By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day
Eastern Meadowlark, Big Rock Forest Preserve, Kane, Illinois, United States. “Calls given while perched at the top of a dead tree, approximately 18m above ground.”
Look for the Helpers
We need more doctors like this:
I don’t want Water Cooler to be an exercise in doomscrolling. That’s why there are birds at the top, in the sky, and plants at the bottom, for the earth. That said, the world isn’t in the best shape, and we do have to report that clearly, especially in the face of denial, minimization, layers of impacted PMC bullshit. That said, “”if it bleeds, it leads,”” meaning that our famously free press has little incentive to report good news beyond clickbait-y heartwarming anecdotes. That’s one reason I invented, quoting Mr. Rogers, “”Look for the helpers”” in the Covid section; to relieve the bleakness. Let’s expand the principle!
Links to stories about helpers are also good:
If readers wish to send me more links or photos of helpers in action, you can mail me with “”Helpers”” in the subject line. Could be Covid, could be any situation. Even helpful animals!
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
“Why Did Biden Elevate CIA Director William Burns to His Cabinet?” [Tablet]. “Moving Burns into the cabinet should therefore be understood not as giving the CIA ‘a credibility boost,’ as The New York Times put it, but as a further normalization of the agency’s emergent role as a policy actor. Sanctioning and highlighting the agency’s political role poses a danger to its longtime mission of providing the president with clear, unbiased information and analysis. It is also dangerous for the American public, which faces an increased risk from a powerful foreign intelligence bureaucracy that is being positioned as an actor within the domestic sphere. Before 9/11, the CIA director could plausibly serve in the cabinet—as a representative from an outside agency providing data to the White House—without also assuming the more political role of serving on the president’s team. But while the formal ban on CIA involvement in domestic affairs remains, it has become all but empty of significance. The post-9/11 doctrine of interagency “”intelligence sharing”” and the formation of the now 18-member intelligence community means the CIA can and does hand off domestic intelligence it gathers and formulates to the FBI. The CIA-led intelligence community remains wounded and publicly compromised, moreover, by the insistence of so many eminent former intelligence chiefs in the days before the 2020 election that the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian information operation, and thus a legitimate cause for both social media censorship and a journalistic blackout. Burns was not complicit in this now-infamous episode, but neither has he attempted (or been allowed) to acknowledge or apologize for it. If President Biden is in fact concerned with restoring the CIA’s credibility, he would do better to keep it outside his cabinet rather than brazenly welcoming it in.”
Time for the Countdown Clock!
* * *
“US judge sets hearing on evidence in Trump’s 2020 election case” [Reuters]. “Friday’s hearing comes after Trump’s defense team on Monday opposed a request from prosecutors for Chutkan to impose a protective order to ensure confidential evidence is not shared publicly by Trump, suggesting he could use the information to intimidate witnesses. Trump has pleaded not guilty and called the charges politically motivated. Trump’s attorneys said limits would infringe on his right to free speech, protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Trump is not expected to be present in the courtroom on Friday, after Chutkan waived his appearance. Typically, defense lawyers do not oppose such protective orders because doing so can delay the government from producing the evidence it intends to use at trial in a process known as discovery.” • It’s a nice point. If Trump’s Presidential run would have turned into a running commentary on the court proceedings, and a gag order prevented that, what are the First Amendment implications, especially given the presumption of innocence?
“Trump wants his election case moved out of D.C., pronto. That won’t be easy” [Reuters]. “Two major obstacles stand in the former president’s way. The first is 1976 appellate precedent from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, rejecting arguments by Watergate defendants H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and John Mitchell that their jury was tainted by bias and pre-trial publicity. The second is a heap of recent rulings by trial judges in federal court in Washington who have applied precedent from the Watergate case to deny venue transfer motions by defendants in criminal cases arising from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol…. In case after case involving accused Jan. 6 participants, including high-profile Oath Keeper defendants, trial judges have cited the appellate court’s directive in the Watergate case that their circuit’s ‘well-established procedure’ is to deny transfer motions until prospective jurors are questioned about their impartiality. Not a single Washington federal judge has agreed to transfer a Jan. 6 case out of the district before voir dire.”
