Patterico's Pontifications

7/13/2020

Paper of Record Fails to Probe Details of Death Caused by an Alleged COVID Party

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



New York Times:

A 30-year-old man who believed the coronavirus was a hoax and attended a “Covid party” died after being infected with the virus, according to a Texas hospital.

The man had attended a gathering with an infected person to test whether the coronavirus was real, said Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, where the man died.

. . . .Dr. Appleby said the man had told his nurse that he attended a Covid party. Just before he died, she said the patient told his nurse: “I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.”

That sounds bad. What are the details? Where did the party take place? How many people attended? How long after the event was the man hospitalized with COVID-19?

She did not say when the party took place, how many people attended or how long after the event was the man hospitalized with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The man was not publicly identified.

Oh. Well, it’s not like we’ve had questionable reports of COVID parties before, so I’m sure this is solid.

Some health experts and public officials have cast doubt over whether or to what extent “Covid parties” are really happening. County health officials in southeastern Washington State reported in May that they had evidence that at least two coronavirus cases were linked to one or more so-called Covid-19 parties, then quickly reversed themselves, saying that the parties may have been more innocent gatherings.

. . . .

In Alabama, reports that students were gathering to bet on who could get infected with the virus first — with the sickened winner taking home a pot of money — led to warnings from the University of Alabama to students about the parties’ risks, though the events could not be confirmed by state health officials.

A COVID party would be stupid. Don’t hold one. Don’t attend one. If such things exist.

But do they? Really?

Can’t we hear from the nurse directly instead of playing this game of telephone? If such a party really happened, and an attendee died, one would think that principles of “contact tracing” would cause the hospital to make every attempt to follow up with other attendees to warn them and get them tested. Or ask authorities to do so. But there is no hint of any such activity in the article. Indeed, there is no hint that the reporter bothered to ask these questions — or press for the details that Dr. Appleby did not volunteer, such as how many people had attended the party and when it had happened. There is no indication that an editor bothered to wonder why these questions had not been asked.

When I started reading the first couple of paragraphs of this article, I assumed it was true.

I think I made a mistake. I thought this wasn’t a hoax, but maybe it is.

50 Responses to “Paper of Record Fails to Probe Details of Death Caused by an Alleged COVID Party”

  1. Covid Party. Mount Rushmore…. July 3rd, 2020.

    Awesome, dude!

    noel (4d3313)

  2. The times stands in the middle of the largest crime scene and yells squirrel

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ChuckRossDC/status/1282684597034266629

    Narciso (7404b5)

  3. This the same story I heard on NBC News.

    If such a party really happened, and an attendee died, one would think that principles of “contact tracing” would cause the hospital to make every attempt to follow up with other attendees to warn them and get them tested.

    Who says they didn’t?

    But in the United States they wouldn’t release any names because of issues of medical privacy. Law, and even the Hippocratic Oath.

    That does mean details of the story could be wrong.

    Now people who know about that through circumstances other than being involved with treating the person could tell. And besides, if they wanted to, they could ask for and get permission from his family.

    Sammy Finkelman (5c3ef7)

  4. I’ve seen so many dumb urban myths about teens that I’m deeply skeptical of any of them.
    Off the top of my head, Beat Down parties, Vodka Tampons, Popping collars, snap bracelets = sex

    At this point if it’s extraordinarily stupid I want extraordinary proof.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  5. I don’t know if it is a true story or if it is made up, but it may have been based on this video by Dr Appleby and not on an interview.

    DRJ (aede82)

  6. Appleby is the CMO of at Methodist Hospital.

    DRJ (aede82)

  7. Bexar County seals the deal for me. It’s real. It’s not a hoax. It’s exactly what a Bexar County resident would do.

    nk (1d9030)

  8. Well, this is the generation that ate Tide pods and snorted condoms, after all.

    But I do mostly agree with Patterico here.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  9. You mean that paragon of journalism failed to do basic due diligence before publishing a story?

