How To Think About Immunity to COVID-19

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This is what immunity is not: You are an organism walking down the street, and you are immune to the rare virus squirrelpox. A squirrelpox virus is walking on the same sidewalk towards you. It sees you, and goes, “that one’s immune to me,” and quickly crosses the street, going nowhere near you. Beause you are immune.

This is what immunity often is: You have built up an immunity to a common cold virus. Somebody infected with that virus sneezes on you and now that virus is in you. It begins to reproduce and do its thing, and you develop cold symptoms. However, your adaptive immune system has seen this virus before, so it quickly mounts a defense, so even though you do get a cold, you fight it off quickly and in five days you feel fine.

Lots of times, though, immunity works like this: You have an immunity to a certain disease. Perhaps you had that disease earlier in your life and your adaptive immune system developed a strategy to attack this pathogen next time it comes around. Perhaps you got a vaccine that prompted your adaptive immune system to develop a strategy to attack this pathogen next time it comes around. The virus goes in you — the virus does in fact infect you, it does not “cross the street” to avoid you. But your body is so ready for it that the counter attack is fast and effective, and before you can either develop symptoms or start passing the disease on to someone else, your body’s immune system has literally killed it.

An acquired or induced immunity can be called “100%” and it can be “life long” but it is never able to actually keep the disease out, and it is likely that few, if any, adaptive immune system build-ups last for the entire life of a person who lives a long time. Some immunity does not stop you from getting sick but does cause you to get better faster, and some immunity doesn’t last that long.

Much of the misunderstanding about immunity comes from the fact that our understanding of immunity comes from two distinct diseases: Polio and influenza. Polio vaccine is famous because its invention and deployment was historic and significant. Polio vaccine confers a strong immunity, one that is seen as life long and complete. Even this is not so simple, but if you believe what I just said about polio vaccination and immunity you would be in the ballpark. Influenza immunity is often discussed because it is at the center of the anti-vax debate, everyone gets the flu now and then (or so it seems) and the so-called “flu vaccine” is supposedly only “60% effective” or thereabouts, and thus, being imperfect, is the focus of rage on the internet as though it was a candidate for office.

If polio is an outlaw gunslinger in the old west, and the polio vaccine is Marshal Dillon, then influenza is all the underground crime organizations imagined in fiction and the flu vaccine is a competent but underfunded police agency.

When we say that the influenza vaccine is 50% effective in a give year in the US, as an example, what that can mean is that there are five kinds of flu circulating at various proportions in the population, and there are three kinds of vaccine in the shot you get; maybe two of those vaccines are nearly 100% effective in immunizing a person against two of the circulating influenza viruses, one of the viruses is untouched by the vaccine but doesn’t get you that sick, and one of the vaccines is for a virus that never really showed up, and the leftover viruses are the ones doing most of the damage. Or something along those lines. The outcome is, across the population, that the average vaccinated person in the population under consideration would have their chance of getting the flu if exposed is half what it would have been were they not vaccinated. So, 50% effective that year. Some other year these parameters may be very different, and the “vaccine” (a mix of different vaccines in one shot) is different. And, each vaccine may itself have a higher or lower level of effectiveness.

And that is the simple version of the story.

Immunity is not a folk concept. It is a medical concept. The fact that many people believe that immunity is the inability of a disease to affect a person, which is 100% wrong in every way, is not relevant to anything but people’s misunderstanding of the concept.

When we hear that there is a certain possible reinfection rate of COVID-19 in China or Japan, this does not mean that people don’t get immunity once they have the disease, or that COVID-19 has special powers. One health expert misstated that since we don’t know for sure what acquired immunity to COVID-19 looks like, we can’t assume that it is long term. That is balderdash. It is very likely long term (if “long” is years) because that is what normally happens. This statement is like looking at the first new car off the line of a new make and model and saying, “since we’ve never actually seen one of the drive, we have to assume there is a good chance none of these cars will work.” There may be a few recalls in the future of this make and model car, but it will work.

We can assume normalcy, we can assume biology to do what biology does. Bill O’Reilly does not know how tides work, but someone else does. Normally, adaptive immunity occurs, and lasts for a good time. Normally, immunity to certain kinds of viruses can be less than 100%, so there is some getting sick, and normally, a subset of people don’t develop much of an immunity because their own immune system simply fails at that task. COVID-19 will ultimately be found to match normal biological expectations, though we don’t know the details yet, and we won’t for some time. The fact that normal biological expectations do not form the basis of folk thinking about this disease, or pathogens and immunity in general, does not make Covid-19 a preternatural force, or an unknowable thing.

Still, remain hiding in your house until the all clear.

There is another level of thinking about immunity that I won’t go into detail about right now, but I’ll mention. We often, rightly, think of immunity at the population level, even though it does, truly, work at the individual and molecular level. Assume a particular vaccine, or exposure, typically provides ~100%) immunity in individuals. If 10% of the population have that immunity at the start, the disease will act like nobody is immune, as far as we’d be able to see. Often, natural (genetic?) immunity at low levels exist in a population, and can only be discovered by intensive research over a long time. If, on the other hand, 90% of the people in a population are ~100% immune, the disease may be so unable to get a foothold that it is like it isn’t there. The point is, the appearance of a diseases behavior seems to range from 0% (there ain’t none) to 100% (it’s everywhere!) on the surface, but this outcome is a function of a much smaller range of actual immunity values, like the 10-90% just noted, or more likely, closer to 0-70%. Putting this another way, a population gets very close to “immune” at the population level as the proportion of individuals who can’t get and pass on the pathogen rises over about half. This is called herd immunity. It will take several cycles of COVID-19 infection to achieve natural herd immunity, most likely, unless a vaccine is found. But once that happens, the disease is likely to stay around at low levels then occasionally come back and be menacing, but not as bad as it is now, on occasion.

So, let’s get that vaccine going!

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165 thoughts on “How To Think About Immunity to COVID-19

    1. 742 cases as of morning of April 3, 2020 – not that low. 18 states have a lower number of cases than Minnesota.

      But I would say it is because we are in the middle of the country. So less traffic from infected cases from outside the USA. Less population density than New York city is a factor also.

    2. Those states with lower number of cases have much lower populations. Of states with similar population, only Alabama is close to Minnesota’s number, and even that is about 1300 cases, 60% higher.

  1. “So less traffic from infected cases from outside the USA”

    Only an idiot thinks “those foreigners” are driving this.

    Oh, it’s rickA. Idiot, bigot and racist.

    1. Dean,
      do you think Andrew Cuomo is an idiot, bigot and racist?

      [New York City is a world-renowned tourist destination and the most visited destination in the US. As such, Cuomo said that contagious people from countries that had earlier coronavirus outbreaks traveled to the city and spread the virus.
      “We have international travelers who were in China and who were in Italy and who were in Korea and who came here,” Cuomo said Wednesday. “And I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than we even know. And I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than it was in any other state. Because those people come here first.”

      President Donald Trump implemented a series of travel restrictions to try to stop that spread. On February 2, the US implemented strict travel restrictions on those who had recently been to China. And on March 11, Trump said he was suspending travel from two dozen European countries, including Italy.
      Still, those moves were too late to stop the virus from reaching New York because of its heavy travel, Caplan said.
      New York’s heavy travel “sort of made the virus arrive here earlier,” he said. “It started here faster.”]

      Dr. Arthur Caplan is a CNN medical analyst and the head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU’s School of Medicine.

    2. snape, if you can’t keep up don’t bother. rickA’s comments over the years have cemented his characteristics: liar, science denier, racist, bigot, and more.

      something like you.

  2. One health expert misstated that since we don’t know for sure what acquired immunity to COVID-19 looks like, we can’t assume that it is long term. That is balderdash. It is very likely long term (if “long” is years) because that is what normally happens.


    1. This recent review article, “IMMUNE RESPONSES TO COVID-19 AND POTENTIAL VACCINES: LESSONS LEARNED FROM SARS AND MERS EPIDEMIC,” Prompetchara E, Ketloy C, Palaga T, – Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology 38(1):1-9 (March 2020) – addresses many of the topics and issues discussed above.

      The authors are immunologists and infectious disease experts at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok), Thailand’s (and one of Asia’s) foremost biomedical research center.

      Although SARS-CoV-2 has some especially scary features that we are rapidly learning more about (e.g., CNS involvement), there’s no evidence to suggest that long-term immunity, at least to current strains, will not occur after recovery from Covid-19.


      “In general, the Th1 type immune response plays a dominant role in adaptive immunity to viral infections. Cytokine microenvironment generated by antigen-presenting cells dictate the direction of T cell responses. Helper T cells orchestrate the overall adaptive response, while cytotoxic T cells are essential in killing of viral infected cells. Humoral immune response, especially production of neutralizing antibody, plays a protective role by limiting infection at later phase and prevents reinfection in the future. In SARS-CoV, both T and B cell epitopes were extensively mapped for the structural proteins, S, N, M and E protein.”

      “SARS-CoV infection induces seroconversion as early as day 4 after onset of disease and was found in most patients by 14 days. Long-lasting specific IgG and neutralizing antibody are reported as long as 2 years after infection. For MERS-CoV infection, seroconversion is seen at the second or third week of disease onset. For both types of coronavirus infections, delayed and weak antibody response are associated with severe outcome. A limited serology details of SARS-CoV-2 was reported. In a preliminary study, one patient showed peak specific IgM at day 9 after disease onset and the switching to IgG by week 2. Interestingly, sera from 5 patients of confirmed COVID-19 show some cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV, but not other coronaviruses. Furthermore, all sera from patients were able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro plaque assay, suggesting a possible successful mounting of the humoral responses. Whether the kinetic/titer of specific antibody correlates with disease severity remains to be investigated.”

      “T cell response in SARS-CoV was extensively investigated. In one study using 128 convalescent samples, it was reported that CD8+ T cell responses were more frequent with greater magnitude than CD4+ T cell responses. Furthermore, the virus-specific T cells from the severe group tended to be a central memory phenotype with a significantly higher frequency of polyfunctional CD4+ T cells (IFN?, TNF?, and IL-2) and CD8+ T cells (IFN?, TNF? and degranulated state), as compared with the mild-moderate group. Strong T cell responses correlated significantly with higher neutralizing antibody while more serum Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10) were detected in the fatal group. For the epitope mapping, most responses (70%) were found against the structural proteins (spike, envelope, membrane, and nucleocapsid). In MERS-CoV infection, early rise of CD8+ T cells correlates with disease severity and at the convalescent phase, dominant Th1 type helper T cells are observed. In an animal model, airway memory CD4+ T cells specific for conserved epitope are protective against lethal challenge and can cross-react with SARS-CoV and MERS- CoV. As neutrophils play a destructive role in all infections, the protective or destructive role of Th17 in human coronavirus infection remains unanswered.”

