WFH WTF – The Covid Files, Day 17: One life lost is one too many

Remember when the Trumpublikkkans were crowing behind an ill-informed President Trump about how there were only a few cases and we would be through this in no time? Remember, how we were told this was all a hoax and that there was no real danger by the conservative media parroting President Trumps self-important bluster?

Now, we’re being gaslit and told that President Trump and his Trumpublikkkan cronies were always taking it seriously and that no one could have predicted it would be this bad, but, only 100,000 dead would be a success, it would be a win. Then the goalposts moved again, maybe less than 200,000 or 240,000 or even 250,000 would be having done a good job containing this.

It would not be. One death from government negligence is always one too many.

The GOP spent many years and many millions of tax dollars repeatedly investigating a very narrow, very partisan assumption of negligence for the four deaths that tragically occurred in Bengazi, Lybia during the Obama administration. It was necessary as a post-mortem to do our due diligence because those deaths were wholly unnecessary even if not for the reasons the GOP so tactlessly tried to portray.

The nation spent years investigating the role and culpability of the Bush Administration to the many thousands of deaths that occurred both in the September 11th terror attacks and the subsequent invasion of Iraq in the aftermath.

We will come to a reckoning moment with the Trump Administration’s absolute bungling of the Covid-19 pandemic as well. There’s been more than enough ink spilled trying to recount the timeline of public statements by the President and his staff in the Executive Branch for which he is always responsible for, as well as the actions of others, such as primarily GOP Governors and Mayors as well as a handful of Democrats like DeBlasio in New York City who refused to head health warnings and who’s rhetoric and lack of action ultimately caused more harm than good.

As a nation we should be thoroughly embarrassed if the death toll should reach 100,000. I’m sure the apologists will parrot the president in saying that 100,000 is less than the worst-case scenario of up to two and a half million that some models project had we done nothing. I’m sure they will try and say it’s better than the 250,000 that the goal-posts were moved toward. I’m sure they will continue gaslighting with a revisionist history that attempts to paint 100,000 dead as a best case scenario of what they could have done.

One dying from negligence is always one too many though.

And, 100,000 citizens dead in the US would be largely from negligence. Full Stop.

To put this into perspective, according to the United Nations World Population Prospects report, approximately 7,452 people die every day in the United States, which works out to roughly 2,701,000 per year. 100,000 dead from the virus works out to an average of almost 274 dead per day and would be 3.7% of the annual average death toll. It would also mean aprox 0.03% of the U.S. total population estimate (2019 at 329,450,000) would die from Covid-19.

This would place 100,000 Covid-19 deaths just outside the top-five causes of death in the United States according to the CDC statistics, generally between things like Stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s and Diabetes. It would be roughly double that of Influenza and pneumonia on that list.

Speaking of Influenza, initially the , while the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-COV-2 pathogen was incorrectly compared to the flu.

Influenza-related deaths from all strains was 34,200 in the 2018-2019 CDC reported cycle, while the previous reporting cycle of 2017-2018 the CDC tallied 61,099 deaths, and the cycle previous to that in 2016-2017 was 38,230 deaths. It would take three years of typical influenza related deaths to reach the proposed acceptable 100,000 death toll mentioned above. The high end of our three year snapshot in 2017-18 represents about 0.018% of the average US population ~325,700,000 died at the time or about half of what Covid-19 would cause at 100,000 deaths.

Comparatively, the outbreak of Covid-19 would historically fall below these pandemics if it only reaches 100,000 deaths in the U.S.:

1918 flu pandemic, generally regarded to have been the Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, resulted in ~675,000 total U.S. deaths over the course of the initial outbreak and subsequent recurrences lasting until about 1921, meaning about 0.634% of the average US population ~106,461,000 died at the time.

1889 flu pandemic, generally regarded to have been the Influenza A virus subtype H2N2 or H3N8, resulted in ~100,000 total U.S. deaths over the course of the initial outbreak and subsequent recurrences lasting until 1895, meaning about 0.158% of the average US population of ~62,979,800 died at the time.

