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Title: Governor DeWine Suppresses Data Disproving COVID-19 Policies
Source: [None]
URL Source: https://ohiostatehousenews.com/2020 ... -disproving-covid-19-policies/
Published: May 26, 2020
Author: Jack Winsdor
Post Date: 2020-05-28 22:52:00 by A K A Stone
Keywords: None
Views: 36
Comments: 1

Ohio Governor DeWine, Director of Health Acton and Lt. Governor Husted started handling the Coronavirus outbreak with faulty modeling, while ignoring critical real-time data. Now the trio suppresses critical data. Ohioans: aware, enraged and bracing to fight for the truth.

The backdrop: COVID-19 first made an indelible mark on Ohioans when Governor Mike DeWine canceled the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival, which was schedule to start March 5.

On March 16, Governor DeWine backed a lawsuit seeking to postpone the primary election scheduled for the next day. The suit was filed by Ohioans who feared voting in person would expose voters and poll workers to COVID- 19.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Fry declined to postpone the election, but Fry’s decision did not stop DeWine. In the late hours of election eve, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton declared a healthcare emergency to force polls closed. The emergency powers are granted by the Ohio Revised Code and have been in effect since March 16.

On March 23, DeWine announced a two-week shelter-in-place plan, made legally binding by Acton’s emergency order. By that date, the world had seen horrifying videos and read data on the COVID-19 outbreak in northern Italy.

If the Governor’s announcement and citizens’ compliance constitutes a social contract, as DeWine has said in press conferences, then that contract was inked on March 23, 2020. DeWine promised to make decisions based on the best science, medicine, and data, and to deploy all necessary resources to flatten the curve and ramp hospital capacity. DeWine and his team also pledged to be transparent with data. Ohioans committed to stay home to flatten the curve and buy hospitals time.

Early data flawed Nearly a week before the stay-at-home order was issued, Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson modeled the COVID-19 outbreak. Ferguson’s model became the point of reference forleaders across the globe, influencing lockouts and sheltering policies.

Ferguson himself backtracked on his model’s accuracy just weeks later after the projections tanked. The swing and miss on COVID-19 is not Ferguson’s first projection whiff. Ferguson predicted 200 million would die from the bird flu in 2005–deaths totaled 455. In 2009 Ferguson predicted 65,000 people would die in the U.K. from swine flu—the death toll was 392.

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton delivered early projections and modeling based on Ferguson’s wildly inaccurate Imperial College model. Acton guessed 100,000 Ohioans were already infected when she introduced her modeling. She also projected the COVID outbreak would peak in April and overwhelm hospitals, produce 62,000 new cases a day and infect 40% to 70% of Ohioans. Like Ferguson’s model, Acton’s projections were exponentially inaccurate.

The ODH model was revised twice, the first time revising new cases per day to 10,000, the second revision ratcheting new cases down to 2,000 new per day. Outside of sampling a full prison with thousands of inmates, Ohio has never seen more than 100 cases in any given day throughout the health emergency.

Where Acton erred on projections, Ohioans extended grace because COVID-19 was pitched as a novel virus without clear data on contagiousness, how it spreads, who is at risk and how many people would need hospital and intensive care.

Up-front information did exist—information directly related to COVID-19, and studies related to the secondary impact of shut-it-all-down policies.

Early data ignored Whether willfully or ignorantly, important information was ignored. The information that could have been used to direct public policy and mitigation strategies.

Information out of Italy and China revealed two critical factors DeWine and Acton could have used to laser-focus their response to Coronavirus: 1) people aged 79 and older with other diseases are most at risk for serious health outcomes, especially death; 2) People above 30 with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease were at accelerated risk, though much lower than risks to the age ranges 60-80 years and older. No one below 30 died from Coronavirus.

This information was clear even before Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton signed the first stay-at-home order. The perils of economic fallout and sheltering-in-place were also documented for consideration as the administration formed policies.

After the first SARS outbreak, Studies on the secondary impact to mental health showed serious distress among those quarantined, causing PTSD and depression when the sick were quarantined for just two weeks or less. The 2008 financial crisis spiked suicides due to unemployment: rates were four- times higher; a 1% increase in unemployment resulted in a 1% increase in suicides among males.

Instead of using a scalpel to carve-out policies to target the most vulnerable, alleviate economic impact and spare the uninfected from sheltering, DeWine, Acton and Husted did the opposite—they swung a wrecking ball.

What we know today about COVID-19, we knew in March. Regardless, Acton, DeWine and Husted implemented draconian measures and then defended their decisions by marketing the doom and gloom from the Spanish Flu pandemic, which happened over 100 years earlier.

Acton shared a tale of two cities: Philadelphia and St. Louis. Philadelphia was not as diligent about sheltering, resulting in higher infections and deaths. St. Louis was compliant and produced fewer infections and deaths. Ohioans were encouraged to be like St. Louis.

According to the CDC, sheltering-in-place, social distancing, disinfecting, and practicing good hygiene made sense in 1917—it was, essentially, all the world had to combat the H1N1 outbreak. Influenza vaccines did not yet exist, nor did antibiotics for secondary infections (secondary infections drove the second surge of the Spanish Flu). Pharmaceutical interventions for therapy also did not exist.

The Spanish flu killed children under five (5), healthy adults aged 20-40 and elderly over age 65. A much larger percentage of the population was at risk of death during the 1917 pandemic than people in 2020exposed to COVID- 19.

Technology, communication, vaccines, therapeutic drugs and overall healthcare have made leaps and bounds forward since 1917 and have enabled us to better navigate the dangers of a pandemic.

We did our part If early models and comparisons to the 1917 pandemic did anything to Ohioans, they manipulated emotions and produced compliance. And perhaps that was the intended consequence.

People stayed home. Owners of nonessential businesses voluntarily walked away from livelihoods. Employees worked from home, while caring for their kids and becoming their ad hoc teachers. More than a million people accepted unemployment and waited, patiently, for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to catch up.

Hospital capacity, ICU capacity and positive cases never came close to embarrassingly inaccurate projections. The health system we set out to save by flattening the curve has actually been negatively impacted—the broad cancellation of all “elective procedures” including things like cancer screenings has led to furloughs, layoffs and loss of healthcare capacity due to the economic consequence of not having enough patients—COVID or otherwise.

Plus, there is a broader health consequence to the mental, emotional and physical health of Ohioans that is just now starting to be understood. Much has changed since March 23. One thing has not: DeWine’s commitment to draconian measures in the face of civil opposition and contradictory data. DeWine decided to double down on the measures and vehemently rejects input that goes against his administration’s models, ideas and policies.

Legislators stepped up opposition to Governor DeWine during an April caucus call. According to two legislators who wished to remain anonymous, DeWine was not only closed to different views, he was defensive and volatile, yelling at the elected officials. At one point he shrugged off questions and opposing data as conspiracy theory. In early May, amidst rapidly growing economic distress and civil dissension, the Ohio General Assembly and Senate began drafting legislation designed to limit the Health Director’s powers to 14 day before involving the legislature. Legislation also sought to reduce fines and criminal penalties waged against people who defy Acton’s orders. Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 55 were subsequently drawn up, but even before they reached a vote, DeWine threatened to veto any legislation designed to limit Acton’s authority.

Suppressed data: Daily death totals During each presser, Amy Acton will review the Ohio COVID-19 dashboard. You may note that Acton reports deaths as “deaths reported in the last 24 hours.”

Deaths reported in the last 24 hours are different than the actual number of deaths in the last 24 hours. The number reported is almost always inaccurate and inflated because it includes deaths over several days, perhaps as far back as January.

The practice of using “reported” data causes the public to perceive more cases and more deaths than are occurring in the present. The practice is confusing the press, the public and at times even the Governor and Dr. Acton seem confused.

On May 23, the Ohio Department of Health indicated there were 84 reported deaths over the past 24 hours. However, the real number of deaths totaled seven (7), a difference of 77.