      “Current evidence strongly indicated that Th1 type response is a key for successful control of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV and probably true for SARS-CoV-2 as well. CD8+ T cell response, even though crucial, needs to be well controlled in order not to cause lung pathology. Because most epitopes identified for both viruses concentrate on the viral structural proteins, it will be informative to map those epitopes identified with SARS-CoV/MERS-CoV with those of SARS-CoV-2. If overlapping epitopes among the three viruses can be identified, it will be beneficial for application in passive immunization using convalescent serum from recovered SARS or MERS patients. For T cell epitopes, it will help in designing cross-reactive vaccine that protect against all three human coronaviruses in the future.“

  3. Roger D. Seheault is a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at UC-Riverside and Loma Linda University medical schools. By days he attends to ICU patients – many with Covid-19 – and, almost nightly, creates outstanding videos on various aspects of the pandemic. Some of these videos are quite basic, while others provide fairly rigorous primers on immunology and basic biochemistry. His explanations and graphics are straightforward, and they always include primary journal citations.

    I highly recommend his videos.

  4. A useful read for those who don’t understand the problems in developing vaccines and much else on this complex topic:

    Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs.

    Took some time arriving but worth it so that I can pass on to others.

    Shame that the POTUS will not be able to read and understand a work such as this, that is America’s tragedy, the populace has been persuaded to elect one totally unsuited to the post. The founding fathers would be rolling in their graves.

    “We don’t know at what point that bone-chilling figure was presented to Donald Trump. What we do know is that on the same day, 6 March, the president of the United States was taking a tour of the Atlanta offices of the federal disease control agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    He was in ebullient mood. He had just heard on Fox News that the latest tally of coronavirus cases in the country was 240, with 11 deaths. Trump and his favourite TV channel were as one in their interpretation of those figures – things were going great, there was really nothing to worry about.

    Source: “How science finally caught up with Trump’s playbook – with millions of lives at stake”

  5. Also from The Guardian:

    When the definitive history of the coronavirus pandemic is written, the date 20 January 2020 is certain to feature prominently. It was on that day that a 35-year-old man in Washington state, recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan in China, became the first person in the US to be diagnosed with the virus.

    On the very same day, 5,000 miles away in Asia, the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in South Korea. The confluence was striking, but there the similarities ended.

    In the two months since that fateful day, the responses to coronavirus displayed by the US and South Korea have been polar opposites.

    One country acted swiftly and aggressively to detect and isolate the virus, and by doing so has largely contained the crisis. The other country dithered and procrastinated, became mired in chaos and confusion, was distracted by the individual whims of its leader, and is now confronted by a health emergency of daunting proportions.

    Within a week of its first confirmed case, South Korea’s disease control agency had summoned 20 private companies to the medical equivalent of a war-planning summit and told them to develop a test for the virus at lightning speed. A week after that, the first diagnostic test was approved and went into battle, identifying infected individuals who could then be quarantined to halt the advance of the disease.

    Some 357,896 tests later, the country has more or less won the coronavirus war. On Friday only 91 new cases were reported in a country of more than 50 million.

    The US response tells a different story. Two days after the first diagnosis in Washington state, Donald Trump went on air on CNBC and bragged: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

    1. More from the Guardian:

      Donald Trump was warned at the end of January by one of his top White House advisers that coronavirus had the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans and derail the US economy, unless tough action were taken immediately, new memos have revealed.

      The memos were written by Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro and circulated via the National Security Council widely around the White House and federal agencies. They show that even within the Trump administration alarm bells were ringing loudly by late January, at a time when the president was consistently downplaying the threat of Covid-19.

      The memos, first reported by the New York Times and Axios, were written by Navarro on 29 January and 23 February. The first memo, composed on the day Trump set up a White House coronavirus task force, gave a worst-case scenario of the virus killing more than half a million Americans.

      According to the Times, it said: “The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on US soil. This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”

      The second memo went even further, predicting that a Covid-19 pandemic, left unchecked, could kill 1.2m Americans and infect as many as 100m.

      This was not the first time Trump and his White House team were warned that the virus had the potential to devastate the US and needed to be dealt with quickly and firmly. Senior scientists, epidemiologists, and health emergency experts in the US and around the world delivered that message clearly early on in the crisis, only for Trump to continue belittling the scale of the threat which he compared falsely to the dangers of seasonal flu.

      There are signs that ministers in the UK are trying to rewrite history and blame NHS England and the Civil Service for the lack of preparedness in tackling a pandemic which was known to be coming even if the agent of harm was not known. If it had not been a Coronavirus it could have been another strain of influenza and one of those latter will strike us yet.

      ‘Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs’ provides a very important overview of all the issues involved in preparing for and combating such an outbreak.

  6. Lionel and Greg,

    Thanks again to you both for bringing this new book to my attention. It’s not yet out in hard copy (at least in the U.S., it must be pre-ordered), but it is available in audiobook format and on Kindle. I started reading it yesterday – I’m not quite sure why I’m SUCH a glutton for punishment; after all, I’ve got an entire bookshelf, plus a Kindle, stuffed with excellent books on the topic.

    In the end, last night at least, I put down Osterholm and re-read Camus’ “The Plague.” Whereas I generally recommend that people start with Paul Ewald, I now think perhaps the best primer is Albert …

    1. Thanks again to you both for bringing this new book to my attention. It’s not yet out in hard copy…

      Strange. The book ‘Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs’ was published in 2017 and I got hold of a copy (hardback) here in the UK without trouble.

  7. This very frequently updated YouTube channel is an excellent COVID-19 resource in general, and yesterday’s nice 12-minute video states the case against the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 re-infection, by means of a simple review of some basic biology and a summary of a new South Korean study:


    The presenter is Roger Seheult, MD, a pulmonologist/critical-care doc (and sleep-medicine specialist) treating COVID-19 patients in ICUs in southern California.

    1. It was worthless rickA. There was nothing there. That was pointed out to you, with detailed explanation, a couple times. The fact that you are too fucking stupid to understand it doesn’t mean other people are in the same boat.

  8. As an aside, all of this vociferous support for Sweden’s supposed ‘herd immunity’ approach to Covid-19 (which it wasn’t really) has mostly melted away as the death toll has mounted there. Last week Sweden’s per capita death toll was the highest in the world, surpassing the UK which, as Ian Sinclair pointed out yesterday, was certainly a herd immunity approach until it was pointed out that 200,000 to 400,000 people would die to reach the herd immunity threshold. And by the time the incompetent Conservative regime reacted with a lockdown, it was too late to prevent tens of thousands of people from dying unnecessarily.

    As for Sweden, despite models predicting that 25% of the people in Stockholm had been infected by Covid in early May, the more reliable figure looks like around 13%, or not much different from data obtained in France, Spain and Italy. And outside of Stockholm the infection rates are much lower than that.

    Herd immunity only works when a vaccine is available. Period. I am therefore flabbergasted when one of Sweden’s chief epidemiologists, Johan Giesecke, argues for a herd immunity approach saying that lockdowns only postpone deaths until later. But ‘later’ may mean a vaccine is available! It is a bit like saying that it is no use trying to put out a fire now as a house will probably burn down later – at a time when I may have bern able to better fireproof the house.

    1. How about keeping schools open to have the kids get infected, as close to 100% as you can get?
      Their parents will be more affected, but they can try and avoid for a few weeks.

    2. How about keeping schools open to have the kids get infected, as close to 100% as you can get?
      Their parents will be more affected, but they can try and avoid for a few weeks.

      And it might just kill my wife. I told you to fuck yourself sideways last time you started up with this sewage so I won’t bother to do it again.

      But the feeling’s there, Mikey.

  9. The answer is:

    How about keeping schools open to have the kids get infected, as close to 100% as you can get

    (Rings in) “Alex, what is “What’s the dumbest effing idea the clowns on the right have to offer?””

    That is the correct.

  10. As cases in the UK, and around the globe continue to escalate the idea that one should get Covid, get over it and move on is being seen as the pernicious nonsense that it is, and has always been.

    In the UK:

    Tens of thousands of people may require kidney dialysis or transplants because of coronavirus, according to experts who warn the long-term effects of Covid are causing an “epidemic in primary care”.

    Fears Covid may leave thousands in UK with severe kidney disease

    As for the government’s strategies, one could be forgiven for thinking that by now a competent administration would have got it together unless of course the real plan is an exercise in social engineering, which given the known interest of Dominic Cumming’s in eugenics may well have an elment of truth.

    It had just been revealed that UCL had hosted, inadvertently, four “Conferences on Intelligence”.

    Speakers had included blogger Emil Kirkegaard, who has advocated the rape of sleeping children by paedophiles as a way to relieve “urges” (he later said he did not support the legalisation of paedophilia but advocated “frank discussion of paedophilia-related issues”), and Richard Lynn, who has a long-term association with Mankind Quarterly, a journal that has been criticised for support eugenics .

    The conferences had been booked, as external events, by UCL lecturer Dr James Thompson, and held in secret, until Toby Young – who has previously written about “progressive eugenics” – attended one and been told not to write about it, wrote about it.

    The latest outcry is about Andrew Sabisky, who was thought to have been contracted by Downing Street under Boris Johnson’s aide Dominic Cummings, apparently to work on special projects.


    1. How many people require kidney dialysis and transplants every year?
      This seems more of a guess, and a desire to blame things on Wuhan flu.

  11. ‘This seems more of a guess, and a desire to blame things on Wuhan flu.’

    I’ll take “Who’s a moron trying to deflect attention from relevant data?” for $1000 (add in some good old right-wing ignorant bigotry and attempts to minimize Covid 19 severity by comparison to flu as well).

  12. Covid-19 is NOT the flu. Not even close. And MikeN shows his true, racist, Trumpian colors.

    Why is it that right wing people are, generally speaking, idiots?

    1. Why is it that right wing people are, generally speaking, idiots?

      They’re following the trend set by Reagan.

    2. Well Bird flu wasn’t a flu either ( I think it was also a coronavirus). But they called it bird flu. I am not sure how calling a coronavirus a flu is racist – but whatever.

  13. I am not sure how calling a coronavirus a flu is racist – but whatever.

    Word-blind RickA (bad news for a lawyer) didn’t notice the Wuhan reference.

    1. I did notice the Wuhan reference. That is a normal thing – to name the disease after its point of origin. MERS is Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Spanish Flu – etc. So I don’t think that Wuhan as a point of origin is racist.

  14. It is racist RickA and you know it. It has not officially been called the Wuhan flu except by lying politicians like Trump who are desperate to shift the blame for their own rank incompetence in responding to it. Trump was always a pathological liar, but in recent months he has gotten worse, if that is even possible. Telling state governors in the west whose states are ravaged by climate-change-turbo-charged fires that climate change had nothing to do with it, that scientists disagree or don’t understand the causes, and that it will get cooler – one lie after another. Trump relies on his troll army, or on bots, many apparently programmed in Russia, to flood social media sites like Facebook and Twitter with lies about climate change. As many as two-thirds of Twitter accounts that blamed Australia’s horrific fires earlier this year on arsonists and environmentalists, were apparently fake, created out of the ether, to disrupt and distort our clear understanding of the clear role played by climate warming on these fires. It is happening again, with BLM and Antifa now been blamed for the western US wildfires by an army of Trump-worshipping trolls or non-existent, computer-generated bots.

