Attacks on Public Health Officers Must Stop *

The anti-maskers aren’t content to spout their nonsense at public meetings with health officials. They won’t stop until they drive these hard-working public servants out of office entirely, to be replaced with toadies who will follow the White House line.

In Orange County, undergoing one of the biggest outbreaks in California, these troglodytes attacked Dr. Nichole Quick with death threats. They held protests outside her home. They depicted her as a Nazi.

In San Diego, one of them went to a meeting and announced to everyone the home address of Dr. Wilma Wooten, who was simply trying to slow the spread of coronavirus in the county. She has been the subject of vile attacks because of the color of her skin.

In May, there was a public briefing for LA County on Facebook, and one of them suggested that Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Public Health Director, should be shot.

In Washington State, Health Director Lauri Jones checked on a person who was supposed to be under quarantine but was out in the community. A Trumper posted her name on social media and wrote, “Let’s post her address. . .Let’s start shooting.”

In Colorado, 80% of the members of the Colorado Assn. of Local Public Health Officials reported being attacked. At least six public health officers have left their offices in California.

All over the country, just when we need them the most, public health officials are being driven out of office with death threats, doxxing, and vile political attacks. And when the cultists do drive them out, who dares replace them?

But the agenda of the Trump death cult never was to have public health lead the way in the fight against the virus. It was always to have it only in the hands of politicians, and only politicians ready and willing to toe the line.

These people are political super-spreaders. They are dangerous. Their behavior would be unacceptable in almost every nation on earth, except for perhaps Russia and Brazil.

Public Health officials should be protected from these threats by law. They need something like 18 U.S.C. 1114, which protects employees and officers of the federal government.

City and county leaders also need to “game out” their meetings so they know how to deal with attacks on public health officials beforehand. In San Diego, when Dr. Wooten was attacked, the supervisors said nothing. The San Diego County Medical Society had to issue a statement criticizing their flat-footed response, and only then did they rally to her side. They can claim they were unprepared for that kind of comment, but this is exactly my point. They need to be prepared. They need to discuss how they are going to handle this vile behavior before it happens, so that when it does happen, they stop it in its tracks.


Meanwhile, in the bubble at the top, Trump and the ever-obsequious Pence tout their huge victory in the “ten-fold drop” in the death rate. Our death toll used to be 2,400 a day; now it’s 245, they say, pulling a single data point from the week. Actually, if you do the math, that’s an 89.8% drop, not a ten-fold drop. Also, the use of a single data point is a favorite tool of manipulators. If we use 7 day moving averages, the math comes out differently.

On June 7, the 7 day average daily fatality count was 862. On July 7, it was 659. That’s a 23.5% drop – a good thing, but a long, long, long way from a “ten-fold drop.”

Now let’s look at cases per day. On June 7, the count was 17,858. On July 7, it was 74,230. That’s a 315% increase!

We all know that fatalities are the most lagging indicator of all, following cases by at least 2 weeks. The case fatality rate (CFR) gives us a handle on what kind of death rate we can expect at that point. On June 7, the CFR was 6.2%; on July 7, it dropped to 5.1%. So let’s say the CFR drops another 1/2% over the next two weeks, to 4.7%.

4.7% x 74,230 = 2,969. That would put us right back where we were at the height of the crisis.

That’s not fair, the “what, me worry?” crowd says. You’re comparing a two week period in mortality to a one month period in deaths. Be consistent!

OK. Let’s say the CFR drops a full 1.1% in the next month, down to an even 4%. Further, let’s assume the daily case rate doesn’t increase at all . In fact, let’s say it drops to an even 50,000 a day.

4% x 50,000 = 2,000 deaths per day.

I wonder what Trump and his toadies will say then. I hope I’m off by a 50% on both parts of that equation, i.e., that the CFR drops to only 2% and the daily case count drops to 25,000. There’s no basis in the data to project that, but even then, we’re talking about 500 deaths per day.

What is the Trump strategy in the face of this? It’s a 4 part platform:

  1. Tell Americans to “get used to it.”
  2. Cherry-pick statistics that make everything seem OK.
  3. Brand protesters as domestic terrorists
  4. Protect monuments of enslavers at all costs.

