2:00PM Water Cooler 7/20/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I am once again entangled in another post on a proposed HICPAC guidance, and so today’s Water Cooler is shorter than usual. Full rations tomorrow! –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Eastern Whip-poor-will, Bleuetières Rang Saint-Joseph, Les Bergeronnes, La Haute-Côte-Nord, Quebec, Canada. “Site de nidification connu de cette espèce depuis de nombreuses années. Première nuit de l’année où je remarque beaucoup de papillons, dont certains de bonne taille. Les engoulevents chantent constamment et se posent occasionnellement sur le sable du chemin où on peut les observer devant les phares de la voiture.”

* * *


“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

#DavosSafe for me, but not for thee, prole:


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Tucker Carlson Could Help Donald Trump Counterprogram Fox News’ GOP Debate” [Vanity Fair]. “With a durable double-digit lead in the polls, Donald Trump continues to float the idea that he might boycott the first Republican presidential debate, scheduled to air next month on Fox News. ‘I haven’t really made up my mind,’ Trump told Fox on July 16. ‘When you have a big lead, you don’t do it.’ The question, of course, is how a ratings-obsessed Trump would counterprogram a prime-time Fox debate that is sure to draw a significant cable news audience and feature such 2024 challengers as Ron DeSantis. One idea Trump is mulling is to sit for an interview with Tucker Carlson on his Twitter show at the same time as the debate, two sources briefed on the discussions said. According to one source, Trump recently reached out to Carlson and asked if Carlson would do the interview, but no decisions have been made. The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment. Carlson declined to comment.” • Amusing!

“McConnell declines to say whether Trump should be charged criminally for Jan. 6” [The Hill]. “‘I’ve said every week out here that I’m not going to comment on the various candidates for the presidency. How I felt about that I expressed at the time, but I’m not going to start getting into sort of critiquing the various candidates for president,’ McConnell told reporters when asked whether it would be legitimate for the Justice Department to charge Trump in connection with efforts to stop Congress’s certification of President Biden’s 2020 election victory.”

* * *

“Will Latino voters help lead the GOP to victory in 2024?” [Brookings Institution]. “One of the best academic analyses of Latino voting behavior in 2020 by political scientists Angela Ocampo, Angie Gutierrez, and Sergio Garcia-Rios found that Latino concern over the economy and Trump’s promise to immediately re-open the economy did, in fact, help him gain support among enough Latinos to generate the improvement from 2016 that has been widely discussed by pundits and the media. Former President Trump was able to use his business background to convince about 10% more Latinos than usual to vote Republican due to the economic uncertainty the country faced during the pandemic. As the economy continues to return to normal after the pandemic, the fear and uncertainty that led to gains for the Trump campaign among Latinos may no longer help Republicans. Second, without the pandemic solidifying policy salience around either pandemic relief or addressing the associated economic collapse, Latinos’ policy priorities will be much more diffused in 2024. Just like in 2022 when abortion policy emerged as a key priority for Latino voters due to an unpopular SCOTUS decision, and large percentages of Latino voters identified gun violence as a top issue driving their vote, 2024 is likely to see issues beyond the economy mobilize voters.” • Hmm.

* * *

“‘The stoning of R.F.K. Jr.'” [Patrick Lawrence, The Scrum]. “”Covid–19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. Covid–19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” the Post quoted Kennedy as saying with his usual aplomb. ‘We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted, but there are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact.’ Caucasians and Blacks have proven more susceptible to infection, Chinese and European Jews less: This is what Kennedy found in the peer-reviewed scientific papers he cited… The Post had the integrity to publish a 1–minute 47–second video—a snippet or the whole is not clear—that either Levine or a colleague recorded during the lunch. I cannot comment on the decisive question concerning the breaking of wind at Tony’s, but nothing raucous goes on in the video, and what Levine chose to quote in his copy was (1) a provocative misrepresentation of Kennedy’s point and (2) left out the most startling part of his comments. The Levine piece, with the video just under the headline, is here. … As to Kennedy’s reference to European Jews and the Chinese, he clarified subsequent to the lunch that this relied on a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic indicating that some ethnic and racial groups, among them Ashkenazi Jews, were less susceptible to the Covid–19 virus than other groups, among which are Blacks. This—the blood simmers as I write this sentence—is the basis of the charge that R.F.K. Jr. displayed anti–Semitic tendencies while consuming his pasta with white clam sauce at Tony’s earlier this month.” • Hey, anybody remember the T-shirt of Sanders on sale at the 2016 Democrat Convention? The one depicting him as a rat? Good times.

“Cornel West To CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “You’re Very Much Part Of The Democratic Party Establishment” (video) [CNN]. “Green Party 2024 presidential candidate Cornel West responded to criticism from Democratic strategist David Axelrod that his candidacy could be a “spoiler” that helps former President Trump win during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. ‘Brother David Axelrod looks at the world through the lens of the establishment. Well, of course, from the lens of the establishment, he is concerned about reproducing the establishment,’ West said. Cooper suggested: ‘David Axelrod, he seems more interested in preventing former President Trump from getting re-elected more than I’d say recreating the establishment.’ ‘No, I’m talking about the Democratic Party establishment though, brother. Axelrod, you see what I mean? You would agree. You’re very much part of the Democratic Party establishment,’ West said.” • “Brother David Axelrod,” I love it.