This 77 death inaccuracy was found only after reviewing the CSV file available for download on the state dashboard site The CSV file lists the accurate daily number of deaths—and can be found after much digging. Suppressing the daily death totals is dangerous. Inflated and inaccurate data gets picked up and reported by unsuspecting news outlets. That, in fact, happened on May 23 when an Ohio media outlet reported the 84 deaths under the headline: Deaths more than double the previous 24-hour period. Misrepresenting the death total is not a new practice.

During a press conference on April 14 Governor DeWine repeatedly claimed 50 people died over the previous 24 hours. The actual number of reported deaths was five (5). When confronted with the disparity, DeWine deferred to Amy Acton who said, “I think it might be a reporting lag.”

R-naught of COVID-19 in general population The r-naught factor is a number indicating viral infectiousness. The r- naught (often expressed as R0) tells you how many people will, on average, be infected by one infected person. For example: if COVID-19 had an R0 of four, one infected person would, on average, infect four other people.

The r-naught of COVID-19 has become a data point of interest during Governor DeWine’s daily pressers. Acton projects COVID-19 had an original r-naught of between 2.5 to 5.0. Acton and DeWine reported a current r-naught of 1 during one press conference and .8 during another. DeWine warns if the r-naught ascends above the 1.0-1.2 range, it will set off alarm bells. Translated: an r-naught above 1.2 could trigger a rollback—shuttering businesses, locking Ohioans out of public spaces, further slowing a re-opening, while increasing pressure to comply with backdoor controls such as testing and contact tracing.

Given the importance of this measure, it makes sense to dig into how it is reported. Not every part of the state has the same demography, population density, and the potential for a high secondary surge. The now famous ping pong ball commercial is a powerful visual, but it is based on faulty assumptions.

The video shows how one infection sets in motion a massive chain reaction around you. The problem: not everyone is equidistant from each other; not everyone will contract the virus; many will not spread the virus; serious symptoms and death will not result in over 99% of cases, once symptomatic and asymptomatic infected are counted in the mix. The video is a bogus visual representation of the spread of Coronavirus.

One solid first step to making the r-naught more meaningful requires carving-out congregate living data sets. Extracting, measuring and independently dealing with people who live in these close quarters will produce not only a more accurate r-naught for the general population, it will also produce policies that save lives inside prisons, nursing homes and long term care facilities.

Mixing congregate living with statistics from the general population skews how infectious the virus may be to the general population. A spike in congregate living settings could equal a clampdown on the general population —it would be like punishing the entire class if one child is acting out. Equally irresponsible: keeping images like the ping pong video and mixed data sets in play. These serve misinformation and, frankly, panic people.

Common sense can derive that if the current r-naught is 1:1 with mixed data sets, the general population is experiencing a contagiousness that is a fraction of what occurs in congregate settings. What may be discovered once the congregate living numbers are backed out is that the r-naught is likely a fraction of the current 1:1 estimate. And that fractional expression would be a better basis for mitigation and policy decisions.

On top of separating data sets for congregate living it also makes sense to look at each of the 88 counties differently—80 of the 88 counties will likely have r-naught values that are miniscule. Consequently, their differences should be honored with varied policies that apply to people in those locations.

Nursing home deaths Just two weeks ago Amy Acton estimated death rates in nursing homes comprised approximately 20% of the Ohio death toll. As reporters and citizen journalists investigated that claim, it was discovered that confirmed deaths were double Acton’s estimate. Continued digging reveals that, as of May 21, confirmed deaths in nursing homes total 79% of the state total.

The errors seem to stem from mixing data sets, slow responses and an overall lack of focus on critical information. Failing to dive deep into data provided by nursing homes and other congregate care facilities may account for the utterly irresponsible handling of nursing home infections. Mixing data sets from congregate settings (information specific to nursing homes and other congregate facilities) for reporting and consideration bypassed a crucial step in checks and balances. In fact, the mixing is a fatal error.

Nursing homes and prisons produce extremely disproportionate infection rates —and disproportionate deaths in the case of nursing homes. What if the state would have previously segregated the data sets and treated them differently— how many lives could have been saved in long term care facilities, jails and prisons?