    I am shocked!

    Just like this guy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  10. A COVID party in my pants and you’re invited,
    A big fiesta in my trousers and I’m excited,
    I’m so happy my lil’ cupcake and I can’t hide it,
    A COVID party in my pants and you’re invited.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  11. INe thing is certain: If someone attended a Covid-19 party (like those chicken pox parties) it wasn’t because he thought the virus was a hoax. It was to get immunized so he could justify not wearing a mask.

    Sammy Finkelman (c54485)

  12. Well, hey, its possible.

    Good enough for the Times. The WaPo doesn’t even require that.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  13. The NYT/WaPo constantly report “Too good to be checked” stories when it fits their agenda. They only start to do checking and verification when it goes against “The narrative”.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  14. Amateurs. Here’s how you do a serious COVID party. Go big or go home.

    Paul Montagu (cbbfc4)

  15. And while the NYT may have gotten this wrong, you can be sure they were right about the Russian bounties.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  16. Just by the way, getting CV-19 is NOT a death sentence. Only 1 out of 500 under the age of 55 die. IOW, its not worse than a bad flu – for that age group. There are only 2 ways out – either vaccine or herd immunity. Notice that deaths in NY/NJ have dropped to almost zero.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  17. And in Rockland County, New York, the County issued subpoenas for eight people who refused to speak with contact tracers, with a $2.000 fine for non-compliance with the subpoenas. Faced with large fines, the people who had been standing up for their individual rights capitulated.

    A contact tracer’s role is to reach out to potentially infected people and get information on who they have interacted with, where they have been, and who lives with them, and to try to quarantine them from others before spreading the virus.

    Translation: Rockland County was going to put anybody who had contact with these people under house arrest for fourteen days. F(ornicate) them!

    I hate whet this country has become due to COVID-19. We are surrendering, and quickly, our individual rights. What will be the next “national emergency” in which we will be expected to surrender our rights, for the greater good?

    The Dana in Kentucky (229a56)

  18. We get screaming headlines: 12,000 new cases in Florida! Yet, no one says that new deaths were only 35!

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  19. Speaking of hoaxes…..

    Reddit Bans Forum Dedicated To Exposing Hate Crime Hoaxes

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/reddit-bans-forum-dedicated-exposing-hate-crime-hoaxes
    __ _

    Putting their fingers on the General Election scale any way they can.
    _

    harkin (5af287)

  20. Out of 4,000 deaths in FLorida, over 2,000 were in long-term care facilities.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  21. 1. We’re rapidly approaching the two-week mark from the time that party took place. And guess what? Still no spikes!

    Gryph (08c844)

  22. Yawn. Adios.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  23. 19. And I am absolutely convinced that blogs like this one go with these headlines because they fit the “orange man bad” narrative. SMDH

    Gryph (08c844)

  24. Hey everyone a troll is absolute about something! And it’s not very nice!

    Dustin (724986)

  25. The NYT/WaPo constantly report “Too good to be checked” stories when it fits their agenda. They only start to do checking and verification when it goes against “The narrative”.

    rcocean (2e1c02) — 7/13/2020 @ 11:08 am

    Yeah, forget those guys. Fox news is my go to. Did you see their article about how registered voters like Biden just as much as Trump? I guess even Texans are tired off all the winning.

    Time123 (306531)

  26. 25. Oh yeah. I’m totally trolling. Just for gits and shiggles, and I don’t believe a single word of what I’m saying./

    Let me remind you again, I did not vote for Trump. I will not vote for Trump. I find him to be an execrable excuse for a human being. And you know the quality I hate the most about Donald Trump, above every other? It’s how dirty I feel after saying anything, no matter how true, that can be remotely construed as defending him.