    How anyone in their right mind could vote for Trump, aside from the millionaire-billionaire classes he serves, is beyond me.

    1. Wrong Jeffh:

      Quote from article “Mere weeks after it was first discovered and started spreading, it had already amassed an impressive array of sobriquets, such as “Wuhan flu”, “Wuhan coronavirus”, ”coronavirus”, “2019-nCoV”, and the rather long-winded “Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus”. (Read more about the global efforts to fight the new coronavirus.) ”

      Not racist at all. Just conventional naming – as has been done many times before.

      I have no idea why anyone would vote for Biden. At least I get to vote (legally that is). And I will be voting in person to make sure my vote counts on election night.

      Republicans are for law and order (and self defense). Dems are for antifa (which is really anti-capitalism and pro-fascism), rioting, and looting (and murder – like the Portland killing or the ambush of the two cops, then hoping out loud they would die – despicable!). Get ready for the Dems to riot and loot on election night, and again a week or so later, once it is clear they have lost and lost big. The dems will be throwing a big baby tantrum and will continue to try to destroy democratic held urban centers (as they have been doing for months now).

  15. Wrong, RickA. It was Trump, the orange stain, who started the Wuhan virus labeling to deflect attention from his incompetent handling of the pandemic. Given that his pathological narcissism makes it impossible for him to acceot any responsibility for anything (he only accepts praise), he started the China baiting early on, calling it the Chinese flu, Kung flu, then Wuhan flu, all to appease his braying, racist base. You, of course, are one of the deplorables.

    I also wonder why the Spanish flu is not named the Kansas flu, because all indications are that it started in the midwestern US. For sure it was imported into Spain.

    Republicans are the party for fascist law and order. They are the party of millionaires for billionaires. They are the party for toxic air, water, environmental destruction, mass extinction and greed. Get ready for the fascist thugs to go berserk with rage when their lying POS President loses big time. He didn’t even get the popular vote in 2016, and he won’t get that or the electoral college this time.

    Now get lost you moron.

  16. RickA cracks me up with his infantile musings. It isn’t always easy for me to swallow some of his bilge – I realize that we are on vastly different intellectual levels, and even more on differing levels of humanity. In the past several months or so, Trump has made a complete ass of himself so many times that he is beyond parody. Not just the lies, but the vast, deep ignorance.

    Then RickA comes up with this vacuous gem: “Dems are for Antifa (which is really anti-capitalism and pro-fascism). Good heavens, what an asinine comment. That anyone could write such garbage reveals a lot about their mindset. RickA is one of the stupidest people I have ever encountered on the internet. Seriously. Claiming that “Dems are for Antifa” is so utterly childish, like a child having a tantrum in a sandbox. In that case, let’s play RickA’s baby game of gotcha’, shall we? Repubs are for Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer (which are really anti-democracy, anti-government, pro-militia and pro-Nazi), rioting, looting and murder. They are domestic fascist terrorist groups.

    Or let’s try this one: Trump and the Repubs are pro QAnon (which is really anti-intelligence and pro-ludicrous conspiracy theories). And of course Trump and the Repubs are for unlimited corporate power (which is essentially anti-democracy, anti-environmental, and pro corporate fascism).

    I can whump RickA all day at this game.

  17. Sorry racist boy, wuhan flu is inherantly racist regardless of the source (and citing a propaganda arm of the Singapore government, which is what that site has be become, doesn’t help you.)

    But nobody is surprised at your lack of understanding.

  18. Kung flu is out-and-out racist bilge. Your ignoramus hero is despicable.

    The WHO does not refer to Covid-19 as the Wuhan flu. Until they do, you are out to sea.

    RickA is a racist. But we all knew that. Note no response to the Kansas flu…

  19. RickA scores again.

    That is a normal thing – to name the disease after its point of origin. MERS is Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Spanish Flu – etc.

    But ‘Spanish flue’ is a misnomer as has been demonstrated not least but in an article that you cited in your equally abysmal :

    Despite its name, most researchers agree that the H1N1 virus that swept the world in 1918 and 1919 didn’t originate in Spain, although there’s no universal consensus on its exact origins. Instead, the virus came to be associated with Spain for reasons that were largely political.

    Petard, hoist, own. Suggest you don’t go out on mine clearance as you would blow your own feet off.

    1. Ha Ha – you really got me! Spanish flu is just associated with Spain for political reasons (the Spanish wire news service Agencia Fabra sent cables to Reuters news service headquarters in London saying, “A strange form of disease of epidemic character has appeared in Madrid. . .”).

      Kind of like Wuhan flu is associated with Wuhan because that is where it was first identified as a novel coronavirus.

      Well there are plenty of other place name diseases (if Spanish flu isn’t to your liking:

      Bornholm disease
      Lyme disease
      Ebola virus disease
      familial Mediterranean fever
      rocky mountain spotted fever
      Zika virus
      Wuhan flu (now COVID-19).

  20. You forget the “I’m a blatant racist and proud of it” disease that you demonstrate all teh time rickA.

    Just as you demonstrate that you never actually try to learn anything, despite your claims to the contrary.

  21. RickA

    Ha Ha

    laughed the clown…

    Who clearly has not read anything of consequence about that influenza outbreak including sources I have cited in thread in which he was active. His ignorance is par for the course.

    My emphasis:

    What Caused the Spanish Flu?

    It’s unknown exactly where the particular strain of influenza that caused the pandemic came from; however, the 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, America and areas of Asia before spreading to almost every other part of the planet within a matter of months.

    Despite the fact that the 1918 flu wasn’t isolated to one place, it became known around the world as the Spanish flu, as Spain was hit hard by the disease and was not subject to the wartime news blackouts that affected other European countries. (Even Spain’s king, Alfonso XIII, reportedly contracted the flu.)


    Reading the history of this influenza outbreak and its progress (in other sources cited) one could just as easily call it ‘Yankee Flue’, or ‘denier flue’. Why? Because in the USA there was a built in tendency, for reasons of economics and business practices, for denial by authorities of cities and military establishments. Same mindset that denies the over-riding anthropogenic influence on global warming and climate change. The same strand of denial about the long term hazards of a Covid infection.

    ‘We may never know the true mortality consequences of 1918 because of incomplete or inaccurate record keeping, issues that also undermine our ability to quantify the impact of COVID-19’

    Another warning from the 1918 flu for COVID-19: ‘Survival does not mean that individuals fully recovered’

  22. Another opinion about managed herd immunity:

    I still think the USA (at least major parts of it) will reach herd immunity by the end of the year – probably before we get a vaccine. So what did we gain without our lockdowns? We just delayed the disease and reaching herd immunity. It might have been better and actually cut down on overall deaths if we had pursued a managed herd immunity approach from the start.

    Oh well – maybe for the next pandemic.

    1. Missing many points RickyA

      The 25-year-old male from the American south-west became what appears to be only the second published case of Covid-19 reinfection in the scientific literature, alongside a case of reinfection in Hong Kong.

      The man, a long-term care home worker in Reno, quarantined at a family member’s home while he was ill. Researchers believe he was reinfected when a family member, also an essential worker, brought a slightly different coronavirus strain home in early June.

      “We had an outbreak occur in a long-term care facility, and they were in a position that does work with patients,” said Heather Kerwin, the epidemiology program manager for Washoe county, Nevada, who worked directly with the case.

      The man had to be hospitalized on his second bout with Covid-19, but eventually recovered. He is still suffering side-effects. “They are kind of experiencing some of the lingering effects of fatigue and brain fog,” said Kerwin.

      Source my emphasis.

      ‘Brain fog’, makes me wonder if RickA has had a bout.

    2. I still think the USA (at least major parts of it) will reach herd immunity by the end of the year – probably before we get a vaccine.

      Been through this already.

      US population = 328m

      1% of US population = 3.28m

      CV cases reported in US to date = 6.79m

      Assume under-reporting means this is only 10% of actual US cases so the real total = 67.9m infections

      Percent of US population infected = 67 900 000 / 3 280 000 = 20.7

      So about 20.7% of US population infected so far

      At least **79%** still to go.

      So what did we gain without our lockdowns?

      You prevented the complete collapse of the entire US health system and countless additional non-Covid deaths that would have resulted.

      We just delayed the disease and reaching herd immunity.

      This is facile nonsense.

      It might have been better and actually cut down on overall deaths if we had pursued a managed herd immunity approach from the start.

      No, it would – obviously – have had the opposite effect, as explained.

  23. ‘Brain fog’, makes me wonder if RickA has had a bout.

    No, he simply ignores anything he doesn’t like. He’s a master of cherry picking even the most dodgy things to build himself support.

    “No dishonesty too large or small” seems to be one of his mottos.

    1. “No dishonesty too large or small” seems to be one of his mottos.

      Indeed. Republicans have no decency or honesty it would seem, using their asymmetric ability to bend rules, cheat and poison the atmosphere (in reality as well as metaphorically) in order to extend their ability to control every aspect of governance at the expense of the people and the planet.

      McConnell’s move was a pure power grab. No Senate leader had ever before asserted the right to block a vote on a president’s nominee to the supreme court.

      McConnell’s “principle” of waiting for a new president disappeared on Friday evening, after Ginsburg’s death was announced.

      Just weeks before one of the most consequential presidential elections in American history, when absentee voting has already begun in many states (and will start in McConnell’s own state of Kentucky in 25 days), McConnell announced: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

      This is, after all, the same Mitch McConnell who, soon after Trump was elected, ended the age-old requirement that supreme court nominees receive 60 votes to end debate and allow for a confirmation vote, and then, days later, pushed through Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch.


      Republicans are totally unprincipled as we see in these threads. Any vote for Trump is a crime against humanity. Whether or not the cohort known as ‘his base’ can be classed as humanity is an open question.

      This is how fascism rises.

    1. MMS – snake oil for the C21st…

      And endorsed by no less than the President of the United States of America.


  24. RickA has proven, time and time again, that he is profoundly ignorant. His latest post is simply par for the course for him. His head is one big block of cement.

  25. We don’t know what the herd immunity % will turn out to be. It could be 67% or it could be 24% or something different. What I have read gives me hope that herd immunity will be reached at much lower levels than 67%, and that is why I think we will reach it before year end.

    As usual – time will tell.

    1. What I have read gives me hope

      Reminds me of ECS discussions 🙂

      Optimism is all well and good but sometimes misplaced by fear to keep the show on the road.

      And on we go.

  26. Time will tell alright – as the body bags keep piling up. At least this is what the herd immunity crowd are seemingly willing to accept. Note how RickA always tiptoes around inconvenient topics, like re-infection and mutation of the virus. His cemented head cannot process inconvenient facts so he simply ignores them.

