Retired chemist. I've done a lot of chemistry that has to do with policy, particularly nuclear policy.
Cheryl Rofer has been a Balloon Juice writer since 2017.
I’ve warned before not to believe one single publication until it is confirmed by others, but this study looks solid enough, and there’s another that partially confirms it.
One of the things that has worried me most about SARS-CoV-2 is that it may not provoke robust immunity. That would leave us all vulnerable to it forever, and it would be impossible to stamp out. These studies suggest that a vaccine is possible, or at least that having had COVID-19 confers immunity. There’s no data about how long that immunity lasts, though.
Science magazine has a readable summary of the research. I’ll summarize the findings.
You can bet that virologists working on vaccines are reading these papers, and the ones whose approach is immunization through viral proteins are feeling good about them. But it’s still a long way to a vaccine.
It’s Friday after hours, so President Donald Trump has fired another Inspector General. This one, for the Department of State, apparently was investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The charges that Flynn pled guilty to.
Early warning a half-hour ago
Yes, I’m going to bigfoot MisterMix. I’m also going to say something that will probably piss off others here. I am sick to death of hearing nothing from elected Democrats when the President of the United States is fine with tens of thousands of American deaths. When that same President is destroying the Justice Department and the CDC. Where the fuck are they?
The New York Times obtained a CDC document indicating the likelihood of 3000 new deaths of COVID-19 a day by summer, and a total of 200,000 deaths or more.
The White House says
This is not a White House document nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting. This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed
Additionally, White House officials say they are using a “cubic model” prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers, led by Trump adviser Kevin Hassett. Hassett is the fellow who predicted a Dow Industrial average of 36,000 just before the tech crash. The “cubic model” is said to predict that deaths will drop to zero by May 15.
Let’s take a look at that alleged CDC document.
The header designates the presentation as being for or by the Interagency task force, for a videoteleconference (VTC) presentation. The logos for the Departments of Health and Human Services, of which CDC is a part, and the Department of Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part, appear on every slide. So it looks like an official presentation, although it might be a draft. I’ll leave out the footer on subsequent slides.
The presentation has some other interesting information, in forms useful for tracking the epidemic. Looks legit, from what I know of New Mexico’s situation.
I didn’t realize that positive test results were going down in Georgia and Florida. Good for them. We’ll see how long that holds. (I’ve left some slides out.)
Now, from the Data and Analytics Task Force (Reporters, who are these folks? And what model are they using?)
These two are marked “Official Use Only.” They are where the scary numbers come from.
We don’t know enough about the assumptions in this model to evaluate it, but the numbers don’t look that unreasonable to me, particularly with states easing restrictions. If we keep going the way we’re going now, with no big increase, we’ll hit 100,000 deaths by mid-May. That’s four months from the start. So two months more with increases from the rallies now being perpetrated by rightwing funders?
There’s more to the presentation. Check it out.
There’s a great article in Nature with graphics explaining immunity and how vaccines work. I think it was Gvg the other day who wanted more information.
I think the article is ungated. Let me know if it’s not available, and I’ll transfer the graphics here.
The Air Force released three videos of UFOs taken by pilots in flight. At the moment, three blurry videos taken through sensors we don’t know how to interpret are not the most important news out there.
I’ll admit it – my best guess is that these are artifacts in the sensors. I can’t tell you what, but I’ve seen lights in the sky and funny stuff that I could have called UFOs until I looked more closely.
Last year, we had a lot of weather balloons in the area. They are coated with aluminum and reflect a nice bright light in morning or evening. Binoculars showed what they are. I even got a photo of one.
I’ve seen lights moving in peculiar ways at night, usually through the window of a car. If I was able to try to reproduce angles and such, they turned out to be reflections. I’ve seen lights moving across the sky at night when I was looking at the stars, not through anything that could cause reflections. Those come closest to something I might declare UFOs when I don’t see the red and green wing lights. Although every time I’ve looked carefully or through binoculars, those wing lights were there.
There was a much greater flying saucer mystique when I was a kid. The reports turned out not to be spaceships. A few remained unidentified even after a few dedicated people scrutinized the largely verbal accounts. I read everything. I wanted to believe that they were really space ships. But by the time of ET, I had recognized that the likelihood of that was vanishingly small.
Dan Zak wrote an article two years ago about the people pushing this. Rich white boys again. They are probably acting in good faith. As for the military people pushing it, I’ve worked with one of the colonels involved in the “staring at goats” thing. He was not at all informed on science and didn’t learn easily. The military has its incompetents too, but it has lots of money to spread to crazy ideas.
I’m not against crazy ideas, but right now we have another priority. Let’s focus on making this world a safe place to live.
Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner