April 2020 Employment: COVID Flips the Table

Employment and labor force are among the first hard data we have of the effects of our state and nation’s response to COVID-19, and they aren’t pretty.

Games with Models, 5/21/20 Data

With the governor saying we should have shut down the state sooner and the unemployment rate having skyrocketed to its highest recorded number, daily COVID-19 numbers continue to improve.

Following the Coronavirus Data by Age Group

Reviewing updated COVID-19 data by age group, especially in light of recent findings about how many people have already had the disease without reporting it, suggests that we can move more quickly to open up and salvage our summer.

Coming Out of the COVID Shadows

The (possibly related) stories about disproportionate COVID-19 cases among Hispanics and COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes fall in a range of topics about which we’re not allowed to have straightforward discussions, and that’s a dangerous problem.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Pockets of Rebellion

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 18, included talk about:

  • Providence College kids rebel
  • The Catholic bishop sends the governor a message
  • Narragansett Town Council considers resistance
  • Justice Flanders signals a challenge
  • Rally-goers take up the call
  • A delay of Phase 2 reopening
  • The teachers’ union flexes in Tiverton

I’ll be on again Monday, May 25, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

UPDATED: A Big Drop-Off in Games with Models, 5/18/20 Data

Despite a week’s passing since RI entered Phase 1 of reopening, the numbers continue to improve at an accelerating rate, raising questions about the governor’s decision to slow down.

We Want Our Summer Back!

For many Rhode Islanders, summer is our defining time of year; it’s the plug that recharges our batteries and motivates us to make it through another year in our challenging state. The governor needs to know what that is worth to you.

Correction: Survival Rate is Over 98.7%.  Slow-Walk Re-Open is Unnecessary.

In a prior post, I had noted that the survival rate of COVID-19 in the United States is 94%. I was mistaken. In fact, the survival rate is 98.7%. From Health Affairs:

The IFR-S in the US was estimated to be 1.3% …. The overall IFR for COVID-19 should be lower when we account for cases that remain and recover without symptoms.

Guidance on an Open-Ended Shutdown

The inability of Newport hotel owners to make plans points to a failure of Rhode Island’s political system, especially the General Assembly, to make decisions in the correct way.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Push-Back Begins

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 11, included talk about:

  • The governor’s New Order
  • Cops push back
  • Protesters push back
  • The press pushes back
  • Will businesses push back?
  • Will the General Assembly push back?
  • Elorza gets push-back and stumbles

I’ll be on again Monday, May 18, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Some Last-Minute Tone for You Subjects Stakeholders

Perhaps a commerce communications director could craft a better message for anxious business owners, but that wouldn’t be the tone his boss is promoting.

Clay Johnson: Officials Forgetting Foundational Importance of Hum of Running Economy

I applaud the decision makers, at all levels of government, that quickly responded to the medical crisis. But health issues only represent one component of the challenges in front of us. We all hunkered down for weeks to ‘flatten the curve.’ Our common goal was to ensure that, as a community, we had enough hospital beds for those most vulnerable. Well, we’ve flattened the curve. (And we know now that the survival rate of COVID-19 in the United States is almost 95%.) Why then are governments having a hard time moving to the next stage during this time of testing? I can only believe that most people were more familiar with the fears and responses to the medical side of the crisis.

Let’s explore the impact on small businesses. Almost half of all employees in the United States work for a small business. In fact, 96% of Rhode Island businesses are small businesses. They are the engine of our economy. Business owners can feel in their bones, the impact of this shutdown on Rhode Island. We owe it to the rest of the citizens of Rhode Island to communicate this feeling.

A Travesty of Ages and Games with Models, 5/5/20 Data

As COVID-19 numbers in Rhode Island continue to improve, we should note that those at risk from the disease are different from those at risk from an economic shutdown and realize that we may have made a terrible mistake in our response.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Emergence Begins…?

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 4, included talk about:

  • The governor and reopening
  • Hospitalization counts
  • The General Assembly peeks its head out
  • Mattiello and the AG
  • Achorn drops from the Providence Journal editorial branch
  • A big budget hole

I’ll be on again Monday, May 11, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Continuation of the COVID-19 Lockdown is Even More Indefensible in Light of Survival Rate

As noted, the survival rate of COVID-19 in United States is over 94%. Now for the implication of this data point with regard to our government’s choice of course – an onerous and heavily damaging lockdown.

Contrary to the Impression We May Have, Survival Rate of COVID-19 in United States is Over 94%

This is to offer an important data point about COVID-19 that doesn’t get much attention. The United States has, to date, experienced 1,092,815 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19.  64,283 of those cases, or 5.88%, have resulted in death.  To be clear, 5.88% of people who got the disease have died from it, not 5.88% […]

Larry Fitzmorris: Portsmouth Looks to Raise Taxes Over 4% With Unemployment Over 15%

The budget for next year is one of the worst produced in the last twenty years. This budget is characterized by the Council’s complete lack of interest in reducing costs to prepare for the economic downturn and its continuing emphasis on the growth of Town government. In fact, the only changes over a routine year are using the Fund Balance to provide revenue for routine spending and to cover any shortfalls in State funding. Currently the budget is at the Provisional stage and there are further votes, but significant changes after this point are rare.

The budget that begins next July 1 has a residential property tax increase of 4.43% at a time when the unemployment rates for Portsmouth taxpayers are probably at least 16%.

A Strange View on Wealth

A video from the onset of the COVID-19 crisis complaining about the early arrival of wealthy summer residents highlights progressives bizarre economic vision.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Marxism Makes Her Entrance

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for April 27, included talk about:

  • Nesi’s interview with Gina
  • The propaganda poister
  • The threat of mail ballots
  • Protests on a Saturday, organized versus genuine
  • Identity politics as the constant

I’ll be on again Monday, May 4, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

More Information about Ineffectuality of Shutdown: Over 75% of RI COVID Deaths Are Occurring in Nursing Homes

WPRI Channel 12’s Eli Sherman and Walt Buteau reported on April 17 that 80% of COVID-19 deaths in Rhode Island have occurred in nursing homes. (All deaths from a pandemic are awful but somehow a nursing home setting is especially horrifying both because of the vulnerability of the residents and the perception, normally correct, that nursing homes are safe places.)

This disturbing pattern continues with the most recent COVID mortalities announced by the state yesterday: 10 of 13 were nursing home residents.

The Difficult Math of COVID Death

Contrasting Roger Kimball’s calm erudition with the hysterics demanding “how many people do you want to die” points to a need for us to be able to consider difficult questions in public.

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