    1. Early on he stayed his issue with lockdown was the difficulty it made for getting haircuts and toilet paper. That’s as deep as good intellect goes

  27. The (dis)honesty of the Trump regime:

    In late August, DeJoy announced he was putting the changes on hold until after the election, and last week a federal judge in Washington blocked USPS from implementing them. The changes were clearly aimed at “voter disenfranchisement”, given the increased role USPS will play in this year’s presidential election, the US district judge Stanley Bastian wrote in his ruling.

    Democracy takes another hit.


  28. Lionel, Trump knows that his goose is cooked, and that in a fair election he will lose by 5-10%. The problem is that his narcissism is so deeply pathological that he will not accept defeat in any way, shape or form. Seriously, he will lock himself in the Oval Office and I can picture him like Warden Norton in the Shawshank Redemption pulling out a gun from his drawer as federal agents arrive to take him away to prison. I can hear Morgan Freeman narrating Trump’s demise now…

    The real concern is the personality cult that surrounds Trump and many of the fools who worship him. Trump will never gracefully accept defeat, no matter how legitimate, and will use any means to cling to power, including inciting his base, many of whom are borderline militant fascists and will resort to anything to keep the orange stain in power.

    The Republican Party are rotten to the core. I recently watched a short video about Mitch McConnell and his ties to industry. The narrator went to a website that discloses funding and looked at which companies and industries have donated the most to McConnell’s campaigns. Turns out two of the biggest are tobacco and big pharma. The narrator went on to say that without exception every decision and vote made by McConnell has been to benefit the millionaire and billionaire classes and the industries that fund him. He has been bitterly opposed to subsidies for the poor on drugs and medicines they need because this would lower their cost and reduce profits for the pharmaceutical lobby.

    Trump and his Party are despicable.

    1. Jeffh

      That is why I call a vote for Trump as a crime against humanity.

      We see it, RickA cannot or likes to be complicit in a crime.

    2. Jeffh

      I recently watched a short video about Mitch McConnell and his ties to industry. I recently watched a short video about Mitch McConnell and his ties to industry.

      I have not, as yet, been able to locate such a video but there are enough others out there to show up ‘Moscow Mitch’ for what he is, a self serving huckster.

      McConnell, the Senate majority leader, responded by shooting down Democrats’ efforts to bring two election-security bills to a vote — bills that McConnell, in his familiar fashion, had previously sentenced to quiet deaths after they passed the House. In the hailstorm of opprobrium that followed, McConnell had been tagged by “Morning Joe” Scarborough with the indelible nickname “Moscow Mitch.” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank called him a “Russian asset.” Twitter couldn’t decide whether he was #putinsbitch or #trumpsbitch. The Kentucky Democratic Party was selling red “Just Say Nyet to Moscow Mitch” T-shirts, emblazoned with an image of the senator’s jowly visage in a Cossack hat, as fast as they could print them up.

      Mitch McConnell: The Man Who Sold America

      It is impossible to demonise this monster, he achieves that by his own actions.

  29. There is a lot of angst and worry about what might happen after the election. I would recommend waiting until after the election to worry about such things. If Trump wins then you don’t need to worry about him locking himself in the white house and so forth. And I really don’t think that is a valid concern – but lets wait until if and when Trump loses and see what really happens.

    We have to have the election. Each person gets to vote ONCE and all the votes have to be counted, the electoral votes determined and then the winner will be known. Hopefully the mail in ballots will be processed quickly and we won’t have to wait to long past election night to know the outcome of the election. Hopefully there will be no cheating by either side and the election will be fair and quickly decided. Hopefully there will not be lots and lots of litigation.

    I think Trump will win. Although the polling is probably just as wrong this cycle as it was last cycle, some of the polls show Trump picking up support with black voters, Hispanic voters and gay voters. His support has dropped with white women voters. We will have to see how accurate the polls are, and I don’t place a great deal of faith that they are accurate and representative of the actual voters. So the only poll that matters is election day.

    I still plan to vote in person. Voting by mail is just to risky. I don’t even know what my signature on file looks like ( I registered to vote in 1980) – so how do I know if it will match the signature on the outside of the envelope? As a business owner I sign lots of things, and my signature is rather variable and tends to get sloppier as the day progresses – so who knows how I signed in 1980? I would rather just vote in person and not take any chances.

    1. “Voting by mail is just to risky. ”

      Only in your paranoid little mind — at least it wouldn’t be risky if we didn’t have an administration doing its best to foul up the Postal Service.

  30. Despite RickA’s hopes of a neofascisct society led by the orange stain, the good news is that the polls are consistently showing Biden 7-8 points ahead. Given that Trump is easily the worst POTUS in US history, the gap should be more than 20 points, but his base are mostly clueless cult worshippers who appear to enjoy being ripped off by the Republican Party.

    RickA has several times claimed that Trump will win with a ‘thumping majority’, but there is absolutely no chance of that happening. Remember that Clinton’s lead in the polls at this point was only around 3%, so Biden is way up on that. Trump has to somehow overturn a big deficit and, given his repugnant persona, that will not be an easy task. I for one await him being tear-gassed out of the White House and federal agents putting him and his criminal family in handcuffs.

    As for postal ballots, the only reason that RickA and other orange stain supporters dislike them is because most are likely to vote Democrat because they want to avoid the risk of catching Covid-19, something many in Trump’s base do not consider serious.

  31. RickA had declared that he intends to vote for a clique that has used chaos as cover for advancing anti-American practices and policy.

    Agents of Chaos, a two-part investigative HBO series on Russian interference in the 2016 election, confirms some of the most damning findings of the Senate report – for one, extensive contacts between the Trump campaign, particularly former manager Paul Manafort, and “a cadre of individuals ostensibly operating outside of the Russian government but who nonetheless implement Kremlin-directed influence operations.” But the series, from Oscar-winning film-maker Alex Gibney, also visualizes, with first-person interviews from some of the major figures, what the rare bipartisan consensus (on facts, not narrative) cannot: the diffuse, dubiously quantifiable efforts by the Russian government – sometimes tightly organized, sometimes slapdash – to sow chaos in Ukraine and then America, the profit motives which compelled bumbling Trump figures into a “collusion” of mutual interest, and the head-spinning vertigo for average American consumers over what even happened four years ago.

    Agents of Chaos finds no single story, operation, locus of blame, or clear measure of impact by the Russian government. Instead, it explores a common purpose employed by both Russia and pro-Trump players in the US, sometimes in tandem and sometimes covertly. “Using chaos to amass power,” said Gibney.


    What does that make RickA? Certainly not a true patriot. One wonders if RickA is a covert Russian agent.

  32. Here is another interesting article from Nicolas Lewis:

    If herd immunity turns out to be achieved at between 10% and 20% then parts of the USA should have reached herd immunity. Perhaps NYC? Time will tell. Depending on the number of unconfirmed cases of COVID-19 in the USA, we may be at or at least close to 20%.

    I still think it very possible that COVID-19 will be over before we are able to widely deploy a vaccine. Perhaps even by the end of the year.

    No matter what happens, I am sure a retrospective analysis will help science learn much more about coronaviruses, pandemics and better prepare us for future bouts of coronavirus. Managed herd immunity still looks like a viable option to me. I would argue that it has to be better than unmanaged herd immunity – which is the path we are currently on.

    1. Nic Lewis is a rightwing arsehole who can safely be ignored on the topics of climate sensitivity and COVID.

  33. Trumpolution:

    Even amid the pandemic, the U.S. fossil fuel industry has continued what it has always done: advance its own interests at the expense of people and the planet. The U.S. response to COVID-19 has enabled an insidious pattern of fossil fuel companies receiving government handouts, despite struggling long before the pandemic. Big Oil executives have walked away with millions of dollars in bonuses while the industry has lost over 100,000 jobs from February to August.

    US COVID-19 Bailouts Gave Bonuses to Fossil Fuel CEOs While Workers and Planet Suffered

    As I said a vote for Trump is a crime against humanity and much else.

  34. RickA, are you just naturally stupid, or do you deliberately act that way? How many frigging times does it have to be spelled out: absent a vaccine, THERE IS NO HERD IMMUNITY FOR COVID-19. The virus “will not be over” ever UNTIL THERE IS A VACCINE because immunity is temporary and for coronaviruses there has never ever been an immunity threshold as low as 10 or 20%. Nick Lewis writes gibberish that is heavily promoted by far-right social media sites that oppose lockdowns or related measures to deal with the virus. The virus is fast-evolving and by now there is accumulating evidence that re-infection can occur within several months of the initial infection. This has been repeated on here ad nauseum and either it slips through your addled brain or you simply ignore it because it doesn’t fit in with your narrow-minded right wing libertarian world view. You are such a clueless dope, yet for some reason you come on here often repeating the same discredited garbage.

    By June it was estimated that 5% of the Dutch had been infected and by now that is surely much higher but the virus is now spreading rapidly again here. In the UK, France, Spain, Belgium etc. the virus went through a significant proportion of the populations despite the lockdowns and the second wave is even bigger. Herd immunity for Covid-19 is still heavily criticized by the vast majority of epidemiologists because it doesn’t work! The virus is miles from being gone from the US and by December there will be over 300,000 dead in the country. How many more lives are you willing to sacrifice so that 60% or more of the population are infected?

    1. You just end up wonder what the bloody fuck is wrong with these rightwing imbeciles’ minds, don’t you?

  35. Glad to see Nick Lewis pining on about herd immunity on the day the UK had its highest number of infections and deaths for months. Yesterday a senior medical officer in the UK predicted that there will be 50,000 or more new infections a day by October at current projections. The Netherlands had its most ever new infections today, and the death toll is rising. The concern is that at this rate by early November hospital ICU will be at breaking point again. Yup, ya gotta love that old herd immunity.

    1. Indeed Jeff, and how my wife and I are going to avoid catching it and shuffling off this mortal coil is anybodies guess. This with two daughters at the drip face and another a primary school teacher who we have to interface with. Also one of her sons is just off to uni so my task as sole custodian of a couple of dozen tarantula, a couple with 7 inch and 9 inch legs spans, continues having been enforced by lockdown at the start of Coviditis and which is sure to come again soon. RickA is a duffer on this.

      Had to rehouse five Poecilotheria regalis the other week as managing of feeding and moulting around them in one box, as delivered, was becoming a hazard to the creatures.

      A large blackish devil – a 9 inch Lasiodora parahybana lept out of its glass enclosure whilst I was trying to top up its water bowl with a syringe and tube. The enclosure was head height and I had this impression of black falling across my face to land on my chest whereby it let go and fortunately landed flat on a plastic box beneath. My wife having turned at my gasp, screamed and exited the room whilst I carefully lifted box and spider with one hand and with the other slid up the glass front of the enclosure offering the box and spider to the aperture then gently nudging it back into its enclosure. It seems not to have survived its adventure.

      Things we do for the children.

  36. Lionel, it is great to learn that you are caretaking some lovely theraphosids – I have my own pink-toed tarantula (Avicularia sp.) to nurture, plus more than 5,000 false widow spiders (Steatoda grossa) in culture at the lab of my institute. I am studying development and reproduction in these wonderful spiders – they are very easy to work with.

    Stay healthy.