“Numb to Trump: Data shows drop in scandal interest” [Axios]. “The public’s attention to former President Trump’s legal drama has declined with each subsequent indictment, according to new data pulled across television, social media and search activity… ‘The bombast and howling accusations after each charge, the lurid threats and endless victimologies, the mind numbing repetition of it all… is supposed to do just that: numb the mind so that sense making feels impossible and paying attention seems pointless,’ New York University’s Jay Rosen told Axios in an email.
‘There’s a name for it: . It’s supposed to exhaust whatever interest we once had in following the news,’ Rosen added.” • Jay Rosen said that?
“Why wouldn’t people see politics in Trump indictments?” [Washington Examiner]. “A new pollfrom CBS News and YouGov… asked this question: “Which concerns you more right now: 1) That Donald Trump tried to overturn a presidential election, [or] 2) That the charges and indictment against Donald Trump are politically motivated, [or] 3) Both.” Thirty-eight percent said they were more concerned that Trump tried to overturn an election. And then a precisely equal number, 38%, said they were more concerned that the charges and indictment against Trump are politically motivated. And then 24% said they were equally concerned by both…. The bottom line is that many, many people see the Trump prosecutions as politically motivated. That does not mean they deny any Trump culpability. They just also see the obvious fact that the prosecutions have a large political component. They then believe, or suspect, that an action so clearly political might have a political motive behind it.”
“Opinion: Why Georgia might beat the feds at holding Trump accountable” [Los Angeles Times]. “You might be tempted to see these criminal proceedings in state courts as a superfluous sideshow to Trump’s federal indictment on charges related to overthrowing the 2020 election. In fact, these parallel cases are essential to protecting American democracy in three ways. [First,] even a newly inaugurated President Trump could not fire Fani Willis, the Georgia district attorney investigating his crimes in that state — or any other state official [and] state crimes are not subject to pardon by the president…. Second, Trump is not the only person who allegedly engaged in election subversion in 2020 and 2021, and the states are likely to be the most promising path for holding the others accountable too…. Finally, the state prosecutions remind us that American elections are decentralized and that the safeguarding of our democracy cannot just be the responsibility of the federal government.” • Every time I hear a Democrat say “our democracy” my back teeth itch. Still, good arguments.
“Previously Secret Memo Laid Out Strategy for Trump to Overturn Biden’s Win” [DNYUZ]. “The false electors’ scheme was perhaps the most sprawling of Mr. Trump’s various efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It involved lawyers working on his campaign’s behalf across seven states, dozens of electors willing to claim that Mr. Trump — not Mr. Biden — had won their states, and open resistance from some of those potential electors that the plan could be illegal or even ‘appear treasonous.’ In the end, it became the cornerstone of the indictment against Mr. Trump. While another lawyer — John Eastman, described as Co-Conspirator 2 in the indictment — became a key figure who championed the plan and worked more directly with Mr. Trump on it, Mr. Chesebro was an architect of it. He was first enlisted by the Trump campaign in Wisconsin to help with a legal challenge to the results there.'” • Chesebro is “Co-Conspirator 5.”
“For Washington Post’s Feared ‘Pinocchio’ Fact Checker, Forthrightness Dies in ‘Updates’ to Biden-Burisma Story” [RealClearPolitics]. “All told, the Post has run six corrections across its original and revised Kessler stories about the laptop emails and the Biden-Burisma dinner…. Despite the rolling disclosures reaching a critical mass, the Post has not published a separate news story examining its own errors, which misinformed voters ahead of the November 2020 presidential election and continued to mislead the public deep into the Biden presidency.”
* * *
“Ramaswamy first GOP presidential candidate to qualify for debate with pledge to support eventual party nominee” [FOX]. “The signing of a Republican Party pledge that all candidates will eventually support the party’s presidential nominee is underway, with White House hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy becoming the first to agree to the language drawn up by the Republican National Committee (RNC)…. According to the pledge, candidates must affirm they will only appear in debates sanctioned by the RNC, and, should they fail to sign the pledge or participate in a non-RNC sanctioned debate, they will not be able to participate in any further party sanctioned debates. ‘Additionally, I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination for President of the United States, I will honor the will of the primary voters and support the 2024 Republican presidential nominee in order to save our country and beat Joe Biden,’ the pledge goes on to say. ‘I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party,’ it adds.”