But would easily eclipse these more recent influenza pandemics that occurred with more modern medical interventions and government led responses

1957 flu pandemic, generally regarded to have been the Influenza A virus subtype H2N2, resulted in ~70,000 U.S. deaths over the course of the initial outbreak and subsequent recurrences lasting until about 1959, meaning about of the average US population of died at the time.

1968 flu pandemic, generally regarded to have been the Influenza A virus subtype H3N2, resulted in ~34,000 deaths over the course of the initial outbreak and subsequent recurrences lasting until about 1970, meaning about of the average US population of died at the time

2009 flu pandemic, generally regarded to have been the Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, resulted in ~12,000 deaths over the course of the initial outbreak and subsequent recurrences lasting until 2010, meaning about of the average US population of died at the time.

Influenza, however bad it may be, wasn’t nearly as mismanaged as one of the other major recent pandemics. Much of the early death toll could have been avoided if not for lax government involvement in tracking the disease and providing assistance for the pandemic both in the medical community and within the most affected sub-populations of citizens and the continued deaths come at the expense of Government’s continued lack of serious intervention to stop it’s spread as well as aid in the recovery of those afflicted. This unmitigated disaster of a Government response is mostly associated with the Reagan Administration but others including both Bush Sr. and Clinton deserve some ongoing blame as well as the most recent upticks occurring under Trump. That would, of course, be AIDS:

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome caused by the human immunodeficiency virus: First clinically observed in 1981 in the United States, however increased presence of Pneumocystis jirovecii, Kaposi’s sarcoma and Lymphatic issues related to compromised immunity which are common health complications to AIDS patients began being observed as early at 1966 in the United States. Reporting on deaths didn’t informally begin until about 1984, but the first known death in the U.S. is widely believed to have been Robert Rayford in 1969. Reporting didn’t reach “consistent reliability” until about 1987 which 13,329 confirmed AIDS related deaths. In 2017, the most recent year of reporting on Hiv.gov states there were 16,350 AIDs related deaths. At its peak in reporting in the early 1990s more than 50,000 people a year in the US may have died from AIDS related causes. The true number of deaths over the more than 50 years of the disease in the U.S. (and around the world) are unknown.

Disease isn’t the only thing that kills the innocent in the United States though. Terrorism has had it’s hand at causing one of the largest recent death tolls in U.S. memory

2,977 deaths in the September 11th Terrorist Attacks
15 FBI Agents, as of 2018, subsequently died due to 9/11 related health complications according to the agency
170 firefighters, as of 2018, subsequently died due to 9/11 related health complications according to Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York
221 police officers, as of 2018, subsequently died due to 9/11 related health complications according to the NYC PD and Policemens Benevolent Association of New York.
100 “city” personnel (non-emergency/first-responders), as of 2013, subsequently died due to what are believed to be 9/11 related health complications according to a review of records from the likes of the Sanitation Department, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, etc.
204 “rescue and recovery workers,” as of 2008, subsequently died due to what are believed to be 9/11 related health complications according to the New York State Department of Health

If you were wondering, there’s no consistent count of civilian deaths related to the attacks. The 9/11 Victims Fund and several not-for-profits related to victims have been trying for years to document potentially linked deaths based on the known health issues, and estimate suicides among survivors and their families due to PTSD, but the numbers are wildly all over the place. Anywhere from 1,500 in one source to potentially over 10,000 of related deaths from another.

Needless to say, the death toll being discussed from COVID-19 will surpass the entirety of the U.S. domestic death toll that could be generally related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As you’ll see below, you could include the immediate death toll of the Afgan and Iraq wars on top of this as a response to 9/11 and still not reach the number. Furthermore, you could include related deaths (PTSD related suicides among service members and their families, post-war health related deaths not included in non-combat death numbers, etc) it still doesn’t reach the COVID-19 death toll being discussed.

Since the Terror Attacks of September 11th there have been very few non-domestic terrorist deaths in the United States, so even adding those numbers in has a negligible affect on the total. This might be one of the few things the Federal Government seems to be good at, then again, they’d had a pretty good track record before 9/11 with it as well so it’s not like post-9/11 is some kind of improvement per se.