    1. Three of the more exotic looking ones are:

      Poecilotheria metallica, “Gooty sapphire ornamental”


      Brachypelma boehmei ‘Mexican fireleg’


      Aphonopelma seemanni – this is has a chunky build. Quite placid about 7 inches at the moment.

      As you say they are fascinating creatures.

    2. It seems not to have survived its adventure.

      Belay that.

      It seems to have survived its adventure, they can be easily broken if falling from a height.

    3. Also a Nhandu chromatus -Brazilian Red & White, White Striped Birdeater, this one having recently moulted is as large as Lasiodora parahybana but more spectacular in markings. Very skittish, can run and hide or charge across its enclosure with a jump.

      I wonder if this will be accessible?


  37. Not as exciting as an escaped “Lasiodora parahybana” (had to Google it), but:

    When our older son was in 5th grade his teacher had several creatures, including two common snakes, in the room. Kids took turns feeding the snakes.
    When J came home and announced he had gotten to feed them we asked what he had to do.
    “She has these little frozen mouse things. We thaw them in a microwave and put them in the cage.”

    Stunned, I said “You use the class microwave to thaw them?”

    J: “No, we heat our lunches in that. She has us use the microwave in the teachers’ lounge.”

    Later I went on two different RAGBRAIs with that teacher. She was (and still is) a hoot.

    1. J: “No, we heat our lunches in that. She has us use the microwave in the teachers’ lounge.”

      🙂 🙂 🙂

      My esteemed wife is a science teacher. There’s a type…

  38. RickA blurted out:

    An excellent example of motivated reasoning. Thank you Lionel!

    You are in no position to lecture, or hector, on cognitive dissonance RickA.

  39. Great video by the ‘Medicalfuturist’ in which he categorically debunks herd immunity theory for Covid-19, castigates the abominable handling of the pandemic by the Trump regime, and explains what to expect as the second wave hits many countries (thanks to rank negligence by Trump, the US is still in the middle of a huge first wave).

    1. And for he who endlessly witters on about herd immunity here is something to read and take in the ramifications of, an article mentioned at 1:26 in the video Jeffh posted.

      “People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around,” said Dr Katie Doores, lead author on the study at King’s College London.

      Immunity to Covid-19 could be lost in months, UK study suggests

      So RickA, it is now up to you to explain with reasoned argument backed up by facts as known how herd immunity is going to be achieved.

  40. From the video posted by Jeffh:

    …first these shots will go to medical workers, immune deficient people, and the elderly…

    but before those categories politicians and their enablers will get vaccinations.

    And RickA, pay attention to the manner in which the careless actions of US and Brazil’s politicians will lead to an extended first wave with a huge casualty rate.

  41. From the article linked in an above post:

    “I cannot underscore how important it is that the public understands that getting infected by this virus is not a good thing. Some of the public, especially the youth, have become somewhat cavalier about getting infected, thinking that they would contribute to herd immunity. Not only will they place themselves at risk, and others, by getting infected, and losing immunity, they may even put themselves at greater risk of more severe lung disease if they get infected again in the years to come.”

    RickA take note.

  42. The creature that RickA is set on enabling for a further term, which will presage a terminal condition for a planet supporting life as we know it.

    Wednesday was one of those days when to have a seat in the White House briefing room felts like stepping through the looking-glass into Blunderland, where the mad hatter has an authoritarian streak a mile wide.

    Trump careered from touting miracle vaccines to building supreme court suspense, from insulting a female member of the British royal family to abruptly departing for a mysterious “emergency” phone call. But first, there was the small matter of kneecapping American democracy.

    Donald in Blunderland: Trump won’t commit to peaceful power transfer at surreal press briefing

    Do you not realise the consequences of your action RickA?

    1. Lionel:

      Yes – I understand that I have an awesome power and that my single vote will cause a terminal condition for a planet supporting life as we know it. In other words, my single vote will kill everybody and everything on the planet. I have this awesome power and I choose to use it to vote for Trump.

      You sound a bit hysterical by the way.

  43. Luckily your vote will probably mean diddly squat in Minnesota, RickA, as it looks increasingly likely that Biden will win there. Watching Trump’s naueseating rally in Minnesota where he lauded his wretched base in the state as having ‘good genes’ was vomit-inducing. If it is one thing that the rabid, mouth-frothing, drooling, face-contorted, rage-induced Trump base do not have it is good genes. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    It is getting more and more pitiful listening to the clearly deranged Trump, who slurs his words constantly, cannot pronounce his own mame properly, called Mars ‘Nars’ and claimed to have been nominated for the Nobel ‘Preace Prize’ (mispronouncing Peace) along with clearly having never heard of Yosemite National Park, repeatedly referring to Minneapolis as ‘Minneannapolis’, and not knowing what job the Interior Secretary does. When Biden flubs a line it is due to old age; in Trump’s case it is down to pure ignorance. Intellectual laziness, him having had a silver spoon shoved up his butt his whole life. He is totally and utterly clueless.

  44. LionelA, that’s been covered already. Greg even chimed in that lack of antibodies does not mean lack of immunity.

    I would expect the antibody level to drop for other immunities as well. When the target is not present, the body will dial down its response. This doesn’t mean it can’t dial up as needed.
    If we test people with vaccinations or who have been infected with chickenpox, are we going to see high levels of antibodies years later?

    1. Four coronaviruses are responsible for about 15 – 30% of ‘common colds’ (229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1). There is no evidence that even over a lifetime any significant lasting immunity develops to these viruses. This is suggestive that a similarly transient immune response and subsequent vulnerability to infection may also occur with Sars-CoV-2.

      Frankly, I’ve heard more than enough wittering about herd immunity from you and Ricky. Please find something else to be wrong about.

    2. BBD, I will agree with you that long term immunity is not established for coronavirus.
      However, no one is answering my question about whether we should expect to see high levels of antibodies if people have acquired an immunity via vaccination or infection to other diseases. Does ‘antibody level drop’ necessarily imply ‘immunity gone’?

    3. However, no one is answering my question about whether we should expect to see high levels of antibodies if people have acquired an immunity via vaccination or infection to other diseases. Does ‘antibody level drop’ necessarily imply ‘immunity gone’?

      I did answer your question:

      I repeat that answer in the face of your trolling:

      There is no evidence that even over a lifetime any significant lasting immunity develops to these viruses. This is suggestive that a similarly transient immune response and subsequent vulnerability to infection may also occur with Sars-CoV-2.

      What the fuck am I supposed to do here? Post the whole lot in bold?

      Just read the words and do us both a favour.

    4. You are speaking about coronaviruses. I am asking about the statement-
      IF drop in antibody level THEN no immunity.
      Is this true of all diseases, not just coronaviruses?
      Greg Laden seemed to post above that this is not true, but it is unclear.

      I’m asking will you see a similar behavior of a drop in antibody level after some time, for something to which you have immunity?

      Responding with cases where there is no immunity is not answering my question. I understand you are trying but I think we are talking about different things.

    5. Responding with cases where there is no immunity is not answering my question. I understand you are trying but I think we are talking about different things.

      We’re talking about coronaviruses. I think you are ‘just asking questions’ – aka JAQing off trolling – and I invite you to scratch your own itch. When you’ve done the necessary googling you can let us know what you found, and how that relates to transient immunity to coronaviruses.

  45. The fact is, MikeN, that we have a long, long, long, long, long way to go with natural infections before we are anywhere close to herd immunity. Some US epidemiologists put the figure at 70% necessary for Covid-19 – more than three times what even the most heavily infected countries and regions have experienced. Here in the Netherlands our useless, ill-prepared government doesn’t appear to have much of a clue what to do as the second (and bigger) wave is currently slamming into the country. Hospitalizations are rising by up to ten per cent a day, including the ICUs, which is unsustainable. The system will buckle in 4-5 weeks if this continues. I suppose RickA would advise us to ride out the second wave, let another 20,000 or more die, cause the health service to implode, all to achieve that elusive herd immunity. Then, unsurprisingly, we find out that by early next year immunity is waning and the merry-go-round starts all over again.

    The worst thing about right wing governments like ours here, those in the UK, US, Brazil etc. is that they don’t appear to give a damn about the health of the general population because they represent only a narrow constituency – the ruling elite. Look at Mitch McConnell’s slavish groveling to the tobacco and pharmaceutucal industries that help fund his election campaigns. He doesn’t want to make medicines affordable for the poor because that would reduce the profits of his benefactors. How can anybody in their right mind vote for this scum? Yet RickA claims to be ‘enlightened’ and does. A lot of other uninformed voters do too. It beggars belief that they would elect cretins who are shafting them. It isn’t difficult with a bit of effort to find out who is paying for wretched politicians like McConnell, yet clearly a significant proportion of the electorate are too lazy or indoctrinated to care. They vote for Trump on the same basis – soundbites, lies and empty rhetoric. All while the Republican Party is kicking the living daylights out of them.

    1. Don’t worry about reinfections:

      We are talking 2 or maybe 3 people.

      If you look at what is happening in France, Spain and the UK for the 2nd wave, you see that most cases are happening in areas which were not hit in the first wave. Nobody hit in the second wave in these countries got it in the first wave (no reinfections). So natural immunity has lasted at least 6 months (so far), and may last longer (we will see).

      So far COVID-19 doesn’t seem to mutate like a common cold coronavirus (of course that could change).

      So you ask how herd immunity will work. Here is how. Enough people will get sick and recover that the R0 will drop below 1, at which point COVID-19 will fizzle out in that area (and may already have in some areas). As we have already seen, lockdowns simply delay reaching herd immunity – it does not prevent the cases from happening later. We may (and I think will in the USA) reach herd immunity naturally before we get a vaccine to widely deploy (Faucci now says mid year 2021). If people start getting sick again – so be it – all that means is the vaccine will not be effective. If COVID-19 doesn’t cause massive numbers of reinfections, then the vaccine (when available) will probably be very effective. But will we get the vaccine before natural herd immunity is reached? I doubt it.

      If we are lucky, HIT will be much lower than 67% (R0 of 3) because of T-cell immunity, cross reactivity (i.e. see the Nic Lewis article I cited earlier). We might almost be at 24%. If HIT is 67% we have a ways to go and it will be a race between the vaccine deployment and natural herd immunity.

      I see no evidence that natural herd immunity will fail us, because every other coronavirus fizzled out on its own (do people still get the Spanish flu? – No). So natural herd immunity is just a matter of time and if a vaccine is available prior to reaching natural herd immunity – great! I won’t hold my breath.

    2. We are talking 2 or maybe 3 people.

      That we know of, so far in a time-frame of less than a year. But the concept of ‘herd immunity’ requires a robust, long-term immune response and there hasn’t been time yet to establish that this is what we will get.

      It certainly hasn’t happened with other human coronaviruses like those responsible for a proportion of the ‘common cold’. Which I just pointed out a few comments back and you – typically – ignored.

      You also blanked this response to your earlier rubbish, demonstrating, once again, that you are nothing more than a rightwing troll.