Finally, I want to make one thing clear: I am not publishing this stuff to make public health departments look bad. In fact, it’s the opposite. I try to present comparative data, which the county cannot. I add commentary, as I did today, which obviously the public health officials can’t do. San Diego and Los Angeles have excellent departments, and post the data you need to keep abreast of the situation there. To get started, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on some of the county links. If you haven’t visited them before, you’ll be amazed.


Today I finished the first cut of Zorgi Scores for States. Tomorrow, I’ll go into detail on each state; for now, I’m just including the scores (SDT5), the calculations (SDT4), and the dashboards (SDT1, SDT2, and SDT3). If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty calculations, just go here.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

Comments from Readers & My Responses

The following are some of the comments from readers on Reddit and other social media platforms where I regularly post. Reader comments are in italics and color. My responses are in plain text. If there is more than one commenter without a response, they are separated by different colors.

I just tested positive today. Remember guys, masks arent to protect you, there for the protection of those around you. I’m more of a libertarian and loving having freedom to do as I please, and although I thought covid was a little overblown, I still wore a mask to be a good respectful member of my community. I know exactly who I got it from, and my daughter also caught it from them. The person traveled to Mexico, supposedly quarantined, but didnt and got their family sick. His kids and wife got sick and got my daughter sick who then gave it to me. Very irresponsible and disappointing.

Just so I don’t come out as the bad guy, it was my stepdaughters real Dad, who has partial custody. We’re ok so far, but damn this thing spreads easily.

Spot on! Unfortunately the problem with these people is they don’t listen to factual data. They cling to the trump line. It’s so disheartening. At this rate we won’t be out of this for who knows how long.

Thank you for your excellent work. I look forward to your post everyday. 🙂

I’ve had several arguments with these dumb MAGA hillbillies.. online, in person…on Facebook…no matter what you say they won’t believe you. The Orwellian Media bubble they live in has brainwashed them. Sorry to say it, but hunker down because it is only going to get more violent as the unemployment and stress of this deepens. You can see the MAGAs digging in. Unfortunately its going to take bodies in the street before they take this seriously. I have a coffee shop next door to my business that is run by MAGA christian group. No masks and nothing but snickers and eye rolling when I wear mine.

Yes, November can’t come soon enough, but we have to make sure it’s a landslide, not just a marginal victory. Otherwise, he and his Maga-freaks will try to steal the election.

Sadly there are many people who plan to not vote or will write-in Bernie out of protest. And if Kanye really enters the race it will be interesting not because I think he’ll win but because of how he might impact the votes for other candidates even if he can only be a write-in

SERIOUSLY How in the hell do people hate on a black woman with an MPH and a medical degree.

I love trolling right-winged nuts on KUSI’s twitter or (KKKusi News). Crazy how many people are like FIRE WILMA AND FLETCHER!!!!!!

The magamaniacs are frightened to death by all POC’s but especially women. And when they have advanced degrees, and are clearly much, much smarter than they are, they absolutely go beserk. Many of them may not even know why it happens to them, because they have no comprehension of systemic racism. They think racism is just an “attitude”, so as long as they don’t use the N-word, they couldn’t be racist.

And of course, Trump, in his Mt. Rushmore rant, basically told them his campaign would focus exclusively on protecting and promoting white supremacy.

Heres the thing. I dont hate all Republicans. I think they do (a very small select few now, seeing as they stood by and let him get off the hook with russia and destroying the nation) but its specifically TRUMP supporters that i despise.

Here is my mentality…..and it goes against the grain, but the thing i find most hilarious about trump supporters is that they seem to believe they are the only people that own that precious M-4 (AR-15).

They always show their hands. They always let everyone know where theyre coming from and in combat, thats the stupidest thing you can do. But its due to their hubris.

we just disagree on their conservative philosophy.

And that’s ok. But Trump…is his own party…he uses the Republican badge in name only…like what he did with that Bible that we can clearly tell hes a fake…a fraud and probably has never read it nor cares to.

Whats sad is that his supporters don’t realize that he is using all of them too. If Michael Cohen…Trumps guy for what…a decade was Trashed by Trump…what makes his supporters think that he cares about them?

