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It has been 170 days since 15 days to slow the spread. So it seems like good a time as any to take stock where we are now, how the coronavirus pandemic stands, and most importantly, when we will be able to reopen our country. This is a verdict with Ted Cruz.
Welcome back to Verdict with Ted Cruz, Michael Knowles joined as ever by the senator and a very special guest, Steve Days of the Steve Days' show over at The Blaze. I'm sure you've seen him everywhere. And he's a long time friend, not just of the show, but of Senator Cruz as well. Steve, welcome.
It's good to have you. Steve and I have spent thousands of hours together on the road traveling. I got to tell you, Steve is is brilliant. He is a passionate conservative. But I got to tell you also, there may be no one in the country who has lent my phone up with more texts during this whole pandemic than Steve and every stage because because he has been diving in from the beginning of this pandemic to the numbers to what the numbers mean to what the testing tells us to what what the antibody numbers tell us, to what the impacts of the shutdown tell us.
And so Steve and I have talked about many, many issues at great length. But but I think this this part in particular, it's valuable to get in to what's going on with the pandemic and the country right now.
So I know that there are lies, damned lies and statistics, and everybody seems to have their own statistics on this pandemic. And even I, I try to keep my head into it. I can't really make heads or tails of it. I don't know what to believe.
So, Steve, where do we stand on the coronavirus?
I think if I could choose one point for us to center the conversation on, it would really come down to what we've learned about our testing metric guys, because it goes to the heart of why we none of us are epidemiologists. We're all fairly intelligent guys, but it's not our field of expertise. And so I like to keep the conversation where it impacts public policy as much as possible, because that is each of our areas of expertise. And if you look at the number one concern for why we did these shutdowns across the country, it's because we were concerned about masses of asymptomatic spread that all kinds of people who were otherwise healthy would get the virus, go home, infect grandma, grandpa, and or have these mass spread or events and then go home.
And then we get to an hour to hour three situation.
Now, let me stop stop you right there and just just ask for folks listening. What what is an hour to hour three? What is what does that mean?
It means the rate of who's infected or how many people you infect based on who's infected. Right. So this does two people get infected for every person that's infected, three people, et cetera. The goal in a pandemic is to get to are one and then hopefully to zero. OK, and so if you go way back to March twenty sixth, there's a guy that we used to think was brilliant, named a real tease, was considered the leading infectious disease expert in the world until March 12th.
And that's when he had the unfortunate circumstance of having President Trump cite positively and affirmatively his research on hydroxy chloroquine as a treatment for covid-19. So all over the world. So, yes, well, it was for him at the time all over the world, we were beginning to use hydroxy chloroquine until it was Orangeman bad. And now suddenly we could not write well. On March 26, he issued a piece on PCR testing for for covid-19. And if you go back to the first Saar's, the World Health Organization was very concerned about the amount of false positives with PCR testing because of how sensitive they were and they wanted to positives before they would report.
And so a PCR test is the test that's that's used most frequently. It's the one where they stick the thing way up your nose and it feels like it's in the back of your brain. And it takes often a couple of days or even a week or two in some circumstances to get the result back.
Correct. It's a great testing model. They're very sensitive. They're very accurate. But like any other algorithm, it comes down to what do you program it for the setting that you want. And so back on March twenty six, Rael put out a paper in France saying, hey, what we're finding is when we get beyond 30 seats. All right. Which is cycle threshold's all right. Meaning how many times they have to zero in on a sample before they detect a virus.
Like when you're zooming in on something on your on your phone or your your computer. OK, when we have to zoom, zoom beyond 30 times, these people are not they're not contagious. They're probably not infected. He even in his paper, he refers to them as, quote, viral artifacts. And we all know what an artifact is. It's something that's long since gone. It's a remnant of something that's long since dead. Right. And so he recommended that no one set their PCR test above a cycle threshold or a city of thirty three and recommended 30 for whatever reasons.
And we don't know the answer to this. And this is probably where it becomes your job as a senator to help us find out. Our CDC and CDC like institutions across the world decided. It set their sensitivity levels anywhere from thirty five to forty in our country, it's thirty seven to forty. And so what The New York Times found when they did the survey across the country is that if your state is at a thirty seven or out of forty, anywhere from 40 to 90 percent of our positive tests are false positives because these people are either asymptomatic to the point they're not contagious, they're not contagious at all, or it's a viral artifact.