    3. So you ask how herd immunity will work. Here is how. Enough people will get sick and recover that the R0 will drop below 1, at which point COVID-19 will fizzle out in that area

      In order to get that level of infection in the population, you will crash the healthcare system.

      As has been explained a myriad times already.

      So it is a price we cannot – and will not – pay.

      Especially as there is no guarantee that there will be any ‘herd immunity’ worth the name at the end of the carnage.

      Your absolute refusal to even acknowledge this point, despite it’s being universally accepted by scientists and healthcare professionals everywhere demonstrates that you are nothing but a rightwing troll.

    4. see the Nic Lewis article I cited earlier

      NL is no more an epidemiologist or virologist than he is a climate scientist.

      Rather he is in fact a fake expert who pops up to peddle dangerous, ideologically-motivated bollocks. The only rational response to the man is to ignore him. So what do you do? Make him a go-to source.

      But then, you are a rightwing troll, QED.

    5. I see no evidence that natural herd immunity will fail us, because every other coronavirus fizzled out on its own (do people still get the Spanish flu? – No).

      Is influenza caused by a coronavirus?


      Another arsewipe logical fallacy non-argument flushed away.

  46. You sound a bit hysterical by the way.

    Coming from you that is almost a compliment being that you have no sense of decorum and even less humanity, as evidenced by your intent to vote for Tantrum Trump who has caused a swamp tsunami to roll over large parts of the US and taken a wrecking ball to the rule of law. Only somebody clinically insane could vote for Trump in an act of, misplaced patriotism which is being used as cover for self interest.

    You have once again evaded, from an earlier post:

    So RickA, it is now up to you to explain with reasoned argument backed up by facts as known how herd immunity is going to be achieved.

  47. What RickA is voting for is nothing less than the further dismantling of any elements of democracy that may still linger.

    With voting already under way in the 2020 election, a rushed appointment and confirmation in this moment would be a clear partisan power play, and further collapse the legitimacy of the supreme court. But more broadly, the firestorm over Justice Ginsburg’s replacement is a reminder of how the modern supreme court has too much power in the first place. It is critical that our democracy reform agenda also consider how to reform the judiciary.

    They have dismantled organized labor through “right-to-work” laws and union-busting judicial rulings based on a corporate-friendly reading of the first amendment. They have dismantled the promise of free and fair elections by needlessly gutting the Voting Rights Act from the bench, opening the way for rampant and highly effective state-based policies that suppress the votes of Black and brown Americans. They have greenlit extreme gerrymandering by ruling that federal courts are powerless to stop politicians from rigging district lines, and opened the floodgates to dark money controlling our politics.

    The strategy is clear: rig and skew elections to win legislative power in states and in the Senate despite the party’s minority level of popular support; use that leverage to pack the courts with partisans; and then use those packed courts to further skew the electoral process and to block rival legislation, as a way to hold on to power. These moves amount to an attempt to election-proof conservative control, reserving for the right the ultimate trump card that would block legislative and electoral shifts needed to rebalance democratic fairness and advance progressive policies.

    The US supreme court has become a threat to democracy. Here’s how we fix it

    Is RickA and his ilk really in favour of a fascist dictatorship being brought about in the US? That is what is on the cards with a further Republican win. My thoughts have nothing to do with hysteria more to do with an analytical assessment of the facts.

    Maybe RickA has been educated ‘beyond his capacity for analytical thought’, to paraphrase Peter Medawar.

  48. “I see no evidence that natural herd immunity will fail us”

    Because of your willing blindness to facts and your core dishonesty.

  49. RickA barfed:

    Don’t worry about reinfections:

    Did you not read the article linked to within this post?


    People who have recovered from Covid-19 may lose their immunity to the disease within months, according to research suggesting the virus could reinfect people year after year, like common colds.

    In the first longitudinal study of its kind, scientists analysed the immune response of more than 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust and found levels of antibodies that can destroy the virus peaked about three weeks after the onset of symptoms then swiftly declined.

    Blood tests revealed that while 60% of people marshalled a “potent” antibody response at the height of their battle with the virus, only 17% retained the same potency three months later. Antibody levels fell as much as 23-fold over the period. In some cases, they became undetectable.

  50. More evidence of RickA’s stupidity: of course people still get the Spanish flu, in a differently mutated, less virulent form. It never went away, and it still kills a lot of people. RickA is just dense. No wonder he votes for the anti-Democratic neofascist party.

    1. It is my understanding that the 2009 swine flu was a descendant of the Spanish flu (and both being H1N1). But it was called swine flu, not Spanish flu – so I don’t think people consider the descendants Spanish flu. But that is just semantics – so I do agree that descendants of the spanish flu still circulate today.

      The real question is whether the 2009 swine flu is different enough that the natural herd immunity obtained from having and recovering from the Spanish flu would offer protection to the swine flu of 2009? I do not know the answer to that question. A corollary – if a vaccine had existed for the spanish flu, would it have offered protection against the 2009 swine flu? I do not know the answer to that question either.

      The bigger point is that there is very little evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 get it again – so there is a natural herd immunity effect, which in great enough numbers will cause the spread to slow and then die out. We just don’t know the HIT level now. Looking back from the future, we will be able to figure out what the HIT level is – and that will be very useful in planning on the response to future coronavirus pandemics.

      I suspect that in the future, a managed herd immunity approach will be recommended, in which the old and sick and obese are isolated, but normal activities for younger and healthy people are maintained to allow herd immunity to happen naturally. That is unless we have a super fast way to design and deploy a vaccine, which would be preferred (of course). The Sweden response is looking better and better as time goes on – but we will have to wait until the pandemic is over to really judge the best approach to take in the future.

  51. RickA, for the billionth damned time, herd immunity will only work when a vaccine is available. Your statement ‘managed herd immunity’ is pure comedy – under the pathologically deranged orange stain the response to Covid-19 has been nothing but disorganized chaos. How can one ‘manage anything’ when funding to deal with epidemics is slashed to the bare minimum and there is an army of idiots who refuse to take even minimal measures to reduce infection risk and then end up infecting many members of their own communities? The Netherlands now is into a second, much bigger wave that will eclipse the first and cause the health service to buckle and then collapse within 5-7 weeks. Despite the clear threat, yesterday local authorities in Tilburg allowed a crowd of around 1000 people to watch a soccer match on a large, outdoor television screen, under the provision that social distancing measures were adhered to. I had to pick myself up off the floor at the stupid naievete of anyone who remotely thinks that 1000 beer-drinking soccer fans will behave responsibly. Of course they didn’t – they packed into the square like canned sardines. Covid-19 virions must be rubbing their spikes together with unadulterated joy.

    And you think that herd immunity can be managed. Good grief man, how utterly stupid can you get? Just because the most incompetent POTUS in US history wants to get everyone infected as quickly as possible so that ‘we can move on’ doesn’t remotely mean that this approach makes any sense.

    1. Jeffh

      I had to pick myself up off the floor at the stupid naievete of anyone who remotely thinks that 1000 beer-drinking soccer fans will behave responsibly.

      I had a similar reaction earlier this year with similar lax measures being decreed. I wrote on FB to register my shakes head astonishment that any body could believe that boozed up people would adhere to social distancing.

      Sadly and ex RN colleague called ‘rubbish’ and mentioned something called common sense would save the day. Of course it did not as we saw packed beaches and other areas, some spoiled by litter after unnatural campers decamped after the ‘fun’. Even tents being left behind along with scat of human origin. Many do not deserve to inhabit this planet. But leaving scat behind is no worse than the actions of those who are engaged in resource extraction, their backers in high places and those who vote for them.

      Unfortunately that cohort of ex servicemen are not broadly educated enough to grasp how societies work and even have strong views about climate change being a hoax, which fits with my guesses as to which organs of the media they consult. When presented with argument after argument, backed with references, to counter the obviously denial sphere origin ideas he peddled (easy to recognise such) he left in a huff because I wasn’t being fair in arguing that my facts trumped his opinion piece examples of obfuscation. Simply, he was too ignorant to grasp how ignorant he was and how he was being played by those with vested interests.

      I thought you may appreciate his image of the

      Poecilotheria metallica, “Gooty sapphire ornamental”

    1. Apparently Boris The Clown had Anders Tegnell in a few days back for advice on how to proceed in the UK…

      Clearly, our own scientific advisors’ unambiguous advice didn’t chime with what Bojo needs to say to keep the lunatic libertarian Tory bloc onside.

      Hence his recent rhetoric about the ‘freedom-loving’ English, blah blah blah.

      Well into 51st state territory these days.

  52. RickA opines:

    I suspect that in the future, a managed herd immunity approach will be recommended,…

    You persist in pushing this meme despite the facts as known do not back up any such scenario:

    The question of whether we can be reinfected with COVID-19 has been resolved. In August, genome sequencing confirmed that a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong had indeed been infected by the same virus a second time. So too was the case for a 25-year-old man in the United States, though the originating case study has yet to be peer reviewed.

    This strengthens earlier reports that have surfaced periodically throughout the pandemic.

    If SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, follows the precedent set by its coronavirus cousins, reinfection will soon become the rule, rather than the exception. The ability of common-cold-causing coronaviruses endemic to humans to infect the same person multiple times has been documented in studies going back decades and, more recently, in a detailed 2018 study conducted by researchers collaborating in the Netherlands and Kenya.

    If and when reinfections with COVID-19 become the norm, the majority of people will weather the virus as they would any other cold. You get it, and after a certain period of time your body forgets it, leaving you vulnerable to its return. The key difference is that seasonal cold-causing viruses rarely cause lethal disease, while COVID-19 does at rates of 1–5 percent, depending on the health status of those it affects.

    It is the case for many viruses, including those that cause most childhood diseases, that reasonably high levels of IgG antibodies persist for many years. This is not the case for human coronaviruses.

    Do read and try to understand the nuances implied by the whole article.

    What COVID-19 Reinfection Means for Vaccines

    Now for another aspect:

    The Covid-19 virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic, with experts believing it is probably becoming more contagious, as coronavirus cases in the US have started to rise once again, according to new research.


    Do not forget that many who have recovered from Covid-19 suffer from long term debilitating health issues, and believe me I know personally only to well how soul destroying this can be, especially if on first sight you look perfectly healthy, this can trigger much trouble from unthinking souls.

    I am fully expecting the Covid-19 death express to be coming for me as we head into winter and with infection rates out of control due to our own breed of ideological incompetent politicians led by a mini-Trump. One backed by an autocratic AG who thinks its fine to point fingers at other MPs whilst answering a perfectly valid question about her (the AG) flouting the rule of law, or backing the clown who has.

  53. RickA again:

    The Sweden response is looking better and better as time goes on…

    You sir are a fool.

    The Spectator revealed that Sweden’s Anders Tegnell – he of the let-it-rip policy that has left Sweden with far more deaths per capita than its locked-down Nordic neighbours – briefed No 10 before Tuesday’s announcement. Even Tegnell now advocates three-week lockdowns and school closures in areas with the highest rates of transmission.