“Cornel West and the Campaign to End Political Apartheid” [The Chris Hedges Report]. “Third parties not already ballot-qualified and independents must collect valid signatures on a petition to run for president. Some states require a fee or a few hundred signatures. Others require tens of thousands of signatures. The Republicans and Democrats set the requirements in state legislatures, and then, flush with corporate cash and teams of lawyers, haul independents and third party candidates into court to challenge the validity of their petition signatures. These lawsuits are used to invalidate signatures to force candidates off the ballot, deprive voters the opportunity of supporting other candidates, as well as drain the campaign budgets of small competitors. Republican and Democratic party state-level officials, either elected or appointed, administer the federal elections to serve their party’s advancement.” • This is a modern political party at work; controlling the ballot is their distinctive competence, unlike the parties in George Washington’s day.

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *


Unexpected connections:


“Mucosal immunisation of African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) with an attenuated parainfluenza virus expressing the SARS coronavirus spike protein for the prevention of SARS” [Lancet (dougiedd)]. From the Abstract: “The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002 was caused by a previously unknown coronavirus—SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). We have developed an experimental SARS vaccine for direct immunisation of the respiratory tract, the major site of SARS-coronavirus transmission and disease…. A vectored mucosal vaccine expressing the SARS-coronavirus S protein alone may be highly effective in a single-dose format for the prevention of SARS.” • From 2004, still germane. What do we learn, Palmer?


Totally over my head:

Tiny sample sizes (at least in the UK):

“Something Awful”

Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.

* * *

Origins Debate

“‘The Guy Isn’t Totally Wrong’: The Curious Case of Covid-19 Scientists and Senator Tom Cotton” [Matt Taibbi, Racket News]. “The point is the scientists were not just conscious of politics, but conscious of how politics intersected with what they perceived to be the goal of their paper, i.e. to try to quiet the “diehards” and “conspiracy theorists.” After the authors were rejected by Nature initially, Andersen wrote a seething letter back to an editor there, complaining that of course the scientists would have loved to blame everything on pangolins and dispose of the lab leak theory once and for all, but they just couldn’t…. It’s in the context of all of this that Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton gets a handful of bizarre mentions. On February 16th, 2020, Dr. Garry shared a Washington Post article by Paula Firozi titled, “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed.” Garry’s comment: “Important to get this out.” The Post piece blasted Cotton for repeating “a fringe theory suggesting that the ongoing spread of a coronavirus is connected to research in the disease-ravaged epicenter of Wuhan, China.” In classically heavy-handed Post fashion, that February 16th piece linked to an earlier Post story saying the same thing, as the DC brahmins had already, on January 29th — really before even very wired-in people like the Proximal Origin authors knew much about Covid-19 — decided that ‘experts’ could already ‘debunk’ theories connecting the virus to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” January 29 does seem awfully early. “Intel” inside? More: “But the early 2020 comments on Covid-19 that earned [Cotton] years of excoriating headlines were simple, true, even boring. He said there were only four possibilities when it came to the pandemic’s origin: natural occurrence, accident resulting from ‘good science’ like vaccine development, accident involving something less savory like bioweaponry, and ‘deliberate release.’ In saying this, Cotton made it very clear from that he felt the natural explanation was ‘the most likely,’ while he classified deliberate release as ‘very unlikely.’ This obvious take of course wasn’t ‘totally wrong,’ as Andersen admits in this chat. But because Cotton was perceived to have bad or anti-Chinese motives in even bringing up the possibility of lab escape, Andersen did what ‘anti-disinformation’ experts now frequently do on whole ranges of issues involving factual-but-unpleasant matters like vaccine side effects, declaring him not-wrong-but-obviously-wrong, or narratively wrong. Andersen’s comments were made in private, but he was soon joined in spirit by a stampede of furious pundits, who ignored Cotton’s ‘still most likely’ language about natural origin, and created an alternative interpretation of his remarks out of whole cloth.” • PMC gotta PMC.

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, July 17:

Lambert here: A distinct upward trend. Not seeing the upward slope of doubling behavior, but we are now — just scan the chart backward — at a level above every previous valley.

Regional data:

Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.

Regional variant data:

Whatever the cause of the uptick in the Northeast, it’s not EG.5 (the orange pie slice), which seems evenly distributed.



Lambert here: EG.5 moving like a bat out of hell, showing unactionable nature (uselessness) of these CDC two-week-lag charts (here, and in positivity, too). They’re not even performative!

From CDC, June 24:

Lambert here: Not sure what to make of this. I’m used to seeing a new variant take down the previously dominant variant. Here it looks like we have a “tag team,” all working together to cut XBB.1.5 down to size. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, July 15:

Lambert here: Notice the slight increase.

NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.


NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, July 17:

1.1%. Going up, though the absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say. Interestingly, these do not correlate with the regional figures for wastewater. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)

NOT UPDATED From CDC, June 26:

Lambert here: This is the CDC’s “Traveler-Based Genomic Surveillance” data. They say “maps,” but I don’t see one….


Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, July 19:

Lambert here: The WHO data is worthless, so I replaced it with the Iowa Covid Data Tracker. Their method: “These data have been sourced, via the API from the CDC: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-Contributing-to-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Stat/hk9y-quqm. This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Data are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t seem to get a pop-up that shows a total of the three causes (top right). Readers?

Total: 1,169,029 – 1,168,944 – 1,168,914 = 85 (85 * 365 = 31,025 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

Excess Deaths

The Economist, July 20:

Lambert here: This is now being updated daily. Odd. Based on a machine-learning model. (The CDC has an excess estimate too, but since it ran forever with a massive typo in the Legend, I figured nobody was really looking at it, so I got rid it. )

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 from the prior week to 228,000 on the week ending July 15th, the lowest in two months, and sharply below market expectations of 242,000. The result further underscored the stubborn tightness in the US labor market, consolidating Federal Reserve officials’ calls for another 25bps rate hike in its upcoming meeting.” • Jay Powell to give his rubber thumbscrew another turn…

Manufacturing: “United States Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index in the US was little changed at -13.5 in July of 2023 from -13.7 in June, worse than market forecasts of -10, and continuing to point to an overall decline in manufacturing activity in Philadelphia.”

* * *

Mr. Market: “The stock market’s ‘fear gauge’ gives investors little to worry about: Morning Brief” [Yahoo News]. “[T]he market’s ‘fear gauge’ — the CBOE Volatility Index (^VIX) — rose slightly but still closed the day with a 13 handle. Before June of this year, you’d have to travel back in time to before the pandemic to see a reading this low. A low baseline fear level means more room for greed, which tends to result in higher stock prices as they climb the proverbial wall of worry. But this isn’t only a theory or an old wives’ tale traders tell one another — history bears this out. Going back to the inception of VIX calculations in 1990, sub-14 readings have coincided with long-term bull markets.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 81 Extreme Greed (previous close: 82 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 81 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 20 at 1:32 PM ET.

Groves of Academe

“ChatGPT goes to Harvard” [Maya Bodnick, Slow Boring (Dave)]. “A. A. A. A-. B. B-. C. Pass. That’s a solid report card for a freshman in college, a respectable 3.34 GPA. I just finished my freshman year at Harvard, but those grades aren’t mine — they’re ChatGPT-4’s. Take-home writing assignments are the foundation of a social science and humanities education at liberal arts colleges around the U.S. Professors use these assignments to assess students’ knowledge of the course material and their creative and analytical thinking. But the rise of advanced large-language models like ChatGPT-4 threatens the future of the take-home essay as an assessment tool.” • What nobody’s saying is that the vast majority of student work is not original — and how could it be? They’re students! Lack of originality = AI reproducibility. So, do we want more originality from our university, or less? Hand-written, proctored essays. The only way forward, and I do mean “forward.”

Class Warfare

“Blame capitalism? Why hundreds of decades-old yet vital drugs are nearly impossible to find” [The Conversation]. “Patients and their providers increasingly face limited or nonexistent supplies of drugs, many of which treat essential conditions such as cancer, heart disease and bacterial infections. The American Society of Health System Pharmacists now lists over 300 active shortages, primarily of decades-old generic drugs no longer protected by patents. While this is not a new problem, the number of drugs in short supply has increased in recent years, and the average shortage is lasting longer, with more than 15 critical drug products in short supply for over a decade. Current shortages include widely known drugs such as the antibiotic amoxicillin; the heart medicine digoxin; the anesthetic lidocaine; and the medicine albuterol, which is critical for treating asthma and other diseases affecting the lungs and airways. What’s going on?” Rule #2. More: “I’m a health economist who has studied the pharmaceutical industry for the past 15 years. I believe the drug shortage problem illustrates a major shortcoming of capitalism. While costly brand-name drugs often yield high profits to manufacturers, there’s relatively little money to be made in supplying the market with low-cost generics, no matter how vital they may be to patients’ health.”

News of the Wired

“Uncensored Library: Banned Journalism Housed in Virtual Minecraft Architecture” [99% Invisible]. “when governments censor the media, groups like Reporters Without Borders spearhead efforts to make such censored material extra visible. Their Uncensored Library project brings together architecture and journalism in an unlikely virtual reality space: the interactive gaming world of Minecraft…. On the surface, Minecraft is a game of collaborative construction and its low-res look may not appear conducive to elements like: reading articles or even entire books in-game. But there are ‘items’ within the game that effectively work like books with a theoretically infinite number of pages. Creators can transcribe text into these ‘books,’ rendering them legible and downloadable. The books are then put in ‘chests’ and organized in the virtual space for accessibility. The idea, in part, is to work around normally filtered channels. The non-profit Reporters Without Borders has experience on this front with projects like the audio-centric Uncensored Playlist, which evaded censors by operating through music streaming services. In the Uncensored Library, the spatial design makes finding material easier, and allows for other forms of creation and interaction as well, such as a memorial to murdered journalists housed within the library’s walls.” A Palace of Memory (lieux de mémoire):

I wonder what their indexing system is like. Card catalog?