The state would be wiser to extract congregate living numbers and to begin dealing with the disproportionately large number of infections, hospitalizations, ICU visits and deaths in these congregate

communities.

The slow response to directives can best be seen in the seven-day delay in DeWine’s response to a directive from Vice President Mike Pence that called on all governors to perform testing in all their long term care facilities— all nursing home staff and patients. Pence announced the directive on May 12, but it wasn’t until May 19, a week later, that Governor Mike DeWine took the initiative to ramp testing in nursing homes—deploying the National Guard to aid in testing.

In the elderly, the time from COVID-19 onset to death is estimated at 14 days; seven days is a matter of life or death.

Information on how to best treat nursing home residents who contract COVID- 19 is hotly contested. Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN, a 71-year-old female, contracted Coronavirus despite masking, wearing gloves and following suggested protocols. Ball’s husband, a 73-year-old male, also contracted COVID-19. They both recovered.

During an interview, Kay Ball said during her visit to the hospital, the drug hydroxychloroquine was administered. Ball began feeling better almost immediately. Bell also pointed out that she received a shot in her stomach to decrease the incidence of blood clotting; she was also given zinc and high levels of vitamin C.

Whether there was one treatment, or a combination of many, there seems to be a growing body of evidence on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, zinc and vitamin C. There is no better time to untangle the facts surrounding the efficacy of therapeutic drugs and to cut the bureaucracy surrounding their delivery, where appropriate.

During the May 21 press conference, DeWine, et.al. seemed to pivot away from primary COVID-19 issues, such as nursing homes, and toward larger social issues: housing, education and transportation.

The Governor is trying to spin-up an entire social movement that takes tremendous time, energy, money and effort—and doing it while our deadliest problem goes largely unaddressed. What is gasping about the transition to magnanimous social issues is the fact that the nursing home crisis is condensed to less than one percent of our population; yet it remains a problem without a solution. Residents in nursing homes are the most immobile in our communities, they are easily reached, treated and can be saved with a laser-focus.

Instead, we now turn our attention and money to gigantic initiatives DeWine’s team will try to apply to the 44,825 square-miles comprising Ohio and its almost 12 million citizens. There may be no bigger sign of incompetence in our current mindset and decision making.

Antibody testing In early April, Amy Acton announced the Ohio Department of Health, with aid from Celexa, would conduct a 1,200-person random antibody test sample in Ohio. The purpose of the antibody testing was to determine how many Ohioans have COVID-19 antibodies. This study could potentially tell us much about how far the virus has spread—especially since we now know it was here in early January (if not sooner), at a time when there were not mitigation strategies in place. WMFD-TV has repeatedly requested copies of contracts with Celexa and information on the antibody testing and information has not yet been provided.

Antibody tests could undermine the perceived severity of COVID-19 in Ohio; tests could also prove how much more work there is to do to prepare to live with the virus. Either way, this is either a commitment unfulfilled or information suppressed.

Average age of death During nearly every press conference from March through May, Acton would state “average age of cases was about 50” but she has yet to publicly say that the average age of death is 81.

Why? A legislator, who wishes to remain anonymous says “they [Ohio Department of Health] don’t want information that would cause people to not obey their orders.”

Surface spread and asymptomatic spread Since the beginning of Ohio’s mitigation efforts, the CDC website has contained information explaining that viral spread on surfaces may be possible, yet not likely, and not the main way the virus spreads. Not a single case has been discovered through surface spread; yet Acton took time during a press conference to inaccurately explain how germs “move” across a counter top using a swiss cheese mind illustration.

On May 14, the Director’s Dine Safe Ohio Order was issued, extending mandates for restaurants and bars. In that order was language from the CDC. “The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest) however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms although that is not the main way the virus spreads.”

New studies indicate asymptomatic spread is not occurring. Instead of discussing the studies and possible implications to our daily living, the administration continues to double down on masks and other measures, while trumpeting the message that asymptomatic spread can kill grandmas and those most vulnerable.

