What He Said

“If every day, two jumbo jets would drop from the sky and kill everybody, don’t you think that everybody would be in a panic?”

NYT quoting Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University, referring to the death toll in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic.

US COVID-19 Case Rate Reported to the CDC in the Last 7 Days, by State/Territory (cases per 100K)

US COVID-19 Death Rate Reported to the CDC in the Last 7 Days, by State/Territory (deaths per 100K)

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10 Responses to What He Said

  1. Eric says:

    It’s not healthy to panic over the common cold.

  2. Trite but true as the common cold doesn’t kill people

  3. Eric says:

    Truth be told, it’s not healthy to panic about anything else for that matter.

  4. Vic says:

    Yet almost 500,000 people die from smoking every year and State Governments, rather than consider this a real problem to be solved, consider it to be a big pile of money to be claimed. Not to mention in the private suit sector. If you get called for jury duty these days, thanks to a judge in Tampa (as I recall), the likelihood is that you will be potentially tapped for a tobacco case that will last months and make millions and millions for lawyers on the back of someone’s death.

    I don’t personally smoke, and figure it’s not my business if someone does, but let’s not pretend that “things that kill in huge numbers” is the be all end all of what Government cares about.

    • I am so tired of transparently poor arguments like this. Please stop. The deaths of smokers are nothing like the deaths from COVID as the smoker is the one who controlled his/her own risky behavior (modulo addiction, advertising, lies about toxicity for decades). But it’s smokers who make up the large majority of that death rate you quote, not 2nd hand smoke victims.

      There is, yes, some limited similarity to 2nd hand smoking deaths in that the smoker imposes the risk on another, just like the transmitter of COVID does to the victim, but the lethality is very different — and by the way we increasingly regulate workplaces and other public locations to forbid smoking in order to prevent those risks.

      As noted many times before here, the regulatory issue is people infecting others. Which is why mask-wearing is important, and a fit subject for regulation, although one might debate whether this is most ideally a state or federal matter.

      • Eric says:

        Your value judgment about the distinction is inherently arbitrary.

        • It’s arbitrary to say it’s even more clearly legitimate to prevent people harming others than it is to prevent them harming themselves? Really?

          Do you mean therefore to assert both classes of harms are equally legitimate subjects of regulation (a plausible claim, but not one one usually hears from most of the right wing) or are you asserting that (hello anarchy) neither one is?

          Or are you making the nihilist claim that all assertions as to right and justice are arbitrary?

          Or something else (if so, what)?

      • Vic says:

        Apparently you don’t read very well. I didn’t make that argument at all. I simply made the point that Government chooses which deaths are important ones to act upon, and which are tolerated, sometimes for reasons that have little to do with the objective idea of health or the numbers involved.

        Smoking deaths are capable of being monetized by both Government and the private sector, and the HAVE notoriously been so here in Florida. Go to jury duty and you’ll see evidence of it. I was shocked last time they called me up. There were four tobacco cases, each requiring the questioning and culling of about 75 potential jurors over the course of DAYS. Virtually every person in that room was there for a tobacco trial.

        My comment was on the process of Government action. I never said anything about equivalence.

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