We're picking up a remnant of an exposure that just is no longer any kind of alive culture. Well, I can't begin to express what that means.
Well, Steve, Steve, let me stop you. Let me stop you for a second, because I want to underscore something that you mentioned there, but that a lot of folks listening and watching may not know.
It would be easy for some skeptics, perhaps, to dismiss the three of us as crazy right wingers. But but but you mentioned The New York Times, which I think it's fair to say whether or not we're crazy right wingers. The New York Times is not a crazy right wing institution. I don't think that's going too far out on a limb to say that. And The New York Times wrote a stunning article just a few days ago that that lays out exactly what you're saying.
So so if you're skeptical of what you're hearing right now, I'm going to say something I have never said before and probably will never say again. Go look up The New York Times. Go read the article from The New York Times. And by the way, if The New York Times and Steve Davis and Cruz annuls are all agreeing that that may actually be in the Book of Revelations, a sign of the Times?
I think so. And by the way, the way it was reported in The New York Times seemed to be this kind of stunning revelation that you can have up to 90 percent of people who are not contagious. And I think that's how a lot of people took and how I took it. But, Steve, it seems to me what you're saying is this was built into the testing from the beginning, that by making the tests so hypersensitive beyond what would be the usual convention that you were setting yourself up for this scenario.
Now, this is where from a public policy standpoint, we have to get into what was the motivation for this? And if you want to give everyone the maximum benefit of the doubt back in March, it is a novel coronavirus. Now, it's not a novel virus. We have been studying coronaviruses for 70 years. The common cold is one of the coronavirus is, for example. But it was the first time we had seen one of these mutate from animal to animal to animal to human and behave like this.
And we also understood that we couldn't trust China's data. So if we all went into this saying, let's be hyper cautious, we're still in the cold flu season anyway, there's not a lot going on in this country in March anyway except for spring breakers. So let's be hypersensitive about this. Fine. But why we have continued to do this now for five, four, six months. You know, there was an interesting there's an interesting situation happening at the University of Alabama as we speak.
Last I heard, they have reported twelve hundred positive cases since the students returned. But Newsweek went and did a survey of these cases and found almost all of them were asymptomatic and there were zero hospitalizations. LSU and Clemson, the top two teams in college football last year when they brought the student athletes back to campus in June and started testing. They had fifty four combined positives, all the almost all asymptomatic, zero hospitalizations. So how so? That actually dovetails with the New York Times report, meaning that because we have this case going on right now in which we're we're creating so many cases, it's not we're doing too much testing.
I love the fact we're doing too much testing because it shows that the virus is actually not as strong or as lethal as we originally feared back in March. But there's a difference between too much testing and too many cases. We had 60 million cases of H1N1 guys when the Obama administration finally decided to cut off the testing because they thought it wasn't going anywhere. This is what we're doing now. And we've got to realize what is our ultimate metric to reopen the country.
When deaths plummeted around Memorial Day weekend, we were told, yeah, but then the cases were too high. Well, now we've had six straight weeks of cases going down and we're being told, well, now it's now it's about deaths. We need a defined metric of what it is that actually says we're beating this thing. And I'll leave with more.
Steve, I'm here in Los Angeles and in California. The new metric for reopening to be almost fully reopened is that you've got to get down to a two percent rate of positive tests. So if if we have this issue of the tests that you're describing and that The New York Times is describing, then then you're in a situation where it looks like we're never going to.
Like last week, Los Angeles County was at its lowest rate for hospitalizations since April 2nd nationwide for covid symptoms. We are at the lowest rate of hospitalization since March twenty. First nationwide, we are below two percent of E.R. visits are for covid like symptom. Now, guys, I ask you whether or not a therapeutic a meaningful vaccine without a meaningful vaccine and since we since now apparently the natural herd immunity that say human civilization from plagues for six thousand years is now suddenly voodoo.
So without without herd immunity and without a meaningful vaccine in a nation of three hundred and thirty one million, how do we do better than less than two percent of E.R. visits for covid? When are get numbers low enough? I think that's the question.
And let me drill down a little bit in the testing information you're talking about and what's in this New York Times article, which is we're not saying that, that. covid isn't real, that it isn't serious, and if you're very elderly, if you've got serious other health conditions, covid can be can be lethal. But for a great many people who are not elderly, a great many people who don't have other serious health ailments, the fatality rate for covid is much, much, much lower.