“Doug Burgum super PAC drops almost $4 million ad campaign in early voting states” [Washington Examiner]. “The Best of America PAC announced a $3.9 million television ad campaign in New Hampshire and Iowa on Wednesday, which will pay for the airtime of a 30-second spot that previously aired last month. ‘Governor Burgum is the conservative governor and business leader our country needs to unlock the best of America,’ said Emily Benavides, Best of America PAC spokeswoman, in a statement. ‘As we look forward to Governor Burgum’s debut on the debate stage later this month, we’re making sure New Hampshire and Iowa know that he will turn around our economy, unleash American energy, and rebuild our military so we can win the Cold War with China.'” • Woo hoo!
* * *
“Biden incorrectly claims he has declared a national emergency on climate” [CNN]. “President Joe Biden incorrectly claimed in an interview with The Weather Channel that he has already declared a national emergency on the climate crisis. ‘I’ve already done that,’ Biden said when asked whether he intends to do declare a climate emergency. ‘We’ve conserved more land, we’ve rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, we’ve passed the $368 billion climate control facility. We’re moving. It is the existential threat to humanity.’ When pressed again on whether he had actually declared a national emergency, Biden said: ‘Practically speaking, yes.'” • After a cue like that, Biden senses danger, and pivots to “practically speaking.”
“Biden’s health care wins are being undone — and at the worst possible time” [Politico]. “States across the country, both blue and red, are purging their Medicaid programs of millions of low-income enrollees for the first time in three years, after a pandemic policy meant to prevent vulnerable people from suddenly losing health coverage expired earlier this spring.” Needless to say, this policy was put in place under the Trump Administration; IIRC, the CARES Act. More: “Nearly 4 million Americans have been cut from Medicaid in the last three months, most of whom lost their insurance over paperwork issues. The number is projected to balloon to 15 million by this time next year, according to official estimates, though some now fear the final toll will be even bigger.” PMC gatekeepers at work. More: “The mass terminations, which together represent the biggest reshuffling of the health insurance landscape since Obamacare, come as Covid cases rise again and Biden embarks on a reelection campaign built around convincing working-class voters they’re better off than before.” • Idea: Let’s eliminate universal concrete material benefits:
One reason some people may feel worse off recently:
— wsbgnl (@wsbgnl) August 9, 2023
The “European-Style Welfare State,” again, was built by the CARES Act under the Trump Administration. And all we get from Democrats about dismantling it is hand-wringing and that old standby, “no political will.”
“Comer Releases Third Bank Memo Detailing Payments to the Bidens from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine” (press release) [House Committee on Oversight and Accountability] (full memo). Plenty of detail about Burisma, but this item stands out:
In April 2014, a Kazakhstani Oligarch Wired the Exact Price of Biden’s Sportscar to a Bank Account Used by Archer and Biden: In February 2014, Hunter Biden met with Kenes Rakishev at a Washington, D.C. hotel. Rakishev worked closely with the prime minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov. In April, Rakishev, a Kazakhstani oligarch, wired $142,300 to Rosemont Seneca Bohai. The next day, a payment was made from Rosemont Seneca Bohai for a sportscar for Hunter Biden in the amount of $142,300. Archer and Biden then arranged for Burisma executives to visit Kazakhstan in June 2014 to evaluate a three-way deal among Burisma, a Chinese state-owned company, and the government of Kazakhstan.
