Coronavirus #2: The Dumb and the Dumber






The contrived crisis is melting away, and so soon, with only a fraction of the hoped-for deaths, because no number of deaths is enough if it makes someone with Trump Derangement Syndrome feel like it will tarnish and harm President Donald J. Trump (the next President of the US, too).

I give you the daily New Cases bar charts for USA, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the UK. The top six countries with the most cases and most deaths, globally. This presumes that a Democrat leftie with Trump Derangement Syndrome can actually read and understand them, and the general notion of Bell-shaped curves. I know that’s asking a lot.


Stephan Guyenet, PhD, of course. I took him to task in the last post. There, for hyping the hype and panicking the panicked. Plus, for showing his Trump Derangement Syndrome hand by touting an op-ed piece by Joe Biden (LOLLOLLOLLOL). I see such motivations coming miles away. I can smell it.

At the outset, he was all about exponential explosions with positive feedback (not understanding that all viral epidemics always follow a bell-like curve, no exceptions), because that’s the biggest bang for the buck in terms of the greatest hysteria and fear (and hopefully blame for Trump). There was no computer model of more and more death and mayhem that didn’t fire off his reward centers like a Big Mac dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles.

Sadly, that didn’t come to pass, so time to change the goal posts to how many MORE LIVES!!! could have been saved had Trump issued a “nationwide lockdown.”

The Tweet:

Surprise, surprise. The earlier in the epidemic a country locked down, the fewer people have died.

The US never implemented a nationwide lockdown.

Let’s excuse this PhD’s utter lack of knowledge of civics and Constitutional limits on the federal (nationwide) government, for now. “Nationwide lockdown.” Hahahaha.

It’s all based on this silly little bit of abject garbage tweet by some Blue Checkmark named John Burn-Murdoch. (What, is he hyphenating in his husband’s last name? OK, cheap shot.)

After two other tweets of charts with an R-Squared of 0.02!!! he hits the Mother Load with a chart with an R-Squared of 0.15!!! He writes:

But lockdown timing exhibits a much stronger relationship.

Countries that locked down earlier in their outbreaks subsequently had much lower daily death tolls than those that locked down later (accounting for when outbreaks began)

Lockdowns, and their timings, matter. Who knew?

Now, before I get back to the persnickety Guyenet, PhD, let’s look at what R-Squared means.

R-squared (R2) is a statistical measure that represents the proportion of the variance for a dependent variable that’s explained by an independent variable or variables in a regression model. Whereas correlation explains the strength of the relationship between an independent and dependent variable, R-squared explains to what extent the variance of one variable explains the variance of the second variable. So, if the R2 of a model is 0.50, then approximately half of the observed variation can be explained by the model’s inputs.

Let’s bottom line that.

It depends on your research work but more then 50%, R2 value with low RMES value is acceptable to scientific research community, Results with low R2 value of 25% to 30% are valid because it represent your findings.

So, first he gives two worthless charts, both with R2 values of 2% and then calls one with 15% a “much stronger relationship.” Well, relatively speaking, I guess crap is inversely stronger than two helpings of abject crap. Or, crap is just crap.

Stephan Guyenet: “Surprise surprise.”

See how Trump Derangement Syndrome takes you from once being careful, reserved, conservative, and honest to dumber?

Of course I had to reply in a couple of tweets.

Every day it’s going to get tougher and tougher for you to find stuff to confirm your Trump Derangement Syndrome-induced bias and lay claim to your faux moral superiority. Virtually every country is now over the hump at a fraction of deaths the “models” predicted.

Hyped fear & hysteria have peaked too. I see it even here in the irrationally fearful Thailand. People are exhausted of the bullshit promoted by “morally superior” elites like you. Soon, the media will move onto economic panic, which of course was created by this abject bullshit.

Too much dumb and dumber, too little time.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Derg on April 14, 2020 at 04:59

    I think most of the hysteria and lockdowns revolve around ensuring the virus does not overwhelm the medical industry.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 14, 2020 at 07:31

      And thousands of ICU beds and ventilators sit empty and unused.

