Why Is Our Governor Ignoring His Own Orders?

By Steve Haner

If the overall case fatality rate for COVID-19 is 4 tenths of one percent, as the Centers for Disease Control just estimated, then perhaps 300,000 Virginians have or have had the disease.  That’s working the math backwards from the 1,200 Virginia deaths reported so far.

The chart below snipped from the CDC’s report shows four possible scenarios and the fifth column is marked “most likely” case fatality rate. As we all now know, age is the key factor, and the death rate for persons 65+ is the highest, perhaps as high as 3.2%. But the CDC thinks most likely it is 1.3% in that group, and as low as 0.05% for those under 50 (5 deaths in 10,000 infections). 

Source: CDC. The right hand column is marked as the most likely case fatality rates, with other four columns showing the range. Click for larger view.

Here’s the similar chart from a recently-released antibody study in Spain, with a random sample of around 70,000 individuals. The Fear Mongers point to the conclusion that only 5% of the country’s population shows antibodies, although it is far higher where the disease was more common. But the first column is the calculated infection fatality rate, IFR, very similar to the CDC study.




These current estimates fit with what some experts were predicting months ago, and you still don’t want to get sick if you can avoid it, those of us in the higher age bracket in particular.

But the real risk estimates explain the photo above. Our doctor-governor, not being  65 yet, had no problem wandering around the Virginia Beach boardwalk yesterday, sans mask and standing socially near to various happy beach-going voters. One photo shows an outstretched hand, but perhaps it was not for a handshake.

It gets better. On Friday at his news conference the Governor reminded everybody that since Richmond was still under the stay at home order, residents of that fair city should not travel unless it is essential. The same applies to Northern Virginia and Accomack.

“Unless it’s essential, we don’t expect people to be traveling in those particular areas,” Northam said. “They are still under the stay-at-home order, so we would encourage them to abide by those guidelines.” (Emphasis added.) It’s from this Richmond Times-Dispatch story, but I also heard him say it.

I’m sorry, where does he live? Oh, yeah — Pirate’s Cove on the Outer Banks! Follow the link and read all about it!  Richmond is just his weekday place.

Do this little thought experiment: Imagine those photos were of Donald J. Trump. Those you would see constantly. CNN would be in hysterics.

The CDC and Spanish serology study results will never, ever get deeply reported. Most stories on the Spanish data I saw focused on how only 5% of the country had antibodies so far and said that’s bad news. If that is also true in Virginia (425,000 people), I think it great news.

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15 responses to “Why Is Our Governor Ignoring His Own Orders?”

  1. I would be advertising myself to any lawyer that wants to sue them. I’d be happy to be a test case. There are loads of ways to get them.

    1. PackerFan Avatar

      Looks to me that the President, unlike the Governor is following the recommended social distancing guidelines.

      1. sbostian Avatar

        I also do not remember that the President has announced that he is contemplating a mandatory mask decree. If our governor believed that the scientific evidence is overwhelming that the decree is needed, shouldn’t he wear the mask in all social settings immediately? We have abundant photographic evidence that he has a mask (although not as much evidence that he actually covers his mouth and nose with it).

    2. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Dean Nancy, you make my point. The video of Trump on the golf course has been all over most news outlets…..Oh, The Horror!

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Oh, I see the problem, Steve, so lemme see if’n I can ‘splain.

        Way back in Journalism 101**, they explained coverage to me as follows; the President is a NATIONAL figure, therefore the things he does have NATIONAL importance and are covered by NATIONAL news media, whereas the Governor is a STATE figure, therefore the things he does are of STATE importance and are covered by STATE affiliates.

        If, for example, a NATIONAL media outlet, oh, say Fox, were to devote only 5 minutes of air time to each STATE then, with commercials, this would use nearly 5 hours. The exceptions to this are, 1) Murder, and 2) pretty little missing white girls on islands inhabited by people of color, coverage of which will screech to a halt if the suspect is white too.

        So, yes, Trump gets splashed everywhere on CNN.

        ** just kidding, you wouldn’t have caught me dead in any such course beyond English 101.

  2. sbostian Avatar

    I humbly suggest that the reason Governor Northam ignores his own guidelines and orders is that he knows that the science behind his decrees is not impressive and that he like others finds it in his political interest to exaggerate the risks of COVID 19. His policy edicts are more consistent with the conduct of unregulated social science experimentation, not the application of widely accepted and excruciatingly verified medical science. In the case of extending the shutdowns in Richmond and Northern Virginia, as well as his impending mask decree, it appears that Lavar Stoney is his principle scientific advisor. Perhaps someone here can credibly attest the the mayor’s scientific bona fides?

    As an aside, if an academic social scientist wanted to conduct the same type of behavioral control experiments on human subjects, the proposals would have to be vetted by an Institutional Review Board. The proposals would be summarily rejected on at least two grounds: First there is no compensation to the subjects of the experiment, and 2) the proposed experiment intends to inflict deliberate harm a significant portion of the subjects. Lab rats at VCU are beneficiaries of more vigorous defense than are citizens of the Commonwealth.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      This was another Moonwalk moment. Democrats really do get a giant pass from the media.

  3. Wise King Ralph says: “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Most doctors do. Oh, and Evagelical ministers and newspaper columnists do, too.

  4. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    Why is the Governor implementing this mask rule after Memorial Day Weekend, and not before?

    Why is the Governor right now violating his own impending mask rule in such a public way on a beach amid a tight cluster of people of color, all four of them (including the governor) violating the Governor’s own impending mask rule?

    Is all of this about science, and health?

    And does the Governor ever appear in nursing homes, to reassure those folks, and the children, as to steps he has been taking to protect those elders? If not, why? This is where the great majority of deaths in Virginia occur and still occur, apparently.

  5. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    As our own Don Rippert has reported, the chances of catching or spreading the coronavirus are much lower is one is outside and is engaged in only a short conservation with others. Also, before accusing him of violating his own mask order, perhaps we should wait to see what that order is going to be.

    Nevertheless, this is a terrible optic for him and he should have had the political smarts to at least observe the social distancing rule.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      He was explicit Friday in response to a question: If in Richmond or Northern VA, the stay at home order still applies. Don’t go to the beach! That was the real hypocrisy. He said it and he ignored it. Sorry, he has lost all credibility. Me, I agree, he just confirmed that it’s much safer outside.

      1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        I agree, and I would not be at all surprised if the governor claims new research on masks. The great and chronic problem is that none of this is ever put into proper context and perspective, respecting the enormous viability of infection and death rates among different cohorts of citizens.

        Instead, the America people are treated simplistic misinformation, as if they are ignorant rubes or children who, in either case, need constant adult supervision and instruction. That combines with Steve’s fully justifiable comment that, “Sorry, he has lost all credibility.

      2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        Here is brilliant comment that would be right down Northam’s alley, fit his character perfectly:

        VDoTyranny | May 24, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Reply

        Here’s how it will be enforced:

        This won’t be a mandate on individuals because politicians know it takes awhile for the public to come around; Instead, the government will require businesses to enforce the regulations as they do with many other things.

        An anonymous 1 (800) Tattle-Tail line will be set-up for competitors, disgruntled former employees and a few busy bodies (aka Larrys and Karens) to report violations.

        Idealist, young regulators out to prove their moral superiority will be employed by the State to drop fines on a few unfortunate businesses to set an example.

        Business will be blamed by the public either for requiring masks or not enforcing the requirement, depending on individual POV.

        Politicians will use that to their advantage to besmirch “greedy, selfish” business owners (who refuse to donate to / beg for help from the right cause / party.)


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