“Impeaching a Trump Impeachment” [Wall Street Journal]. “Of Hunter’s several windfalls, his Burisma earnings most directly leveraged his father’s role, most directly link to a specific act by his father (the Shokin firing), and provide the most direct credence to Mr. Trump’s first impeachment defense, concerning his phone call to President Zelensky fishing for information about Biden dealings in Ukraine…. There’s some new news here. Mr. Trump may well have been informed by Attorney General William Barr about the Burisma insider who spoke to the FBI—which means Mr. Trump both can keep a secret and had a stronger foundation for his request to Mr. Zelensky, whose cooperation he sought in an FBI investigation that we now know was under way in response to the confidential informant’s testimony. Hmmm. The White House’s latest defense implicitly allows that Joe may have discussed business with Hunter but he wasn’t “”in business”” with Hunter. Plenty of room to maneuver is permitted if the facts show Joe did everything and anything to facilitate Hunter’s “”illusion of access”” short of selling an official act or joining Hunter’s payroll.” • “[M]ay well have been informed.” It would be irresponsible not to speculate. Commentary on Burisma:
Leaving everything else to the side about the scandal of Hunter Biden and Burisma: that a Ukrainian energy company knew that the way to buy influence was not paying a Ukrainian's politician's son but rather Joe Biden's son shows how deeply the US has been micro-managing Ukraine.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 9, 2023
“Kamala Harris Coming to Vineyard for Campaign Fundraiser” [Vineyard Gazette]. “The exact time and location of the [August 12] fundraiser, titled ‘,’ were not disclosed in the invitation…. Ms. Leeds, one of the hosts, is a presidential appointee on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts and the CEO of Winning Strategies, LLC, a public affairs and political consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Ms. Fulp is the founder of Fulp Diversity and was the U.S. representative to the United Nations general assembly under President Barack Obama. Tickets for the event ranged from $50 to $10,000.” • Grassroots, totally. The summer workers can buy the $50 tickets, and summer visitors the $10,000 ones. I wonder who’ll be doing the catering? Obama’s cook?
* * *
Cornel West in good form:
Cornel West’s response to Democrats labeling him a ‘threat’ is brilliant. He would crush Biden & Trump in a debate. pic.twitter.com/NF1LgGYTqV
— Ryan Knight ☭🕊 (@ProudSocialist) August 9, 2023
RFK on pandemics:
How RFKJ will handle the next pandemic as president. pic.twitter.com/SKMogACgVy
— DrHankMD (@DrSHankMD) July 14, 2023
Ivermection and hydrochloroquine have entered the chat.
* * *
“The 2024 Election Will Break New Ground” [Wall Street Journal]. “We are living in an unprecedented era of close presidential elections. In the 17 races between 1920 and 1984, the winner prevailed in the popular vote by 10 points or more on 10 occasions, and by 20 points or more five times. In the nine elections since, no winner has come close to a 10-point margin of victory, and on two occasions the candidate with a plurality of the popular vote lost the Electoral College. During this period, the number of truly contested swing states declined sharply, to only eight by 2020. A shift of 43,000 votes in Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona, states Mr. Biden carried by wafer-thin margins, would have yielded a tie in the Electoral College, throwing the election to the House for the first time since the 1824 election. Public opinion surveys thus far are pointing to yet another close contest whose outcome will be determined by narrow margins in the same states that became the sites of postelection legal struggles four years ago. Until the American people decide to award one party a majority that extends beyond a single presidency, today’s challenges to effective governance and national unity are all but certain to persist.”
“House GOP 2024 strategy memo: We have to win in blue states” [Politico]. “Congressional Leadership Fund, a PAC aligned with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, has identified that about one-third of swing seats are in traditionally blue states. Republicans hold just a four-seat majority in Congress and will have to defend 13 seats in deep blue New York and California for the best chance to hold on to power in 2024. To aid in that effort, CLF is launching a ‘Blue State Project’ to compete in traditionally blue states…. Republicans in blue states will have a disadvantage when it comes to party infrastructure. CLF said it must create its own infrastructure focused on reaching ticket-splitting voters, building field programs to reach voters and investing in early voting, which Republicans have advised against in past cycles. The memo also told donors that CLF will need early funding to reserve television time in these comparably more expensive markets during the presidential year, which will also drive up rates. In addition to defending GOP gains in deep blue states, the Congressional Leadership Fund also identified offensive opportunities that it plans to invest in, starting with the open seats currently held by Democrats Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia. It also said it plans to support challengers in the five seats held by Democrats that Donald Trump won in 2020.” • Interestingly, both Slotkin and Spanberger are CIA Democrats seeking higher office.