Furthermore, if we include recent domestic terrorism, hate crime mass-shooter and other pre-meditated and organized attacks on civilians that result in multiple deaths per instance we’re still only talking about a couple of thousand people over the course of the last five years and only about double that over the last nearly 20. Many, if not most of these deaths are preventable with even a nominal amount of Government intervention to try and avoid them but for any number of reasons the Federal Government in particular, especially over the last few years, continues to be negligent in reducing these threats.

War is another way in which large numbers of people die at the hands of government. Debatable as to how many of these soldiers are dying of their own volition as recruiting techniques over the years have been pretty controversial and the excuses for sending troops to combat zones have been questionable, at best, as well.

Comparatively, it’s over nine times the number of deaths during the major U.S. military engagements in the modern post-Cold War era:

~10,595 dead during the Wars of Oil and Terrorism
292 U.S. led coalition soldier deaths post-1990 in the American led-attacks during Desert Storm/Persian Gulf War
2,440 U.S. military deaths post-2001 invasion, plus 1,720 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities in the War in Afghanistan
4,496 U.S. military deaths in the initial post-2003 invasion, plus 69 additional with the resumption of hostilities post-2014, plus 1,554 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities in the War in Iraq
8 U.S. military deaths, plus 17 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities in the post-2014 American intervention in the Syrian Civil War

Comparatively, it’s in-line with the number of deaths during the U.S. military engagements during the Cold War:

~103,703 dead during the Wars of Anti-communism
54,246 U.S. military deaths post-1953 involvement in the Korean War
58,318 U.S. military deaths post-1955 involvement in Vietnam/Second Indochina War
4 U.S. military deaths as part of the 1961 United States led involvment in the Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion
44 U.S. military deaths post-1965 in the United States intervention in the Dominican Civil War
43 U.S. military deaths post-1966 in the Korean Pensisula DMZ Conflict
19 U.S. military deaths post-1983 in the United States invasion of Grenada
29 U.S. led coalition soldier deaths post-1989 in the American led Invasion of Panama

It takes going back to a time when sending American Citizen to die in War that represents a direct and dire need for combat to find totals that would eclipse the estimated effects of the COVID-19 deaths:

~407,300 World War II, U.S. deaths for all military related causes over the

And, while the US population is much larger now than it was during WWI, it should be notable that the raw totals then would be in line with the “winning” scenario now, sadly:

~116,708 World War I, U.S. deaths for all military related causes

There’s no way to justify 100,000 US deaths attributed to Covid-19. And, that’s assuming all Covid-19 death’s are correctly attributed to the disease and some partisanship doesn’t result in calling testing positive for Covid-19 incidental to some other medical condition the person might have had, or mislabling Covid-19 as influenza or phenomia, etc.

Thinking through all of this made me want to listen to Hip Hop today. There’s always been some underlying socio-political tilt to great hip hop and there’s no escaping why when you look at the genre’s origins. Rap music, graffiti art, scratching, dancing, etc where all born out of communities trying to express their identity and part of that identity came from being collateral damage to White Conservative America’s needs. Covid-19 for them is just another example of this now, and something privileged white folk might get a peek at because most of them are collateral damage for rich conservative men anyhow.

That being said, tried to keep a balance of stuff that’s fun to listen along to and poignant shit that fits my mood. Spun individual artist catalogs at random, occassionally a few full records, as noted:

Run D.M.C. including Raising Hell in its entirety (see below)
Common
Public Enemy including It Takes a Nation of Millions in its entirety
Kendrik Lamar
NWA including Straight Outta Compton in its entirety
oddisee
Talib Kweli
KRS-One including Life in its entirety
Ice-T
and the Black Star record I have

Vinyl today was Run D.M.C. as noted above, LL Cool J’s 14 Shots and a shitty radio comp with Grandmaster Flash and some other stuff on it.

About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
This entry was posted in business commentary, Entertainment, music, Opinion, parenting, the Covid Files, WFHWTF. Bookmark the permalink.

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