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Michael Droy

while only deaths that are confirmed with a positive SAR-CoV-2 diagnosis are counted in the denominator (under-counted).

Are they? Excess deaths is partly a function of temporarily inadequate health facilities. And there are certainly cases of "covid present" interpreted as "Covid cause". There may be some undercounting, but not nearly as much as often claimed.

More importantly the forecast all time deaths from Covid keeps on collapsing while the advance towards herd immunity is rapid as we understand more about immunity being a thing for large proportions of the pop. and how testing including anti-body testing to date has missed so many.

Interesting piece about tautologies, just being picky about one point.
Though I am not sure you have made your point well.

The jump from B to C is not dependent on A. Indeed lockdown might* have been extremely effective in reducing covid deaths, while the jump from B to C remains legitimate.

* In fact all we could say for certain is lockdown might have been effective in delaying deaths - by 6 months or so in care homes**, by perhaps 2 years in other cases, and until the second and third wave for others.

** In countries like UK Excess deaths has been small negative for past month implying at least some of the covid victims might have been due to go soon (few care home patients stay there for 2 years).

Brian

I’m gonna go get the papers get the papers.

Kaiser

MD: I didn't make it clear in the post but the author used raw death counts, not excess deaths. From what I've seen so far, confirmed Covid deaths are not sufficient to explain all excess deaths but I've written here before that excess deaths require time to "mature". Also, good point about the (A) part of the setup; it just gives some context which should be stated separately.

Antonio Rinaldi

Every conspiracy theory is an example of P(A|D)=1 because P(A)=1.
(A=assumption, D=data)

Joshua Jendza

While this is not a tautology, it is an assumption without evidence.

"the advance towards herd immunity is rapid"

Herd immunity, depending on the disease, generally requires greater than 90% of the potential infection pool to be immune/resistant. More infectious diseases (which I would expect COVID-19 to be classified as) can require population level immunity of 99% or even higher.

Even most agressive estimates of infection rate for the US works out to a single digit percentage of the US population (which is the relevant pool). As of this writing, the CDC puts the US case rate at 1.5% after about 6 months. Even if we assume that the CDC numbers undercount exposures by a factor of 10 (meaning a true potentially immune pool of 15% today), we'd still need several years at the current run rate to reach 90% exposure. That does not meet my definition of "rapid"

Ken

It is a bit like the year 2000 problem that wasn't. A company I worked for started dealing with these problems in the eighties, either converting dates to 4 digits or changing the calculations so that they worked properly. As a result the payroll worked, ordering and recording worked and everything else. It cost them a lot of money, but otherwise business would have stopped.

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