    Gryph (08c844)

  27. We get screaming headlines: 12,000 new cases in Florida! Yet, no one says that new deaths were only 35!

    rcocean (2e1c02) — 7/13/2020 @ 11:24 am

    I hope you’re correct and this is overblown. But when it was just starting in MI and NY you said the same thing and you were badly wrong. I hope you’re right this time

    Time123 (306531)

  28. 28. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think Governor DeSantis piled CoViD cases into nursing homes down there as Cuomo did up in New York. Anyhow, the numbers suggest that New York is either close to or at the level of herd immunity.

    Gryph (08c844)

  29. Gryph, putting CV patients into nursing homes to spare hospitals was absolutely a mistake. Desantis was correct not to do that. The early states that did got it wrong.

    Unfortunately, it looks like Florida didn’t have behaviors in place to prevent it from taking hold this summer.

    I don’t think you’re correct about NYC and Herd immunity

    Even if infection with the COVID-19 virus creates long-lasting immunity, a large number of people would have to become infected to reach the herd immunity threshold. Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70% of the population — more than 200 million people — would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the epidemic. If many people become sick with COVID-19 at once, the health care system could quickly become overwhelmed. This amount of infection could also lead to serious complications and millions of deaths, especially among older people and those who have chronic conditions.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  30. 30. I hedged myself a little bit. I said that if NYC isn’t there, the numbers suggest they’re close. And I say that because notwithstanding Cuomo’s nursing home fubar, death numbers have fallen precipitously even though cases haven’t.

    What bothers me about the way that hospitalization rates are being reported, is that it’s a judgment call as to whether hospitalization is needed or not in individual cases. And I’m still worried that what we are seeing in Texas and Florida viz-a-vis hospitalization rates, may be the fruit we’re bearing from delaying surgeries for heart patients, cancer patients, Etc.

    Gryph (08c844)

  31. rcocean wrote:

    The NYT/WaPo constantly report “Too good to be checked” stories when it fits their agenda. They only start to do checking and verification when it goes against “The narrative”.

    CBS News was shocked, shocked! to learn that there was fact-checking going on, as Powerline and Little Green Footballs discovered that the “Killian documents” were forged.

    Which raises the obvious question: just how much in the credentialed media was partially or wholly false before Al Gore invented this internet thingy, and people couldn’t fact check as easily, or publish their findings if they did discover ‘inaccuracies’?

    The Dana in Kentucky (229a56)

  32. What could be happening in NYC is that they killed all their most susceptible folks.

    Colliente (05736f)

  33. 30.

    Even if infection with the COVID-19 virus creates long-lasting immunity, a large number of people would have to become infected to reach the herd immunity threshold. Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70% of the population — more than 200 million people — would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the epidemic.

    We started with something like 70% immunity because of the 4 coronaviruses that cause the common cold. They were wrong about everything including about nobody being immune. And this person is wrong, or optimistic, about 70% being enough. To get herd immunity, you need 90% to 95%.

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-05-coronavirus-centre-immunity.html

    …Earlier this month, [May, 2020] an American study in the journal Cell suggested between 40 and 60 percent of the population could be immunized against COVID-19 without ever being exposed to it.

    Researchers put this down to the action of protective cells, known as T lymphocytes, that had been activated by other coronaviruses responsible for colds…

    ….The World Health Organization has also expressed caution over the issue.

    “There is certainly some evidence with regard to T cells, that if you have a previous coronavirus infection you may be able to mount a more rapid response to COVID-19,” said the WHO’s Michael Ryan at a press conference this week.

    “But there’s no empirical evidence that previous coronavirus infections protect you from infection with COVID-19. The jury is still very much out on that,” he added.

    However, Ryan said it was an encouraging sign for the development of vaccines.

    Sammy Finkelman (c54485)

  34. 34. An encouraging sign for the development of vaccines?! It suggests to me that the virus may burn itself out before we even have an effective vaccine! SMDH

    Gryph (08c844)

  35. If you stop the virus through social distancing, you have to do it again and again. The virus only has to win one time. This is what seems to have happened in Israel and in Pittsburgh.