  54. There is an old saying, ‘be careful what you wish for’.

    So RickA take care for some really dire situations could unfold over this election. The Republicans and Trump have no shame, no sense of honesty, no respect for the processes of democracy. The tools of democracy in the US have been dismantled one by one as Moscow Mitch and Putin tool Trump continue the rampage to prevent a legally binding vote result.

    Donald Trump’s plot against democracy could break America apart

    1. I agree there could be “some really dire situations” that could unfold over this election cycle. However it is democrats who have caused all the problems – not Trump.

      First, the democrats engaged in a coup attempt, but trying to use the bought and paid for fake news dossier to try to take down the president over the nonexistent russian collusion.

      Second, the democrats lie about Trump saying that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are fine people – when it is clear he was talking about the people opposing destroying statutes.

      Third, the democrats tried to totally destroy Brett Kavanaugh by making up a bunch of lies about him.

      Fourth, the democrats drummed up an impeachment of Trump over his investigation of the democrat wrongdoing in Ukraine, related to the fake news russian collusion. It was Hillary’s campaign who colluded with russia to put together the dossier (with help from a russian spy – nice).

      So it is the democrats who have created the “dire situation”. It will be the democrats who fail to accept the results of the election and will continue to support riots and looting. It is the democrats who will fail to accept the replacement of RBG, and who will attempt to totally destroy whoever is appointed.

      Trump, who is doing better with minority voters than in 2016, will win the 2020 election decisively, and I will enjoy watching the press coverage on election night and over the next week or so – as democrats once again are in disbelief at how stupid they are for picking brain dead Biden. It should be amusing to watch the coverage of hundreds of thousands of spoiled ballets (maybe millions) as the democrats find out their followers are to stupid to correctly vote by mail.

      It will be fun to watch the hundreds of lawsuits that are filed by democrats who will not be able to believe they could lose so badly (again), and will eventually end up arguing how unfair and fraudulent mail in voting is, because of the spoiled ballots.

      Everything democrats have done and will do is backfiring on them, to create an environment which will aid Trump in winning 2020.

      It has been and will be very entertaining to watch. Get your popcorn ready – the next couple of months should be fun!

    2. Trump has never unambiguously disavowed rightwing extremists because they are a significant part of his voter base.

      You are colluding in the attempted takeover of the US by a neofascist.

  55. First, the democrats engaged in a coup attempt, but trying to use the bought and paid for fake news dossier to try to take down the president over the nonexistent russian collusion.

    Nonexistent collusion that all intelligence agencies agreed happened and is happening again. Your lies are becoming more and more blatant.

    Second, the democrats lie about Trump saying that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are fine people – when it is clear he was talking about the people opposing destroying statutes.

    Again, not true, as people who paid attention and looked with honest intent know (both of those things rule you out). Statues were never mentioned when he coddled the nazis and white supremacists.

    Third, the democrats tried to totally destroy Brett Kavanaugh by making up a bunch of lies about him.

    Yeah, who cares about women with evidence? We know people like you view women as third rate objects that don’t deserve any respect or protection.

    JFC you are a real piece of work: science denier, racist, bigot, white supremacist, congenital liar — there doesn’t seem to be any bit of integrity or decency in you.

    1. dean:

      Totally wrong. Here is the transcript in which Trump does mention statutes and in which he said “. . .I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally . . .”. So you are wrong about what happened in Charlottesville. Here is the transcript (read it and weep):

      Reporter, Aug. 15, 2017: You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides …

      Trump: Well, I do think there’s blame – yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And, and, and, and if you reported it accurately, you would say.

      Reporter: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville. …

      Trump: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo — and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name. …

      It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.

      Reporter: I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? …

      Trump: No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly, the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know, I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit. So I only tell you this: There are two sides to a story.

    2. Trump: Well, I do think there’s blame – yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And, and, and, and if you reported it accurately, you would say.

      And, and, and, here is the President, speaking just after one side has murdered a woman on the other side who was protesting against neofacism in the USA. But there’s blame – yes, blame on both sides, you look at both sides. There’s blame on both sides, no doubt about it.

      Driving cars into protesters has since become a thing. Thanks no doubt to Presidential endorsement.

    3. Rick, if I remember correctly, Trump’s first use of ‘some fine people’ was to describe the people on Heather Heyer’s side protesting against the Nazis and Confederates.

    4. Rick, if I remember correctly, Trump’s first use of ‘some fine people’ was to describe the people on Heather Heyer’s side protesting against the Nazis and Confederates.

      You cannot quibble your way out of this shit, Mike.

  56. He’s a rightwing troll. It goes with the territory.

    True — hence his repeated dismissal of the facts presented to show his comments are as full of crap as he is.

    As I’ve said before: if he really has the degrees he claims to have they are from a school where the only hurdle to jump through to get them was having checks clear. He sure as hell couldn’t have succeeded in any program that required work or thought.

  57. And by the way rickA — nobody who goes along with a neo-Nazi or white supremacist is a “good person”, nor do good people protest removing the statues of slave holders and traitors (Confederate generals) responsible for the deaths of thousands of US soldiers.

    There used to be a time when people understood that standing with evil branded you as evil too — your comments show you don’t understand that.

    1. Weren’t you the one saying the protesters had nothing to do with the looting and attacks on cops?

      The lie about BLM protests being violent is a creation of the rightwing media and Trump, assisted by the likes of you, Mike.

      While the US has long been home to a vibrant protest environment, demonstrations surged to new levels in 2020. Between 24 May and 22 August, ACLED records more than 10,600 demonstration events across the country. Over 10,100 of these — or nearly 95% — involve peaceful protesters. Fewer than 570 — or approximately 5% — involve demonstrators engaging in violence. Well over 80% of all demonstrations are connected to the Black Lives Matter movement or the COVID-19 pandemic.


      Yet, despite data indicating that demonstrations associated with the BLM movement are overwhelmingly peaceful, one recent poll suggested that 42% of respondents believe “most protesters [associated with the BLM movement] are trying to incite violence or destroy property” (FiveThirtyEight, 5 June 2020). This is in line with the Civiqs tracking poll which finds that “net approval for the Black Lives Matter movement peaked back on June 3 [the week following the killing of George Floyd when riots first began to be reported] and has fallen sharply since” (USA Today, 31 August 2020; Civiqs, 29 August 2020).

      Research from the University of Washington indicates that this disparity stems from political orientation and biased media framing (Washington Post, 24 August 2020), such as disproportionate coverage of violent demonstrations (Business Insider, 11 June 2020; Poynter, 25 June 2020). Groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have documented organized disinformation campaigns aimed at spreading a “deliberate mischaracterization of groups or movements [involved in the protests], such as portraying activists who support Black Lives Matter as violent extremists or claiming that antifa is a terrorist organization coordinated or manipulated by nebulous external forces” (ADL, 2020). These disinformation campaigns may be contributing to the decline in public support for the BLM movement after the initial increase following Floyd’s killing, especially amongst the white population (USA Today, 31 August 2020; Civiqs, 30 August 2020a, 30 August 2020b). This waning support also comes as the Trump administration recently shifted its “law and order” messaging to target local Democratic Party politicians from urban areas, particularly on the campaign trail (NPR, 27 August 2020).

      Source: ACLED

    2. Most KKK rallies were peaceful too. That doesn’t mean they were not a violent group.

      This is your response to the debunking of the claim that BLM protests were ‘violent’.

      I’ll just leave it at that.

  58. Rick, Trump’s doing well with minorities doesn’t matter. Mitt Romney would have needed 25% of the black vote to win the election.

    1. “Weren’t you the one saying the protesters had nothing to do with the looting and attacks on cops?’

      Not sure what brought that up, but that’s true: the people protesting the Nazis didn’t attack police. We’re seeing seeing more and more that it’s people like you and ricka who have been driving the violence

  59. RickA is so deep in shit that he cannot smell it anymore. The orange stain is mentally ill, pathologically narcissist, and expends considerable effort to praise his brownshirt, gun-toting, conspiracy-believing, neofascist base no matter what they do or say. He had to perspire heavily when asked about QAnon, an army of pure crazies. “I know that they like me and love their country”, the liar-in-chief opined. He could not bring himself to say what that lot of miscreants really are: lunatics. Again, Trump’s base is made up largely of fanatics espousing wacky conspiracy theories, but he knows that his slim election chances utterly depend on them. And there isn’t a chance on Earth of Trump winning ‘a comprehensive victory’ as RickA dreams. At the very best he will scrape in, losing the popular vote once again. And if he does win, this will simply reveal with more clarity how intellectually and morally bankrupt the United States has become.

    RickA has proven time and time and time again on here that he cannot withstand scrutiny. He responds with resounding silence to the many points I and others have made categorically debunking herd immunity, exposing Trump’s profound ignorance about geography, science, history and politics, as well as the abominably stupid and borderline racist/nativist comments the President has made, and how he has appointed corporate lobbyists and bankers to head virtually every federal agency in an attempt to make the plutocracy an out-and-out corporatocracy or kleptocracy. Every agency tasked with protecting ecosystems and biodiversity is now headed by someone from the coal, oil or pesticide industries. This is like appointing a serial arsonist to oversee fire control in the western states.

    What this proves is that RickA wants to see nature obliterated for profit. He wants to see Black-capped vireos, Golden-cheeked Warblers, Red-cockaded woodpeckers, red wolves, black-footed ferrets and countless other endangered species and populations become extinct. It is what Trump and his party want, even though the scum won’t come out and openly say it. Nature is expendable to them when it gets in the way of corporate profit. But since Trump is so ignorant that he has never heard of Yosemite National Park, is anyone remotely surprised?

    Watch RickA ignore everything I wrote here, like he has done countless times before. RickA, the game is up: you lose.

  60. Here is the transcript (read it and weep):

    Worthless without links to sources RickA.

    Trump: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo

    Neo what? Neo-natal. ‘They’ didn’t have to for neo-Nazi is effectively what they are as you are also.

    Every argument you made is counter factual Alice Through the Looking Glass stuff.

    You are so deep in your epistemic bubble that any chance of you ever gaining a true sense of perspective is non existent. As they say, you are a piece of work.

    1. Worthless without links to sources RickA.

      Oh, I dunno Lionel 🙂

      Let’s assume the transcript is verbatim. It’s not at all what Ricky is pretending it is 🙂

      See previous comment here.

    1. “The mother of alleged Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse got a “standing ovation” at a GOP women’s group meeting in Wisconsin on Thursday night, an attendee of the event tweeted.

      “Standing ovation from Waukesha County GOP women for my special guests (John Pierce) and Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle’s mom,” conservative blogger Michelle Malkin said in a Twitter post. “I was able to talk to Kyle by phone & THANK HIM for his courage!”

      Yeah, with Michelle Malkin there you know it was dishonest and racist to the core.

  61. “Most KKK rallies were peaceful too. That doesn’t mean they were not a violent group.”

    We know the KKK were violent because they did violent things. Another attempt at your speciality, dishonest deflection. I’m sure it flies with people as dishonest as you and rickA, but not with people of integrity.