Query for the readership: Would Obama have invaded Ukraine, if he had been elected for a third term?
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!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“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.
* * *
“The New York City mayor is having his Aaron Judge year after all. And it’s not good.” [Politico]. “Adams — not unlike the Yankees captain, who was sidelined by a toe injury in June and July — has struggled all summer. There is a law enforcement investigation into a former member of his administration. There’s a looming federal takeover of city jails. The City Council overrode his veto of affordable housing bills. And now migrants are sleeping on sidewalks in Manhattan as a crisis over their arrivals grows worse. The nonstop hits call into question Adams’ depiction of himself as a strong executive who is running the nation’s largest city competently after years of mismanagement. And if the problems continue to spiral, Adams could have what every New York City leader fears most — a one-term mayoralty. ‘It has been a difficult couple of months,’ Basil Smikle, the former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, said in a phone interview. ‘He needs some victories. He really needs some ways to change the conversation.’ A high-ranking Adams administration official put it more bluntly. ‘Horrible,’ said the official about the mayor’s recent troubles. The official was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the boss.” • What a waste. The cop with the million-watt smile implodes….
Realignment and Legitimacy
“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).
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!
Censorship and Propaganda
“It’s just the summer flu.”
OK, so how come flu positivity is flat, and Covid’s is up (see Walgreen’s):
And how come outpatient visits are down, and Covid cases are up (Biobot wasterwater data):
“World’s largest cruise ship prepares to sail as COVID-hit industry rebounds” [Al Jazeera]. • We’re gonna need a bigger Petri dish.
The wheels of commerce turn:
*attends superspreader event the night before*
*tests positive in the morning*
"who gave me COVID at the *insert superspreader event you attended*?!"
no one. someone definitely gave you COVID, and you already had it when you went.
you gave people COVID at the event.
— Reese 😷 • mask up, ableists (@ReesiePeacie) August 8, 2023
“Intra-host variation in the spike S1/S2 region of a feline coronavirus type-1 in a cat with persistent infection” [bioRxiv]. I know this is not Covid! For NC on feline Coronavirus, see here. From the Abstract: “Our studies indicate that FCoV-1 can independently persist in the gastrointestinal tract and heart of a cat over a long period of time without evidence of typical FIP signs, with intermittent viral shedding from the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.” • I am reminded of alert reader Roger Blakely’s comment yesterday.
“A Systematic Review of Persistent Clinical Features After SARS-CoV-2 in the Pediatric Population” [Pediatrics]. Meta-study. “Twenty seven cohorts and 4 cross-sectional studies met the inclusion criteria and involved over 15 000 pediatric participants. A total of more than 20 persistent symptoms and clinical features were reported among children and adolescents. 16.2% (95% confidence interval 8.5% to 28.6%) of the pediatric participants experienced 1 or more persistent symptom(s) at least 3 months post COVID-19. Female gender might be associated with developing certain long COVID symptoms.”
“The effectiveness of antimicrobial mouthwashes in reducing viral load in saliva of COVID-19 patients” [News Medical Life Sciences]. We reviewed the study covered by this article yesterday, but it makes a point I should have made: “Although mouthwashes reduce viral load in the saliva of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, the virus continues to replicate in the upper respiratory epithelia, thereby restoring viral loads in the saliva.” • Mouthwash, therefore, complements nasal sprays and washes, but does not replace them.
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.
* * *
“Vascular Dysfunctions Contribute to the Long-Term Cognitive Deficits Following COVID-19” [Biology]. A literature review. From the Conclusion: “In summary, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can invade the brain and exert its neurological manifestation through binding to ACE2 on nerve cells and endothelial cells. A sound body of evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 impairs vascular integrity through direct or indirect viral infection, leading to endothelium damage and augmenting vascular penetrability in peripheral vessels, disrupting the [Blood Brain Barrier (BBB)] integrity and the CNS function. Given the evidence, the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen can induce cognitive impairment via vascular dysfunction, disruption of the BBB, interruption of oxygen supply, dissemination of intravascular coagulation, and neuro-inflammation. Taken together, the long-term cognitive consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection, to some extent, may be due to during COVID-19 illness and in the recovery stages. In addition to the present evidence, future studies are needed to discover the exact long-term cognitive deficits in patients with COVID-19 and their probable mediator mechanisms.”