“become ungoogleable” [joeyh]. “Nobody really expects to be able to find anything of value in a Google search now, so if they’re looking for me or something I’ve made and don’t find it, they’ll use some other approach.” • Hmm.

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From FreeMarketApologist:

FreeMarketApologist writes: “Attached, a proposed plantidote from friends in Xalapa, Mexico (they have all the beautiful stuff): A very vibrant bleeding heart vine (clerodendrum thomsoniae).”

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. C.O.

    Further to fun (not) with covid, The Tyee has a couple of grim articles:


    Inside Victoria’s Escalating Hospital Staffing Crisis


    Long COVID is Disabling Kids. Why We Ignore it

    (For disputed definitions of “we” of course.)

    I have some anecdata to share, to wit: the medium-ish sized grocery store a few blocks away from me, formerly a sort of hipster-style place, now looking a bit down at the heels but still very busy – was down to four staff yesterday, one in the bakery, one in the deli, one at the meat counter, and one running the only non-self-serve register. The person on the till was getting understandably frazzled, and interestingly the self-serve registers looked like they weren’t working. There were no floor staff, otherwise I suspect they would have been dragooned onto a second cash register or to restart and supervise the self-serve registers.

    Meanwhile, the local music society president can’t understand why donations and ticket sales are in the dumps, and were not helped at all by his proud declaration, “Now that the pandemic is over…”

  2. semper loquitur

    Anecdata: GP visit

    I called my GP to schedule a checkup. I also asked her about metformin and the overuse of nasal sprays and mouthwashes. She said there isn’t enough evidence fore prevention except vaccines and masking. She then asked if I had had my bivalent vaccine booster yet.

    I appreciate the keep masking part, but I don’t think she is correct about the other points. I don’t want the booster and I need to use the sprays/rinse. It’s a weird feeling, disagreeing with your doctor.

    1. Big River Bandido

      It’s a weird feeling, disagreeing with your doctor.

      I’d say you’re correct to do so. Get used to this feeling. We are all on our own now. Stay safe.

    2. ambrit

      This Pandemic is knocking PMCs of all sorts from off of their pedestals.
      If she brings up the “nonconformist” trope, tell her that you are only following guidelines and doing your own health risk analysis.
      Stay safe.

      1. lambert strether

        Funny how “personal risk assessment” turned into — perhaps was always meant to turn into — “OBEY” (as in They Live.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Making Group II at Harvard–

    I’m a little skeptical about this. Was ChatGPT provided the names of the professors for whom the papers were written? If not, how could ChatGPT have composed the submissions so that they made the professors feel affirmed in their genius?

    And at a more practical level, professors don’t grade undergrad papers at Harvard. Section men/women/they do.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Wasn’t there an old trope that said that the best form of school was a log with a student sitting at one end and a teacher at the other?

  4. Mark Gisleson

    Morning session of the House Weaponization of Govt cmte meeting was a keeper for the ages. After watching each and every Democrat go after the witnesses I am no longer an ex-Democrat, I am now anti-Democrat. The vitriol and insinuations were just vile.

    The Republicans, otoh, were sharply focused and remarkably on target. Rep. Mike Johnson from Louisiana is a remarkably skilled fast talker and used that to his advantage but I think each Republican did their part well. This is no Benghazi [James Howard Kunstler’s blog name].

    I think RFK Jr came across quite well especially given how extraordinarily nasty the D’s were to him. Embarrassed to say I didn’t recognize Dennis Kucinich sitting behind RFK Jr. He’s gotten even more elfin in his old age.

    I admit to muting Wasserman-Schulz and would do it again. Collectively the Democrats remarks were terrible and will haunt the D’s for the next um 474 days or so.

      1. notabanker

        I can’t even force myself to watch this for research and educational purposes. I can’t make it past the first 2 minutes of Plaskett.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Plaskett is a real piece of work. She’s the one who threatened Matt Taibbi with felony charges for lying to Congress, which he most certainly did not do.

  5. Carolinian

    Re Patrick Lawrence–perhaps the shrill coverage is less an indication not of how much the press hate RFK but rather of how weak Biden is with his 39 percent rating. Will he even be around to not debate? In the meantime off the wall accusations of antisemitism are always useful for showing who’s the boss. Power is power as Cersei used to say before the dragon got her.

    And NC’s UK commenters seemed to indicate that Corbyn brought on a lot of his troubles on himself. It wasn’t just a matter of the smear-o-matic taking him down.

    If Biden does stay in then surely only the voters can save us and some of us plan to do our part. This election won’t be the same as last time because Biden’s many faults can no longer be swept under the rug, debate or no debate.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > And NC’s UK commenters seemed to indicate that Corbyn brought on a lot of his troubles on himself. It wasn’t just a matter of the smear-o-matic taking him down.

      That’s true. For some mad reason Corbyn didn’t think that PLP and the Blairite were real enemies of his. Perhaps a less “good” man would have achieved a better outcome? Still, let’s not minimize what the press, the spooks, and the Israeli embassy did to him. It was as effective as it was vile.