  62. Hmmm. More fodder for the imaginary herd immunity one of the right wing clods keeps mentioning.

    The US has recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since August, after several states saw record daily spikes and the national total topped 7million.

    There were 55,054 new COVID-19 cases reported by health authorities across the United States on Friday, a Johns Hopkins University tally shows.

    It’s the highest figure since August 14, when 64,350 new cases were recorded following a peak in infections in the summer

  63. And another misstatement by our dubious duo corrected, thanks to BBD’s ACLED link (must read – PDF to download):

    …and police killings continue unabated, at 2.5 times the rate1 for Black men as for white men (FiveThirtyEight, 1 June 2020; Nature, 19 June 2020).

    It is amazing how the dubious duo can get around without legs.

  64. More evidence for the logic challenged duo who fail to recognise from which direction the violence is coming.

    The violence in Charlottesville in the summer of President Trump’s first year in office continues to be a flash point in the presidential campaign. After one woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed by a white supremacist while she protested a rally of alt-right groups, Trump made a series of statements that politically backfired on him. In his first remarks, he condemned racism but suggested “both sides” were equally at fault. Members of his CEO manufacturing council resigned in protest, and Gary Cohn, a top economic aide at the time who is Jewish, also considered resigning.

    Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has made Trump’s response to Charlottesville a central part of his argument that Trump is unfit to be president. Trump “assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it,” Biden said in his presidential announcement speech a year ago. “And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.”

    The ‘very fine people’ at Charlottesville: Who were they?

    The US could be at a cross roads, law and order or a civil war, if the latter then even RickA and MikeN may not escape the consequences.

    1. Just as Brexit was very much an English – not British – vote and now presents an existential threat to the ‘United’ Kingdom, so with the American right and its agenda.

      For the first time in my life I take seriously the possibility that the American Union is threatened. Perhaps ‘States rights’ will come to have a very different meaning in due course as the Union is increasingly dismembered by fundamental incompatibility between progressive and regressive demographics.

    2. Historically people in power in the US have long worked to cause troubles between the poor and different minority groups. With the current demographic changes coming down the road, where whites will no longer be the majority group, the plan seems to have shifted to destroying all of the traditional social and political structures they leveraged so that “those people” won’t have access to them – which is what rickA’s rants have been pushing for some time.

      So yes, the right does seem intent on doing severe damage to society and the US structure as a whole.

    3. With the current demographic changes coming down the road, where whites will no longer be the majority group, the plan seems to have shifted to destroying all of the traditional social and political structures they leveraged so that “those people” won’t have access to them – which is what rickA’s rants have been pushing for some time.

      Yup, the burn the ladders, keep ‘them’ down strategy is visible over several thousand miles of open water. And we are going 51st State as fast as our leaders can paddle. Perhaps one day, we might even catch up with America.

  65. BBD, James Madison famously said that “The country [US] should be run by a better set of men”, and was explicitly referring to wealthy white males. The ruling elites have always held democracy in contempt, because it gives a voice to the weak, the poor and the powerless when the rich believe that it serves them (or should). This is why the Bilderburg Group and the Trilateral Commission formed in the 1970s at both ends of the elite political spectrum, because of the threat of democracy to those with power and privilege. The current incarnation of the Republican Party are taking the words fascism and dictatorship to their natural conclusion.

    Never in my life have I seen a party in the US so brazenly and openly reveal their contempt for democracy and their demand to have unlimited, open-ended power as the Republican Party. Heck, they don’t even attempt to conceal it. Despite this, they know that they can count on the significant number of angry, loud, drooling, violent, virtual brownshirt-wearing sycophants in Trump’s riled up base to support it. Trump deliberately pushes their buttons with everything he says, inciting them to deeper and deeper hatred of his opponents and to more and more slavishly worship at his alter of outright lies, conspiracy theories and bombastic vitriol. As is becoming increasingly clear, Trump’s mental instability mirrors that of Jimmy Jones, but this garners him more and more loyalty from his deluded base (just as it did with Jones). It is an unraveling personality cult, but this time the cult is led by the most powerful man on Earth. It is truly terrifying. I never figured out until recently how deeply rooted and pathological Trump’s narcissism is. The first real hints were in his complete lack of humility or ability to admit doing anything wrong. He is unable to see any flaws in what he says or does – not even a tiny bit. He gave himself and his administration an A+ recently for handling of the pandemic. In fact, he would have given himself an A+ no matter how many people had died. He sees only perfection and greatness in himself, no matter what he says or does. He thinks that he is beyond reproach – and his cultists worship him for it. Many people of course are intelligent enough to see through Trump’s rhetoric in horror, but the two sides are completely polarized. This is a recipe for horrific violence if, as is increasingly looking likely, he loses. The Republican Party clearly believes that it should be in power indefinitely. In Trump they have the leader who believes that he is perfect, and because of that he cannot lose. Trump derangement syndrome runs through much of the US heartland. Even from over here in Europe it is a chilling spectacle to behold.

    1. The ruling elites have always held democracy in contempt, because it gives a voice to the weak, the poor and the powerless when the rich believe that it serves them (or should).

      Yup. Democracy is socialism. So not popular with robber barons of any era.

      Trump derangement syndrome runs through much of the US heartland. Even from over here in Europe it is a chilling spectacle to behold.

      Europe cannot be complacent. The US-style populist, authoritarian right is gaining ground. Poland, Hungary, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Holland.


  66. MikeN, you don’t look very hard, do you:

    From Noam Chomsky (1998)

    Most relevant:

    ‘The main designer, furthermore, was an astute political thinker James Madison, whose views largely prevailed. In the debates on the Constitution, Madison pointed out that if elections in England “were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place,” giving land to the landless. The Constitutional system must be designed to prevent such injustice and “secure the permanent interests of the country,” which are property rights.

    Among Madisonian scholars, there is a consensus that “the Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period,” delivering power to a “better sort” of people and excluding those who were not rich, well born, or prominent from exercising political power (Lance Banning). The primary responsibility of government is “to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority,” Madison declared. That has been the guiding principle of the democratic system from its origins until today.

    In public discussion, Madison spoke of the rights of minorities in general, but it is quite clear that he had a particular minority in mind “the minority of the opulent.” Modern political theory stresses Madison’s belief that “in a just and a free government the rights both of property and of persons ought to be effectually guarded.” But in this case too it is useful to look at the doctrine more carefully. There are no rights of property, only rights to property that is, rights of persons with property. Perhaps I have a right to my car, but my car has no rights. The right to property also differs from others in that one person’s possession of property deprives another of that right if I own my car, you do not; but in a just and free society, my freedom of speech would not limit yours. The Madisonian principle, then, is that government must guard the rights of persons generally, but must provide special and additional guarantees for the rights of one class of persons, property owners.

    Madison foresaw that the threat of democracy was likely to become more severe over time because of the increase in “the proportion of those who will labor under all the hardships of life, and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings.” They might gain influence, Madison feared. He was concerned by the “symptoms of a leveling spirit” that had already appeared, and warned “of the future danger” if the right to vote would place “power over property in hands without a share in it.” Those “without property, or the hope of acquiring it, cannot be expected to sympathize sufficiently with its rights,” Madison explained. His solution was to keep political power in the hands of those who “come from and represent the wealth of the nation,” the “more capable set of men,” with the general public fragmented and disorganized’.

    1. From your link Jeffh:

      A particularly instructive example is the reaction to Guatemala’s first experiment with democracy. In this case the secret record is partially available, so we know a good deal about the thinking that guided policy. In 1952 the CIA warned that the “radical and nationalist policies” of the government had gained “the support or acquiescence of almost all Guatemalans.” The government was “mobilizing the hitherto politically inert peasantry” and creating “mass support for the present regime” by means of labor organization, agrarian reform,…

      As we know the USA through the CIA meddled with Guateamala, deposing Arbinez, on behalf of the United Fruit Company who didn’t like the move to end the exploitative labour practices.

      Guatemala, of course, was not the only Latin American country to feel the effect of covert CIA operations. El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina to name but few.

      See ‘Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala’ by Stephen Schlesinger, Stephen Kinzer


      ‘Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism’ by Greg Grandin.

      Covers of the above appear in this montage of books on related topics laid out as a repeating bookmark A4 landscape.

      Imperialism bookmark

      Now for something different, an image of the Brachypelma boehmei ‘Mexican fireleg’ that lives with me.

      Further up thread I linked in images of Nhandu chromatus -Brazilian Red & White, White Striped Birdeater and Poecilotheria metallica, Gooty sapphire ornamental that also reside here with a few other exotics.

    2. That quote was in my link. I saw it, but didn’t think it meant, ‘rule by a better set of men’, but rather protecting people’s property from being taken from them by the mob. Madison predicted the Communists 100 years ahead of time.

  67. MikeN please desist. Madison was in contempt of democracy because it gives a voice to the poor and destitute. He, like contemporary elites, was terrified that the masses may embrace a more egalitarian society that prevents the ruling elites hoarding disproportionate power and wealth. You call this communism? Anyone who suggests that there is something wrong in a world where the richest 8 men have more accumulated wealth than the poorest 3.5 billion? Your comment is simply baseless, a product of your profound ignorance. Hardly surprising since you are one of the idiot twins on here.

  68. “Madison predicted the Communists 100 years ahead of time.

    Ha ha ha ha.

    Wait, I’m guessing you’re serious. Let me laugh harder and generate more scorn for your ignorance.

  69. …the travesty of Donald Trump’s nomination of her successor.

    Trump announced on Saturday his pick of Amy Coney Barrett, an extremely conservative judge known by some as “the female Antonin Scalia” to replace Ginsburg, setting the stage for a likely confirmation vote whose “impact could be dire”, Oliver explained.

    Coney-Barret’s eyes look a little wild.

    This is about the dismantling of any lingering democracy and effectively the end of the power of the USA. How come? Because every empire that preceded that of the USA crashed and burned once religious fundamentalism took hold.

    This happened to the Greeks, Romans, Byzantium, and the Islamic world. That latter, the scientific centre of the world during the Dark Ages in Europe, until fundamentalism took over.

    The USA after a post WW2 recovery in educational standards and scientific literacy had a populace that in greater measure than now could digest the information received and engage analytical thought.

    “The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies” By Susan Jacoby

    Should be read to grasp how and why education in the USA for the majority is now inadequate for citizens to have informed opinion, the informed opinion which Thomas Jefferson stated as being so important for a stable democracy. I figure the founding fathers are now getting dizzy in their graves.

    I have the 2008 edition having just ordered the 2018 update to be more current.

    Now the next book has been looked at by Greg here, go read about it, then read it.

    “The War on Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It” by Sawn Otto


    ‘The Demon-Haunted World’ by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

    still speaks to us despite being twenty five years old.

  70. Mike, you have been on a losing streak for quite some time on this thread. Best give it a rest before it becomes overtly masochistic.

    1. You still haven’t answered if it’s possible for antibody levels to drop for a disease for which someone has developed immunity.

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