The smile of a predator:
She then muttered, “”ah ok, you just like wearing them….””
I’m knackered, head achy & not with it so just stayed silent.
In another universe – where I’m on the ball & funny I should have replied, deadpan:
“”Yeah. It’s a fucking joy.””
— Lisa #SafeEdForAll (@Sandyboots2020) August 8, 2023
Handwashing. In 2023:
There's an uptick in #COVID19 cases in Los Angeles County. Get tested if you have symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches and fever. Staying home if your are sick and washing your hands frequently will help keep you and others safe. pic.twitter.com/UY4vApsKpB
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) August 2, 2023
What an absolute disgrace. Shame LA Public Health, who understand neither airborne nor asymptomatic transmission. And in a city of four million! The brilliant contact page seems designed to avoid contact tranmission — there’s no phone — but here’s an email address: LiaisonCOVID19@ph.lacounty.gov. And speaking of Los Angeles–
“COVID-19 is ‘heating up all around’ this summer. Should we be wearing masks again?” [Los Angeles Times]. “‘Even though the declared emergency is over, COVID is still circulating — and it probably will be for quite some time. And so if you really don’t want to get sick, you can protect yourself by wearing a mask when you’re indoors,’ said Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County public health director and health officer. ‘But it’s, at this point, an individual decision.’ Wearing masks, even only on occasion in the highest-risk environments, can help ‘because the more people are together, the greater the chance that one of those people is going to be infectious and spread COVID to others,’ Cody said. That advice hasn’t changed, even with the end of the pandemic emergency. Cody fell ill with COVID-19 in February after eating in an indoor dining hall at her daughter’s college during a family weekend. Cody remembered pondering the risk at the time. ‘I just stood out there and thought, like, if I go in and dine at this event, I’m at risk. On the other hand, if I go in with my mask, and don’t dine, that’s not going to be really lovely for my daughter,”” she said. ‘And so I just thought about it, and I made a decision, you know: I just thought, for her, I’ll just take off my mask and go have lunch. And then I got COVID. I understood the risk. And I decided that for this particular event that was very meaningful to my daughter, that I dined like every other parent, I decided it was worth the risk. Cody said that after that experience, she generally keeps her mask on in indoor public venues, but ‘if there’s a social event where I think it’s really, really important to me, and if it’s not too crowded, and the ventilation seems OK, I might make an exception.'” • A tragic story, because Cody was early and right at the start of the pandemic. The “understand the risk” argument is wrong. What Cody means — and this is the whole “personal risk assessment” paradigm — is the risk to herself, personally. But what about the risk to others? What about those who Cody infected while she was pre- or asymptomatic? What if Cody herself was a superspreader?
NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, August 7:
Lambert here: We have now surpassed the second peak (#2), of the previous Covid pandemic infection peaks. I would like to congratulate the Biden administration and the public health establishment, the CDC especially, for this enormous and unprecedented achievement. And a tip of the ol’ Water Cooler hat to the Great Barrington goons, whose policies have been followed so assiduously! I wonder which of the previous peaks (#1, #3, or #4) we’ll surpass next. A curious fact: All of Biden’s peaks are all higher than Trump’s peaks. Shows you what public health can do when it’s firing on all eight cylinders! Musical interlude.
Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.
Regional variant data:
EG.5 (the orange pie slice) still seems evenly distributed.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, August 5:
From CDC, July 22:
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
From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, August 5:
Lambert here: Increase is even more distinct. (The black line is “combined”, but it is easy to see that Covid, the red line, is driving everything.)
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, August 7:
3.4%. Interestingly, people are citing to this, too, as well as Biobot. Vertical-ish, 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, July 17:
Lambert here: This is the CDC’s “Traveler-Based Genomic Surveillance” data. They say “maps,” but I don’t see one….
NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, August 2:
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: 1,170,792 –
1,170,784 = 8 (8 * 365 = 2920 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).