  6. Screwball

    They tried to censor a witness who was there to show censorship. You really can’t make this up.

  7. Angie Neer

    Honestly I appreciate the abbreviated Water Cooler…on “normal” days the firehose (water canon?) of information is a bit overwhelming. And if it results in one of Lambert’s typically excellent focused posts, yay!

    1. griffen

      I would echo that sentiment, given how exhausting 2022 was on so many fronts. Inflation is good, stock markets and wealthy people and Exxon Mobil profits all bad. Some days I tell ya, it is enough to crawl under a rock and wait for sunlight the next morning!

      We sometimes have this discussion surrounding a 4 day work week, I kinda wonder if the fine people supplying our daily rations herein need a break every so often as well. Yes, I’m sure of it, they do, and after all we’re entering the “dog days” of summer if you will.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > one of Lambert’s typically excellent focused posts

      Here ya go. If you have friends or family in a nursing home, pay attention to this one.

      I learn by writing. There’s a lot to learn. Hence the firehose.

  8. Sub-Boreal

    A different kind of antidote: while dipping into the accounts of U.S. politics, I’ve found it refreshing to have the livestream of the current Icelandic volcanic eruption running in a little window in the corner of my screen. Watching a natural process chugging away, completely indifferent to whatever we might think, puts everything into healthy perspective, at least for me.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I’ve found it refreshing to have the livestream of the current Icelandic volcanic eruption running in a little window in the corner of my screen

      Yes indeed, calming by comparison. Sadly, my live-stream is Alexander Mercouris. I fall asleep to him, as I used to do with podcasts.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe a different podcast would be better to listen to, to do with art, revolutions, history, etc. Doesn’t matter what so long as you have an interest in it. You listen to something like this and then your mind by itself recognizes themes and similarities to other stuff that you have seen and makes connections that you never would have thought about. A minor example but on a visual level. I saw a video on the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down during the Balkans war with another heavily damaged. But then when Elon Musk came out with his “truck”, I immediately saw the connections with the design of both-



  9. Roger Blakely

    Hidden in plain sight.

    Back in January we had CH.1.1, BQ.1.1, and BA.276. And then XBB.1.5 came along and changed everything. Is the reason why wastewater numbers seem lower than they should be because today’s scattershot of variants are all variations of XBB? Maybe none of the variants circulating today are different enough from XBB.1.5 to cause a surge.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Is the reason why wastewater numbers seem lower than they should be because today’s scattershot of variants are all variations of XBB?

      I would need to research, but I don’t think so. These are all Omicron variants we are talking about, still. Now, if a new variant showed up that evaded wastewater detection…

  10. steve

    Uncensored Library, Minecraft

    “I wonder what their indexing system is like. Card catalog?”

    No index. A sparse handful of articles scattered over a very large build arranged by country. This seems more of an effort to publicize and educate on censorship, not so much a serious effort to circumvent censorship and certainly not a repository of censored material per se. A lot of fluff, little substance.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > A sparse handful of articles scattered over a very large build

      That’s really too bad. It’s an incredible idea. $40 (IIRC) to join Microsoft-owned Minecraft, too. Is there an Open Source equivalent?

      Adding, and off topic, for gamers in the readership: Is “ally” (big in idpol, “How to be an ally with [identity X]” a game concept? I’ve always wondered where that usage came from; suddenly, it was just there….

      1. steve

        No open source equivalent and Microsoft has all your particulars at purchase. You cannot do Minecraft anonymously as far as I know.

        re “Ally”, gaming is a big universe, in my wee corner, with my increasingly limited exposure, no, its not a thing.

      2. Kfish

        Not really. Gamers tend to call each other team mates, or guild mates (from World of Warcraft). An ‘ally’ in-game is more likely to be an NPC (non-player character, a part of the game already programmed in). Which has … interesting political implications of its own.

        Maybe it’s a war metaphor?

        1. steve

          My bad. I thought you were alluding to an open source project that could access Minecraft worlds. None of these are compatible with the exception of TrueCraft and its unclear if it would be compatible with this particular version. New to me and now I know, thank you. As an added note, reading “books” in Minecraft is no fun for anything longer than a few paragraphs, doable but painful.

  11. petal

    Campaign mailer update:
    1. Another one from the Doug Burgum campaign: “Governor. Business Leader. Conservative. To unlock the best of America, we need a leader who is clearly focused on three things: economy, energy, and national security.” on one side. Other side: “Conservative governor, Small town roots, Business Leader” with 1 sentence for each. Photo taken in a barn, he’s in flannel shirt with pushed up sleeves, and a navy blue vest on, and the hand showing is the one with the wedding ring.

    2. One the address side: “America is struggling because of Joe Biden’s policies. But if Trump is the GOP nominee…we could lose everything(“we could lose everything is in red). The House, the Senate, the White House. It’s time to look to a new leader, it’s too important to RISK IT ALL! Other side: “Ask yourself, is it worth the RISK?” with a side by side photo of Joe Biden and Trump(not a very flattering one). This was sent out by AFP Action, which is …Americans for Prosperity. So the Kochies are trying to undermine Trump and keep The Blob together. This is the second mailer from them trying to undermine Trump.