    Sammy Finkelman (c54485)

  36. Covid act reports a break out of Covid / Non for hospital usage.

    I don’t know how accurate it is.

    ICU headroom usedBeta
    FLORIDA

    Florida has about 6,244 ICU beds. Based on best available data, we estimate that 64% (4,005) are currently occupied by non-COVID patients. Of the 2,239 ICU beds remaining, we estimate 2,558 are needed by COVID cases, or >100% of available beds. This suggests hospitals cannot absorb a wave of new COVID infections without substantial surge capacity. Aggressive action urgently needed.

    What do you mean cases for NY haven’t fallen? the data I looked at showed that it came way down.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  37. If you stop the virus through social distancing, you have to do it again and again. The virus only has to win one time. This is what seems to have happened in Israel and in Pittsburgh.

    Sammy Finkelman (c54485) — 7/13/2020 @ 12:34 pm

    I don’t think letting it run will work out well in general. In particular i think it will work out badly for my FIL that’s fighting cancer.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  38. 38. Then your father-in-law can distance himself from others accordingly. I’m actually on my mother-in-law’s sh!tlist right now because I won’t go over to her house at all while I have to yell at her from out in the garage. But that’s on a personal level. The uncertainty of so much of what we’ve assumed about CoViD-19 is a poor basis for policy anywhere, let alone on the federal level.

    Gryph (08c844)

  39. 37. The death numbers have fallen faster than the cases have.

    Gryph (08c844)

  40. An encouraging sign for the development of vaccines?!

    They pretend not to be certain if a vaccine will work. But if exposure to a cowpox version of this disease causes immunity, or near immunity, then it is likely that a vaccine could too.

    From February:

    https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/why-some-covid-19-cases-are-worse-than-others-67160

    There are seven coronaviruses known to infect people. Four of them—229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1—typically cause a cold and only rarely result in death. The other three—MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and the new SARS-CoV-2—have varying degrees of lethality. In the 2003 SARS outbreak, 10 percent of infected people died. Between 2012 and 2019, MERS killed 23 percent of infected people. Although the case fatality rate of COVID-19 is lower, the virus has already killed more people than the other two outbreaks combined, which some have attributed to the pathogen’s fast transmission.

    The viruses are not identical, but natural occurring immunity may develop antibodies to parts the viruses share in common.

    Sammy Finkelman (c54485)

  41. Here’s a study (if you read this you will be weeks ahead of government experts. At least)

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342752739_Pre-existing_immunity_to_SARS-CoV-2_the_knowns_and_unknowns

    T cell reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 was observed in unexposed people; however, the source and clinical relevance of the reactivity remains unknown. It is speculated that this reflects T cell memory to circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses. It will be important to define specificities of these T cells and assess their association with COVID-19 disease severity and vaccine responses. Recent studies have shown T cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 in 20–50% of unexposed individuals; it is speculated that this is due to T cell memory to common cold coronaviruses. Here, Crotty and Sette discuss the potential implications of these findings for disease severity, herd immunity and vaccine development

    OK, maybe it’s only 40% not 70% who recovered from the cowpox version of this disease, but who knows? It could be there’s not enough immunity in some – I read an estimate that the average person has been ecposed to 3 out of the 4 common cold coronaviruses, but haven;t found something more on that.

    Sammy Finkelman (c54485)

  42. ‘Everyone is lying’: Trump undercuts public health officials in fresh attacks
    ……
    On Monday morning, he retweeted messages from the politically conservative former game show personality Chuck Woolery — who served stints hosting “Wheel of Fortune” and “Love Connection” — which lamented the “most outrageous lies” being spread about the coronavirus pandemic.

    “Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it,” Woolery wrote in a tweet shared by the president.