    • John on April 15, 2020 at 10:14

      Well, the lockdowns helped to ensure that hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses got furloughed, along with others who work in the medical profession.

      Even that idea is silly. Hospitals often have to deal with surges of patients and get overwhelmed. That’s not unprecedented, you can find many articles written about how many hospitals were overflowing in various states in the United States during the 2017-18 flu season. The way they handled it was by setting up overflow tents, opening up areas of the hospital to treat extra flu patients, paying doctors and nurses overtime, recruiting more travelling nurses, and rescheduling elective procedures.

      Trying a completely untested (before 2020) lockdown of tens or hundreds of millions of basically healthy people is silly. It also completely overlooks the health problems that lockdowns themselves cause (things like suicides, increasing domestic violence, blood shortages, depression and such) as well as the economic impact.

  2. Catherine H. on April 14, 2020 at 11:28

    Richard, bless you for being right about this from the very beginning. I was swayed early on by the “don’t overwhelm the hospitals” argument, but the more research I’ve done the more obvious it has become that this is all a cheat and a swindle. I just learned that hospitals get reimbursed by the federal government for each uninsured COVID patient, and more for each ventilated patient. Then there’s the CDC ordering even doubtful deaths to be identified as COVID deaths, and the outright lies about how many deaths there actually are in New York. I am so tired of the daily outrage of this whole farce.

  3. Jared on April 14, 2020 at 11:49

    10 days after 50th death? What kind of nonesense is that?
    Shouldn’t this number be controlled per capita? i.e. 10 days after 1 death/million population?
    Then again, I have never found S.G.PhD. to be intelligent to any impressive degree. Diligent, sure, but intelligent, definitely not.

    The US as a whole has done great. In general we have nowhere-near the population density of any highly populated place in Europe. Even New York has middling population density by European city standards. Personally, I think California (where I live) and other states where everyone drives cars everywhere have infection levels that are possibly too low. Now we have little herd immunity and we’re still sitting at home indefinitely. IF the idea is to save every life at all costs, we will be home all Summer. Meanwhile I’m sure divorces and child abuse are skyrocketing…

  4. Resurgent on April 14, 2020 at 23:57

    Well said Richard – And this is presuming all the data you present above, as being true. With nothing to say about the fact that the death numbers are all fudged, as the new guidelines clearly state that even if someone dies in a car crash while coming to the hospital, he has to be counted as a COVID death if they tested positive.. Shame.

    Also – the test they are carrying out to test whether you have COVID is only correct for 70% or 50% depending upon who you listen to. But the test kit has it clearly written on the box that it is not meant to diagnose, it is only for research purpose.

    Now take the case of a country like India. 1.34 Billion people, out of which 500 million live in abject poverty.
    The population density in some slums can be as much as 1 million persons per 2 sq miles.
    How the fuck can anyone ensure “Social distancing” in such an environment – despite the Govt. directing a very draconian country wide lockdown.
    The internet is full of pictures of thousands of people crowded at non operational bus terminals and shut down railway stations and on the streets and in slums.
    Result – ONLY 10,000 infected (tested by even more dubious kits) and 1500 dead and EMPTY hospitals.
    For those naysayers who say not enough testing has been done – If these millions were sick, they would not be at those shut down railway stations and bus terminals, they would be lining outside hospitals.

    This is a hoax – though frighteningly well executed worldwide.

    • Resurgent on April 15, 2020 at 00:07

      Error in the death number for India in my post above – It is 377 at this time NOT 1500.

  5. Dennis M on April 15, 2020 at 07:45

    Models aren’t intended to be accurate. They are meant to persuade/scare us to behave a certain way. Decades of the failures of climate change models/predictions should have alerted us to this.

  6. Resurgent on April 16, 2020 at 10:23

    Picture worth a 1000 words

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