    1. petal

      Sorry, I went back and checked my stash and that is the 3rd different anti-Trump mailer from AFP. All 3 have different designs, but the same gist. And Burgum’s is from a PAC.

  12. Darthbobber

    If memory serves me correctly, in 2016 there was a Republican debate schedule (on Fox I believe) and Trump took a pass due to disagreement over the rules and scheduled a large stadium rally to compete with it.

    Unless one or more candidates grows greatly in stature before the first debate I think it unlikely that it will draw at all well sans Trump.

  13. Kellylatoya

    “As the economy continues to return to normal after the pandemic” that’s a crock.

    ???? America’s most popular business name: FOR LEASE

    Fast food restaurants, a great measure of the working class economy are empty for hours, or half empty at lunchtime hereabouts.People buying smaller quantities at the food store. Inflation is at a 40-year record high. This country is in a recession and heading into a depression based on every single business owner we have talked to.
    That jackass Biden has to the nerve to worry about the New World Economic Order.

    Pritzker’s focusing on restoring banned books while his billionaire family makes more off our backs.
    Sure there are large numbers of jobs being created, or being restored after the disastrous lockdowns, plus many workers have 3 of them.

  14. ajc

    So this is not applicable to any of today’s links, but there is chatter among right-wing media that Mel Gibson produced a 4 part documentary on human trafficking in Ukraine (and more?) with the Tim Ballard who is the inspiration “The Sound of Freedom” movie that was automatically dismissed as Q-anon adjacent propaganda.

    Given that Noah Berlatsky locked his twitter account after delivering an ideologically driven review of the film insinuating its danger to our decadent Republic, he has been forced to take his account private as many posters brought up his association and employment with the pro-pedo site/group Prostasia where he and others argued that CP should remain widely and easily available to umm “protect children”.

    I think, while obviously this issue is politicized and subject to conspiracy mongering (a mutated version of H. Thompson’s adrenochrome apparently is part of SOF’s narrative, hence the Q-anon charges), I think it reflects a deep and growing backlash to the transhumanist future (ala the Singularity) that the elites seem intent on forcing us to participate, hence the growing animus towards the normalization of transgenderism (which in my humble opinion is a vanguard for the larger transhumanist “project”).

    I think something misunderstood by liberals when Trump was first elected to drain the swamp, the primary concern was the removal of the pedophile elites in Washington, wrongly or rightly represented by Hillary Clinton. And this has been an animating issue on the right-wing for years that has only become more and more mainstreamed with the usual frontal blindness (see Tucker’s fawning interview with human trafficker Andrew Tate) that partisans have for their own elites.

    So after all my hemming and hawing, I think a strong RW counternarrative about the Ukraine war is emerging that the war was (partially or completely) launched to traffic Ukrainian children with the direct knowledge of Biden. And given Biden’s record of creepiness with Senator’s children, let alone on the trail, plus the dysfunction in his family that seems like the product of long-term abuse be it neglect or worse, will end his re-election chances.

    And the lib reaction to “The Sound of Freedom” with outright contemptuous dismissal across the board signifies their awareness of the power of this narrative and their complete unawareness they no long have the power to manipulate and control the Gestalt even as they desperately call everything not kosher in PMC-land mis/disinformation, conspiracy theory, etc.

    These are rough thoughts after wading through some current RW media. So, obviously, they should be criticized. The libs are going to have to do a lot better than Noah Berlatsky if they actually want to win the argument though. I will say this, the elite reaction to cover for the Epstein johns at all costs might cost them more than they bargained for in the end.

    1. Yves Smith

      I don’t and have never seen evidence that the right wingers who see pedophiles under every bed are anything other than a very small but effectively loud group. As far as whether this trope is anything other than fevered brain thinking, it has long been the case that child abuse is mainly perpetrated by someone the child knows personally, typically a relative like a father, grandfather, stepfather, or uncle.

  15. Acacia

    Re “Hand-written, proctored essays. The only way forward, and I do mean ‘forward.'”

    If the goal is to just test that students know the right answers and can express these in long form, sure.

    But if the goal is to teach undergrads to think critically, that is, to research and compose argumentative essays that draw on and engage with secondary sources — proctored essay exams will not do it, sorry.

    I’m afraid there are no simple solutions to the current wave of generate-AI-enhanced cheating.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Behold the return of a mainframe computer with consoles in libraries! (only half in jest)

      One way to teach students to think critically about argumentative essays is the method my alma mater used in the 80’s – seminars. The kind where a group of students write papers and then discuss about them, with one student designed specifically as opponent for each paper. It certainly would be harder for you to pass if ChatGPT wrote your essay.

      That setting could actually be expanded to include one paper certainly written by AI and students getting extra points by recognizing which one. They should be able to notice if big chunks of the core texts of their discipline were used without proper attribution. Or without any actual understanding of the context.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You might like this true story. There was a student that wrote his PhP and had to defend it before a bunch of professors. Well one of them got sick so a visiting professor was hauled in so that the paper could be reviewed as a minimum number of staff was needed. They sat down, the visiting professor opened the paper and said ‘I can’t pass this. It’s mine.’ He had written it thirty years before as his own PhD.