NOT UPDATED The Economist, August 6:
Lambert here: No longer updated daily, for three days. Still 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. )
There are no official statistics of interest today.
The Bezzle: “What’s the Deal With Sensor Tower?” [Daring Fireball]. “I wrote earlier this week about the onslaught of “”turns out Threads is a bust”” news stories following in the wake of ‘Threads launches as a sensational hit’ stories. One thing that’s struck me while following this is just how many of these stories cite Sensor Tower data. But how much should we take Sensor Tower’s usage data at face value?” Many reason now given why the Sensor Tower data isn’t a good proxy for Threads users. More: “We can judge the accuracy of, say, political pollsters by comparing their data to the actual results of elections. There’s no such reckoning for the usage data published by Sensor Tower and their ilk. It’s all unverifiable, but never reported as such. The news media so badly wants to know usage data that they just accept Sensor Tower and other such firms’ pronouncements at face value, without ever describing — let alone questioning — how they ostensibly know what they claim to know about very private data.”
Tech: “3 websites go live every second” [Anadolu Agency]. “With over 1 billion active websites worldwide, three new websites are launched every second, with Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter featuring as the most visited sites on the internet. According to data from the webpage building website Siteefy, 10,500 websites are launched every hour worldwide, 175 sites every minute, and three sites every second. Among the websites across the world, 18% (nearly 202 million) of them are used actively. Each day, 252,000 new websites are created, equaling 10,500 sites per hour, 175 sites per minute, and three sites per second going live Based on data from similarweb.com, ‘google.com’ is the most-visited site globally, followed by ‘youtube.com,’ ‘facebook.com,’ ‘instagram.com,’ and ‘twitter.com.’ Regarding average visit durations, users spend approximately 10 minutes and 38 seconds on Google, 20 minutes and 25 seconds on YouTube, 10 minutes and 43 seconds on Facebook, 8 minutes and 22 seconds on Instagram, and 10 minutes and 47 seconds on Twitter.” • Interesting that Twitter ranks so high.
Supply Chain: A tornado struck a Pfizer warehouse, and you’ll never guess what happened next:
— Lazarus Long (@LazarusLong13) August 4, 2023
Supply Chain: “How Yellow’s Downfall Is Rippling Through the Economy” [Wall Street Journal]. “Yellow was a $5.2 billion business as recently as last year when it moved around 50,000 shipments a day in a trucking network that made it a fundamental part of the supply chains of hundreds of U.S. companies.” Well worth a read. Here’s the real estate angle: “Those and other trucking companies may also pick up some of Yellow’s sprawling real estate holdings, including the dozens of truck terminals the carrier has accumulated around the U.S. to move freight. Many of them are in prime locations near population centers and will hit the market at a time when building new trucking facilities faces pushback in communities.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 66 Greed (previous close: 69 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 74 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 9 at 1:13 PM ET.
“Florida school district to only teach excerpts from Shakespeare under new regulations” [Sky News]. • Meanwhile, children should be exposed to lethal pathogens to toughen up their immune systems. It’s a funny old world.
“Why are actors making movies during the strike? What to know about SAG-AFTRA waivers” [Associated Press]. • Because they’re scabs.
News of the Wired
“Could walking extend your lifespan? – study” [Jerusalem Post]. “Public health and sports medicine specialists have recommended that people walk 10,000 steps a day to promote good health. But that number doesn’t seem to be holy. The number of steps you should walk every day to start seeing benefits to your health is lower than previously thought, according to the largest analysis ever to investigate this. The study, just published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that walking an average of at least 3,967 steps a day started to reduce the risk of dying from any cause, and 2,337 steps a day reduced the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases. The new analysis of 226,889 people from 17 different studies around the world has shown that the more you walk, the greater the health benefits. The risk of dying from any cause or from cardiovascular disease decreases significantly with every 500 to 1000 extra steps you walk. An increase of 1,000 steps a day was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause, while an increase of 500 steps a day was associated with a 7% reduction in dying from heart disease and stroke.” • Meta-analysis. Nevertheless! Be sure to look up at the sky, not down at your feet!
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 EM:
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