And the point you're emphasizing here, and it's actually something, as you read the New York Times article that was really stunning is the testing is producing a massive number of false positives, over 90 percent. And these false positives are people you know, it's worth drilling down a little bit of what it means if the test is set at thirty seven or at 40. That's and I like the analogy of sort of zooming in, zooming and zooming in. So that's super zoomed in.
So it detects a little bit of virus in you, but not much, not enough virus typically to make you sick. And and interestingly and really importantly, not enough virus probably, although we're still learning how this operates, but not enough virus. Very possibly, let me put it that way. Not enough virus very possibly to be contagious. And this insight is important because if you want to stop a pandemic, what you want to focus on is people who are contagious.
You want to stop someone, even if they're healthy, from giving it to someone else who's very vulnerable. And if the vast majority of these false positives are not having symptoms and not contagious, it means we're focusing our energy the wrong place rather than directly on the people that actually have. A significant amount of virus, a significant viral load in their body where where they they could well be be symptomatic and getting sick and they could well be contagious. Is that mischaracterizing that fairly, Steve?
You nailed it, you nailed it, Senator, and this goes back to the beginning of the lockdown's, where we didn't secure America's nursing homes up until about the end of July, something like forty five percent of all COVA deaths in America had taken place in a long term care facility. Gentlemen, only zero point six percent of Americans who live in long term health care facility. So we didn't lock down the vulnerable because we put in this incredible effort to lock everybody else down.
And it was over this fear of a symptomatic spread, the largest contact tracing study that was done in this world so far. It was about two weeks ago, over thirty five hundred cases, eight percent of them, they could trace back to some form of asymptomatic spread, eight percent out of over three thousand cases. So we made this huge investment. We went essentially we went out. We're like it. We went hunting with mice with an elephant gun.
We made this huge investment in locking everyone down over the Canada asymptomatic spread and didn't protect the most vulnerable among us. If I'm elderly in Alabama, why are we testing all these students at Alabama? What are we why are we protecting them?
And Steve, you know, it's interesting that that I can tell you firsthand, I've seen how the understanding of doctors and scientists and epidemiologists about this disease have has changed and been uncertain, which is Michael and I were observing earlier today that that it was back in March, actually on the verdict podcast, where we did a podcast from the stage at CPAC with Ronna McDaniel, the head of the RNC. And we did it live. It was a fun episode at CPAC.
And you'll recall at CPAC, Michael and I both encountered an individual who subsequently tested positive and was symptomatic. He he got he got ill. And and in the wake of that, that that's when I decided initially to self quarantine. And this is right at the beginning of when covid was starting to become a meaningful issue in the US. And the physicians all told me, if you're asymptomatic and if the person was not actively sick when you encountered him, you don't have a concern.
You don't need to quarantine. You're fine. And I ended up this. I'm going to stay home to protect everyone else around. But what's interesting is, having seen the months that have gone on, I have seen the experts at CDC say categorically asymptomatic people cannot transmit it, which is what they told me in March categorically to there was a period of time where they were focused on the whole worry is asymptomatic. And I have to admit that felt a little weird, a weird focus.
And then we seem to be moving back into an area of a greater common sense that that we need to focus on who's actually seriously contagious. And and as you were talking about nursing homes, here's a question for you, Steve. Can you think. Of a more catastrophically damaging public health decision than the public policy of the New York state government and Governor Cuomo, who was just lionized at the DNC, then then his policies of sending people into nursing homes who were who were sick with covid and were contagious, and the incredible death toll that that resulted from that.
I cannot and said, I'm going to tell you, I'm pretty cynical. As you well know, this is the worst gaslighting I've ever seen. I mean, this is the reckoning of Cuomo, whose record where this is concerned. I mean, we're sitting here early September. And right now, if New York was its own country, it would still be the sixth worst country in the world for covid-19 death, like the seventh worst country in the world for covid cases per one million.
Still, about one out of every five deaths in America from covid occurred in New York or New Jersey. And and so the way that this has been retcon and we've been gaslighted that he's some kind of hero. And you look at a guy like Ron Santurce in Florida, for example, where he's got a larger population, he's got a larger elderly population, and his CFR is lower than the country, a case fatality rate, which is easy to divide, which is just simply the amount of cases divided by the amount of people who who sadly died.