        Serendipity 1, Plagiarizer 0

        But what you say is interesting. If the student ‘wrote’ a paper, then certainly they would have no trouble defending it in front of a bunch of other students with one set up as an opponent and would be able to defend everything in it. Not foolproof of course but it would be a start.

      2. Acacia

        I have participated in this form of debate (student of rhetoric), and I agree this is a worthy exercise.

        However, I don’t see how it’s going to work as a substitute for the end-of-semester research paper. As you suggest, it could be a way to validate that the students actually researched and wrote the papers, but this will require a lot more time and in that fashion impact the learning experience.

        For example, let’s say you have a literature course with twenty students. Typically, the course will cover a number of different works (e.g., “the Gothic novel”), and at the end of the semester the students will each choose a different novel, and each choose a different topic and thesis. This will lead them to different secondary sources, etc.

        As I see it, trying to organize and conduct an in-class discussion around all of these papers with a class of twenty students will take weeks of class time — possibly a quarter to a third of the semester — and the students will need to be given at least a week or two to prepare the essays. In other words, the course will in effect finish around the middle of the semester, and the rest of the time will be spent on writing and in-class discussion/debate.

        So, we will cut the semesters in half — just to deal with AI plagiarism…? Not really a viable solution.

        Alternately, students can be asked to give presentations. I have done this many times with undergraduates, and it’s generally a painful experience. Some students will “present” well, some just won’t.

        To make this approach work, realistically, there are going to need to be some more constraints, like far fewer primary texts to work from — all of which will impact and diminish how much the students will actually learn.

        1. hunkerdown

          LLMs are really poor at citations, as we have seen in recent court cases. They’ve never seen the page numbers in their training corpora. They won’t have enough attention to maintain precise reference information or verify references for a while. Weight the affordances as heavily as the composition in grading, and most of the deadwood will precipitate.

          1. Acacia

            Yes, I was actually surprised just how bad it is, with nearly every “quotation” coming from the bot proving to be completely fabricated text.

            The difficulty is: even given known-bogus quotations from a bot, how can university faculty efficiently detect them?

            It will be obvious with well-known primary sources (e.g., Machiavelli never wrote about the USian Democrat party), but what about the secondary sources that are used in most every serious research paper? Expecting the faculty who grade student essays to track down the source of every quotation, obtain a copy, and then to verify that the quoted text and page numbers are all correct… again, this is simply not a viable solution. Some of this can be semi-automated with software like Turnitin, but these services are not foolproof and their repository of source texts is similarly limited (e.g., there have been cases of false positives, and we can also expect cases of plagiarism to slip through).

            Having already given this some consideration, the only solution I can see would be to require that students not only submit a research paper, but copies of every secondary source they use. However, this only adds additional verification steps to an already-laborious process of grading — especially in the case of paraphrased sources —, and personally I don’t (yet) feel comfortable imposing such a requirement.

          2. lambert strether

            > They’ve never seen the page numbers in their training corpora

            I’m too lazy to find my own link on this (past week or so) but if I recall the source correctly, and the source is correct, the original training corpus for an AI is done only once. So if the link between footnote number and footnote text was not incorporated initially, it won’t be. (This would not surprise me; most software engineers are very, very stupid about documents and document structure.) If this is true, civilizationally, the AIs will have cut us off from all origin source material, and substituted themselves as authorities. That would be bad. Except for the people who profit from it, of course. Somebody did well after the Library of Alexandria burned, no doubt. Silver lining…

            1. hunkerdown

              A particular model is pre-trained only once, and it is an expensive process. There is work being done on fact editing for transformers, where subject-object relations can be edited en masse and at will with minimal damage to the rest of the model. My bet on where I think that’s going: straight to alignment (Gleichschaltung!).

              But any LLM’s assertions are at best as good as anyone else’s. Citations can be hallucinated by AI but, even if it were trained with page numbers thrown into the mix somehow, valid citations to actual, verifiable sources are a bit of a heavier lift. Argumentum ex culo tends to evaporate when verified (Shyamalan 2015, pp20-33) and will not grade well. LLMs are not a replacement for source material, just a partial replacement for that stoner burnout at the coffee shop a block off campus who half-remembers everything and drops an occasionally crucial insight among the tailings from time to time. It’s still hearsay, no matter how fluently it is phrased.

  16. nippersdad

    Welp, now we know what the October surprise is going to be:

    “Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the deployment of a Marine expeditionary unit and an amphibious-ready group to the region, citing Iran’s recent attempts to seize ships in the region. A MEU typically includes about 2,000 Marines transported aboard three amphibious warships that can launch helicopters and watercraft.”


    This reminds me of that time Biden pulled out of the lost war in Afghanistan so that he could get ready to go after Russia, only this time he is getting ready to go after Iran just before he loses the war in Ukraine. This sounds like a good time to block the Straits of Hormuz and rediscover why that was not a good idea.

  17. ChrisPacific

    Re: Cornel West, he seems to be going for the black preacher style of elocution rather than the academic. At least he did in his announcement video, and it sounds like that’s continued (‘Brother David Axelrod’).