Lake County Judge Eugene Lucci’s decision Lucci’s decision was treated like anything else that challenges the Governor’s direction, DeWine downplayed a court decision during the Thursday, May 21 press conference. DeWine said that all the decision did was shorten mandates by six days. Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci actually said: “The director (Acton) has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms … She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive manner without any procedural safeguards.”

The judge ruled unconstitutional DeWine and Acton’s rules that shut down businesses and kept people locked in their homes. The phrase “all businesses” means just that—all businesses. ntibody testing In early April, Amy Acton announced the Ohio Department of Health, with aid from Celexa, would conduct a 1,200-person random antibody test sample in Ohio. The purpose of the antibody testing was to determine how many Ohioans have COVID-19 antibodies. This study could potentially tell us much about how far the virus has spread—especially since we now know it was here in early January (if not sooner), at a time when there were not mitigation strategies in place.

WMFD-TV has repeatedly requested copies of contracts with Celexa and information on the antibody testing and information has not yet been provided. Antibody tests could undermine the perceived severity of COVID-19 in Ohio; tests could also prove how much more work there is to do to prepare to live with the virus. Either way, this is either a commitment unfulfilled or information suppressed.

Average age of death During nearly every press conference from March through May, Acton would state “average age of cases was about 50” but she has yet to publicly say that the average age of death is 81. Why? A legislator, who wishes to remain anonymous says “they [Ohio Department of Health] don’t want information that would cause people to not obey their orders.”

Surface spread and asymptomatic spread Since the beginning of Ohio’s mitigation efforts, the CDC website has contained information explaining that viral spread on surfaces may be possible, yet not likely, and not the main way the virus spreads. Not a single case has been discovered through surface spread; yet Acton took time during a press conference to inaccurately explain how germs “move” across a counter top using a swiss cheese mind illustration.

On May 14, The directors Dine Safe Ohio Order was issued, extending mandates for restaurants and bars. In that order was language from the CDC. “The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest) however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms although that is not the main way the virus spreads.” New studies indicate asymptomatic spread is not occurring. Instead of discussing the studies and possible implications to our daily living, the administration continues to double down on masks and other measures, while trumpeting the message that asymptomatic spread can kill grandmas and those most vulnerable.

Lake County Judge Eugene Lucci’s decision Lucci’s decision was treated like anything else that challenges the Governor’s direction, DeWine downplayed a court decision during the Thursday, May 21 press conference. DeWine said that all the decision did was shorten mandates by six days. Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci actually said: “The director (Acton) has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms … She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive manner without any procedural safeguards.”

The Judge ruled unconstitutional DeWine and Acton’s rules that shut down businesses and kept people locked in their homes. The phrase “all businesses” means just that—all businesses.

Information is valuable only when it is used In science an experiment starts with a hypothesis and it is either proven or disproven through experimentation. True scientists do not mold the data to a predetermined outcome.

The fact is, after approximately five months of the Coronavirus circulating in the population, approximately 300 Ohioans have died outside of prisons and nursing homes, the high majority over 70 years old.

The fact is, asymptomatic transmission is a theory and a recent study questions whether that theory is true, yet we have never heard about this study or the CDC announcement that the projected mortality rate for people under 50 is .0005, or half the mortality rate of the flu.

These things are not conspiracy theories, yet the administration has engaged in the practice of intentional selection of data to present to Ohioans— citizens who were promised data transparency and policies based on the best science.

To be clear: why DeWine is doing what he is doing is not as important right now as how he is doing what he is doing.

Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted often use sports analogies. In that vein: what makes a great football coach is the ability to adjust strategy—particularly, the ability to make halftime adjustments that prepare the team to perform at their highest potential in the second half.

Great coaches don’t neglect relevant input. Great coaches don’t double-down on losing game plans. Great coaches don’t study film from a 1917 football game and use the outdated details in the present to call offensive plays and defensive formations. Great coaches listen to their coordinators and opposing views.

The first two weeks following the March 23rd shelter-in-place revealed that 62,000 new cases a day, 40-70% infection rates and overflowing hospitals were aberrations.

