Declaration:

As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health — leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all — including the vulnerable — falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity — i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable — and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. 

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

On October 4, 2020, this declaration was authored and signed in Great Barrington, United States, by:

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

It is time to end the destruction of our nation, now that we have the example of Sweden, which never locked down and now is enjoying a normal life, while we remain imprisoned (and many of us impoverished) by panicked restrictions.  Tucker Carlson last night showed us what grown-ups can do.

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