    I don’t know if that’s his normal spoken style or a conscious choice on his part – he certainly comes across quite differently when he writes. It worked reasonably well for me in the announcement video, but I’m not sure how it lands with US voters (especially black voters) or whether they would consider it an affectation.

    1. JBird4049

      Personally, I would prefer something along the style of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, but I’m weird, and considering was passes as an acceptable style for political speech, today, the preacher style is both fine and beautiful.

    2. nippersdad

      I think your answer lies here:

      “If third party candidate Cornel West was to appear on the ballot with Trump and Biden, Biden’s support decreases to 40%, Trump to 41%, and West holds 6%. Seven percent would vote for someone else and the share of undecided voters increases to 6%.

      “When West is added to the ballot test, he pulls 15% of support from Black voters, and 13% from voters under 35, two key voting blocs for President Biden,” Kimball noted.”


      The cycle has not even yet begun and he is already polling at six percent. I think that is a floor, not a ceiling.

      1. Acacia

        I think that is a floor, not a ceiling.

        Yeah. Curious to see where this goes.

        Yesterday, Lambert posted Chris Hedges’ pitch for West, which outlines the hurdles to ballot access, but also makes a decent case for voting against the political apartheid of the duoparty. Worth a read:


        On a personal note, it’s been interesting to note that the people I know who are most onboard with the discourses around capitalism and race, idpol, etc., are now firmly in the camp of voting for Biden, “because Trump!!!”, and they just dismiss West as essentially “a vote for Trump”.

      2. Carolinian

        ABB–anyone but Biden. The same explanation goes for RFK jr IMO. Worth noting that Biden announced he was running again and his approval rating went down. The Dems are nuts to think they can carry this off. Just the notion of four more years of Joe with Kamala in the wings induces panic.

        1. Acacia

          The Dems are nuts to think they can carry this off.

          Agree, though they may have some ‘cunning plan B’. It’ll be like Bullwinkle pulling a rabbit out of his hat — except millions of Dem voters will go along with it. Sigh.

    3. Will

      I believe that is his normal rhetorical style. Or at least publicly. Watched many an interview with him during Bernie’s last run and since then on various progressive/left independent media, and that’s just how Brother West expresses himself – lyric and learned.

      1. ChrisPacific

        That’s good to hear – thanks for the sense check. I consume mostly text media, so I don’t have much of a basis for comparison on these things.

  18. Jason Boxman

    Just a cold. Someone I know that’s got an interview tomorrow, left me a message: “So I’m sickened to death with this cold…” and the person definitely sounds sick. I’m not even going to ask if it might be COVID. Denial is strong; At this point, I’m just trying to avoid infection as long as possible. I mentioned it to someone else in passing, and got back the usual venom about how this was always just a flu and I’m foolish to be terrified, if I only did my own research and understood the science.


    Also, reading COVID Twitter is depressing. Really, don’t do it.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>if I only did my own research and understood the science.

      Funny, whenever I do any research and actually understand the science, which is really not a given with me, I get more scared of getting Covid for the second or third time.

      But even a very basic understanding of infectious diseases does not suggest that Covid has gone away or that it will not become worse. The formerly annual flu season is an example of that that requires ever changing vaccines that do not always work and still kills plenty of people.

      I wonder what research they are doing?

      1. lambert strether

        > I wonder what research they are doing?

        Studying David Leonhardt very carefully, no doubt.

  19. anon in so cal

    Los Angeles County Dept of Health reports an uptick in Covid cases (32% increase over last week)

    “For Immediate Release:

    July 20, 2023

    Public Health Reports Small Signs of Increasing COVID-19 Transmission; Recommends Common-Sense Precautions

    With small increases in the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reminds residents to consider taking common-sense precautions, especially for people at highest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

    Public Health data shows increases in reported COVID-19 cases, virus concentrations in wastewater and the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests, possibly the result of high levels of exposure during Fourth of July festivities, summer travel, and the unusually high temperatures that are keeping people indoors more often.

    For the past three summers, Los Angeles County has experienced a summer COVID-19 surge. Beginning in mid-July 2021, cases and hospitalizations increased relatively sharply. In contrast, in 2022, cases and hospitalizations had already begun to rise by May 1, however the increase was more gradual.

    This week, Public Health reports 2,034 new COVID-19 cases, a 32 percent increase from the 1,544 cases reported last week. While helpful to indicate larger trends, cases are an undercount of the true number of infections due to the large number of at-home COVID test results that are not reported to Public Health.

    Wastewater concentrations of SARS CoV-2, the virus that results in a COVID-19 infection, are at 10 percent of the most recent winter peak for the week ending July 8, a slight increase from the 8 percent that was recorded for each of the previous three weeks. The test positivity rate, which does not include home tests, increased to 7.5 percent as of July 15, up from 5.1 percent one month earlier.

    This month, Public Health also is reporting more new outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, where residents are more susceptible to severe illness and death from COVID-19. For the week ending July 18, Public Health opened 11 outbreak investigations, similar to the 12 outbreak investigations opened the week before. By comparison, one month ago, for the week ending June 20, four new outbreaks were opened.”


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