It really is cult behavior. Only a cult has that kind of power over its members. The cult leader can berate them, ridicule them, even kill them, but the true believers view the world through the distorted prism of their leader’s eyes. And more and more, the Republican party is like Jim Jones and Jonestown. Now Trump is planning to make war on our children, their teachers, and their parents by insisting that the schools lay aside their carefully formulated opening plans and follow his “open it all up” protocols. Sick and disgusting.

Within the last week 4 co-workers tested positive. At least the company is going to test us all for free this week. Let’s hope for good news

Good luck, I really feel for you.

Spot on! Unfortunately the problem with these people is they don’t listen to factual data. They cling to the trump line. It’s so disheartening. At this rate we won’t be out of this for who knows how long.

Thank you for your excellent work. I look forward to your post everyday. 🙂

Thanks so much. I just read that an official in Oklahoma said that 500 of them came down with Covid19

Hey zorgi, great write up today! The hate public officers have been getting is utterly ridiculous!

Just a quick question

Seeing our cases going up and down, is that abnormal in any way? I haven’t really paid attention to other cities to see if this is a normal trend.

Thank you!

It’s partially normal. When you relax restrictions, you expect new cases. But I’m worried we’re about to be hit, once again, with the effects of incompetence at the federal level. Why? Because in order to emerge from a lockdown successfully, you need a solid infrastructure of testing, tracing, and isolation. We have that here in SD now, at least for the most part.

But here’s the problem. It appears that much of the national lockdown period was completely wasted. I’m coming to that conclusion because as cases ramp up like crazy in places like AZ and FL, they’re running out of PPE, test kits, etc. That tells me that there’s little or no national supply system, with plenty of extra wiggle room, set up to deal with it. In AZ, they’re having to wait up to 8 days to get test results back. What kind of case tracking can you do with that long a wait time? It’s ridiculous.

I may be wrong about this — I don’t have hard data to back up my supposition, so if someone out there knows better, please correct me. But the war analogy is an appropriate one. We are fighting this war on 55 different fronts, with abysmal coordination and leadership. The enemy will attack our weakest flank, and from there attack stronger ones. AZ is now the weakest flank.

On the whole, though, SD has done better than most of the counties in southern CA.

I agree, I feel like the worst is yet to come…..

Well, according to mike pence”“We are actually seeing early indications of a percent of positive testing flattening in Arizona, and Florida and Texas. Governors in each of those states have taken strong steps to flatten the curve” Nothing like a VP that assumes 10,000+ cases a day is flattening! Isn’t it great having such rational people in office!

When all you do is lie, gaslighting becomes an art form.

I’ve had several arguments with these dumb MAGA hillbillies.. online, in person…on Facebook…no matter what you say they won’t believe you. The Orwellian Media bubble they live in has brainwashed them. Sorry to say it, but hunker down because it is only going to get more violent as the unemployment and stress of this deepens. You can see the MAGAs digging in. Unfortunately its going to take bodies in the street before they take this seriously. I have a coffee shop next door to my business that is run by MAGA christian group. No masks and nothing but snickers and eye rolling when I wear mine.

I continue to be astounded at the mentality of the people who will respond to unpleasant facts by threatening violence against the bearers of bad news.

I can only hope that Angela Merkel will be shown right after her speech yesterday when she said that the COVID pandemic will “show the limits of fact-denying populism”. How many bodies will it take for these people to stop saying that it’s just a liberal hoax, or “just the flu”? How many people have to die?

Thank you for your continued dedication to facts and research and science.

Thanks so much. I’m afraid it will take a lot of bodies. Trump now seems intent on bringing schools into the culture war. He’s not content with his superspreader rallies; he has to infect children, parents, teachers, and everyone else who works in the school system. And we have to keep telling everyone we know: don’t take the polls for granted, and don’t just concentrate on the presidency. We have to remove all his enablers as well. That means the republicans on the board of supervisors and every other level in the state. Elections are always important, but this time our lives really do depend on it.

The longer this goes on, the longer I start to wonder if Trump isn’t actually in some sort of literal religious death cult and thinks that a Death God will reward him the more people he can kill.

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