DeWine didn’t adjust. In fact, he tightened the reigns of control and regulation—exacerbating the crisis.

Since the initial orders, DeWine has paid lip service to relaxing guidelines and opening the economy but the slow re-opening continues, and forced compliance for testing and contact tracing now seem tethered to our ultimate desire to be back to normal.

In fact, the administration has worked overtime to condition Ohioans to accept a new normal, hinting that there will be no freedom as we know it until a vaccine is invented and taken. The merits of these issues are for another article.

To go back to the sports analogy, in the ten weeks since lockout DeWine et.al. have been beaten by 30 points a game and now stand 0-16 on the season. Meanwhile, robust state programs are being planned for our kids’ fall education, healthcare, housing, and transportation. This is akin to a winless team preparing for an upcoming Superbowl.

Deciding what is more offensive is a toss-up. It might be ignoring a real health crisis in nursing homes and prisons that continues to infect prisoners and kill our elderly, while choosing initiatives that would be nice to have. Or, it may be sticking with decisions that will create endless negative outcomes for people, families, businesses and the economy for years to come.

Why is this happening? An advisor to the state, who requested anonymity, talked twice with high level officials inside the Ohio Department of Health and the DeWine administration. On both occasions, the advisor asked why data is suppressed and presented with a bias toward worst-case scenarios. On both occasions the advisor was told the message is packaged and delivered to change how people feel and think about Coronavirus. The end goal is to build compliance with the new normal.

Perhaps DeWine and Acton are like helicopter parents who are alarmingly controlling and overprotective of their children. Whatever the reasoning for their overreach and unconstitutional rules, the unintended consequences of their actions now threaten to make the cure worse than the virus.

But like stubbornly protective parents, DeWine and Acton may be hard to redirect. Judge Fry’s court ruling in March was ignored. Judge Lucci’s order from last week was ignored. The crew continues to ignore data and the unintended consequences of their policies.

It begs the question: will they ever be held accountable for their misrepresentation of data? Remember, on March 23 we the people of Ohio accepted a social contract and we are still waiting for the faithful delivery—but will DeWine uphold his end of the bargain?

We hear a lot about the new normal. We were doing just fine with normal: roaring economy, no state budget deficit, kids in school and protected, living life the way it is intended to be lived—in community.

Now we know that “normal” was happening while COVID-19 was here from January (if not sooner) to March 23, without: unprecedented numbers of deaths, overrun hospitals and mitigation strategies to fight the virus.

How does the new normal look? DeWine and Acton are ushering it in with their masks, social distancing, business mandates, school shutdowns, and lockouts.

The results: an estimated 2 million unemployed, more than 1,589 nursing home deaths, zero deaths under the age of 30 (but ample regulations that strap the age group), a startling number of businesses that will never re-open, and—if history repeats—a 20%-and-counting increase in suicide.

This is Jack Windsor with WMFD-TV in Mansfield. My question is for the Governor: Sir, when will the administration target real issues instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach and crossing their fingers?

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#1. To: cz82, misterwhite, tooconservative (#0)

Deaths reported in the last 24 hours are different than the actual number of deaths in the last 24 hours. The number reported is almost always inaccurate and inflated because it includes deaths over several days, perhaps as far back as January.

The practice of using “reported” data causes the public to perceive more cases and more deaths than are occurring in the present. The practice is confusing the press, the public and at times even the Governor and Dr. Acton seem confused.

On May 23, the Ohio Department of Health indicated there were 84 reported deaths over the past 24 hours. However, the real number of deaths totaled seven (7), a difference of 77.

This 77 death inaccuracy was found only after reviewing the CSV file available for download on the state dashboard site The CSV file lists the accurate daily number of deaths—and can be found after much digging. Suppressing the daily death totals is dangerous. Inflated and inaccurate data gets picked up and reported by unsuspecting news outlets. That, in fact, happened on May 23 when an Ohio media outlet reported the 84 deaths under the headline: Deaths more than double the previous 24-hour period. Misrepresenting the death total is not a new practice.

A K A Stone  posted on  2020-05-28   22:56:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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