    In another post Trump retweeted, Woolery claimed there exists “so much evidence, yes scientific evidence, that schools should open this fall. It’s worldwide and it’s overwhelming. BUT NO.” Trump also retweeted a message from Mark Young, Woolery’s co-host on his “Blunt Force Truth” podcast, which asked: “So based on Dr. Fauci and the Democrats, I will need an ID card to go shopping but not to vote?”
    …..
    The White House reportedly told various news outlets that several of its officials were “concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things,” and furnished a lengthy list of statements the widely respected immunologist made in the early days of the outbreak that could appear damaging in retrospect.
    …..
    …… McEnany maintained Monday that the White House never sought to besmirch Fauci.
    ……
    Fauci told the Financial Times last Friday that he had not briefed Trump for at least two months, and warned at a Senate health committee hearing in late June that the U.S. could register as many as 100,000 additional cases per day if further safeguards were not put in place.

    In a live-streamed conversation last Monday with his boss, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, Fauci said the U.S. was still “knee-deep” in its first wave of coroanvirus infections, describing the outbreak as “serious situation that we have to address immediately.”

    But Trump was dismissive of Fauci in an interview last Tuesday with Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren, saying: “I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him.” And speaking with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last Thursday, Trump remarked that “Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes.”
    …..

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  43. 38. Then your father-in-law can distance himself from others accordingly

    Thanks for the concern.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  44. Republican Party officials still plan to attend their convention in Florida, an epicenter of the virus
    More than a dozen Republican National Committee members from across the country told The Times in interviews that they were still planning to attend the party’s convention next month in Florida, despite the surge in cases.
    …..
    “It’s a risk you have to take,” said Morton Blackwell, 80, an R.N.C. member from Virginia who has attended every party convention since he was the youngest elected delegate backing Barry Goldwater in 1964. “You take risks every day. You drive down the street and a cement truck could crash into you. You can’t not do what you have to do because of some possibility of a bad result.”

    Art Wittich, 62, an R.N.C. member from Montana, said he had a “duty” to travel to Charlotte and Jacksonville to nominate and support Mr. Trump.

    “It is not only my duty, but also my honor go to Charlotte and Jacksonville to re-elect President Trump,” he said. “As such, I am willing to assume any risk to do so.”
    ……
    God bless them. Hope they enjoy the heat and humidity.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  45. 44. You’re quite welcome. And I hope your father in law doesn’t get himself in trouble during this (or any) year’s flu season. 😉

    Gryph (08c844)

  46. 41. That’s kind of my point, Sammy. Covid cowards are so worried about developing a vaccine, they forget that Mother Nature might be able to do it even faster.

    Gryph (08c844)

  47. Vaccine, huh? Then the anti-vaxxers will go nuts.

    Remember when this was only s’posed to last fifteen days, to “flatten the curve?” Now you have idiots like Governor Tom Wolf (NSDAP-PA) who have suggested that his mandatory masks order will have to remain in force until a vaccine is developed . . . something which could take years, if developed at all. Thank God I escaped the Keystone State!

    Of course, the notion that anyone should take scientific health care advice from someone who can’t tell the difference between males and females is pretty stupid.

    The Dana in Kentucky (229a56)

  48. I don’t know how they do things in San Antonio, but at the COVID unit at the hospital where I work, the staff doesn’t have the time, energy, or desire to make up fake stories about what our patients tell us. From our vantage point, COVID-19 is devastating without the need for embellishment. I see no reason not to assume that this patient did in fact say these things.

    Now does that mean this man was telling the truth, that a COVID party occurred and he went to it? No, not necessarily. But is that really so far-fetched? This is hardly the first report of that kind of gathering. If you’re someone who believes all this talk of COVID-19 is overblown and as soon as you get it you’ll be immune – which is a commonly held belief – how much more reasonable might a “COVID party” appear to be than, say, putting a Tide pod in your mouth?

    TR (9bed35)

  49. Also, at least in upstate NY, “contact tracing” is managed by the state/county, not the hospital.

    TR (9bed35)

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