And it's one point nine percent in Florida below the national average and the one in New York is seven point one percent. So he's almost seven times lower than the one in New York with the second largest elderly population per capita in the country. And he gets ripped as some kind of a grim reaper and Cuomo gets elevated. So what did New York do wrong? And and what did New Jersey do wrong?
What New York did wrong is there and there is a debate about whether this came from the feds. There is a bureau that did recommend that nursing homes, because they were concerned coming off the Imperial College and especially the Army surveys, that we were going to overload the hospitals. There was a memo that that suggested that states could take a look. Some minor bureaucracy you've probably never heard of did put out a memo suggesting that states take a look at the possibility of reinserting covid infected patients back into nursing homes if they weren't immediately in danger of perishing because they were concerned about ICU overload.
All right. And so six states took the lead on this. Five of them were governed by Democrats. And then there was Massachusetts, which has a Republican governor who's basically a Democrat. All right. New York was the one that took the lead out of these six states. And if you look at the death rate in these six states that made this made this decision compared to the rest of the country, it's it's really just not even close. And what they did is they brought a bomb into their nursing homes.
And if nursing homes are anything, they are they are pockets of auto immune deficiencies. You're talking about the elderly, obviously. And so they brought them in and we expose them to covid with these reinsertion of these COGAT patients. And there are some estimate. Phil Kerpen is a phenomenal researcher out there. He estimates that it could be 20 thousand people in New York died in New York nursing homes. The AP has been pointed out on numerous occasions that the numbers that Cuomo and his state are putting out are false and inaccurate.
And the other day, Cuomo said, well, it's probably the take tomorrow, November 5th or so, for us to get an accurate count. Gee, I wonder why we might take until November 5th. Anybody know why that's a magic date? What's going on in the 30s?
Just coincidence, I would say, Steve. Well, I think this is the point, as you put it so well. It's this gaslighting and some of the greatest gaslighting we've ever seen. And that that isn't even coming from the scientists or people looking at the data that is coming from the politicians.
And I want to ask him two questions. Number one, for people listening, if you want to understand more about the numbers, if you want to dig down more deeply or are there names, are there people other scientists are the researchers that the folks on ought to look for and read what they're saying.
I would urge people to go back to John Edwards at Stanford University, his very first white paper on March 17th, which all he did. He's the head of their public health department at Stanford, which is a top five medical school in the country. All he did was break down the IFR in the CFR from our original guinea pig, the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and project out with that would be for our American population. And he nailed those numbers back on March 17th.
Exactly. He was considered a quack, but he's turned out to be exactly right. Oxford University, the number one university in the world. Numerous epidemiologists at Oxford have been calling B.S. on this all along. So, I mean, I would look at a Dr Tony Katz at Yale University is another one. I mean, there's a long list. That's what's been fascinating about this guy's from the very beginning when I started poking at the Imperial College model and realized that their math did not add up.
I was like, you know, this is going to be like. A climate change debate. It's going to be days, Breitbart, Michael Knowles against academia, right? What blew me away is how much of academia all over the world has been pushing back on it.
Steve, let me let me ask you. I mean, look, the institutions you mentioned, Stanford, Oxford, Yale, I mean, those are not fly by night institutions. OK, Yale is. But but the other two or not.
I knew that was coming.
You can't give me a hanging curveball like that. Not expect me to swing.
But like like how do you get researchers and physicians and doctors at the most esteemed academic institutions on the face of the planet? How do you get them dismissed over and over again as quacks? That seems an odd an odd dynamic. What's going on? I wish I knew. Now, I will tell you this. You mentioned the whole thing that you were told at CPAC about asymptomatic spread guys. When somebody in your office come in and says, you know, my kid at home, I think has the flu.
If they have no fever, no cough, no symptoms, do you make them go home? No, nobody does that. Right. OK, so why did we do that with this? Dr. Scott Atlas was on my show on April twenty seventh and he said something very interesting, which is we have suspended the natural laws of biology, immunology and virology. We've acted like we have we don't have hundreds of years of decades of established science on this.
And I can't figure out why. Thankfully, he was brought into the White House coronavirus task force about a month ago. And I think you'll notice the difference in messaging from the White House since he was brought in. He gave a fantastic press conference a couple of days ago with Governor DeSantis down in Florida, because I don't think this is about science. The question that you asked him, I think that we've gotten into the politics of this, and I think that's what's really sad is it's made it so that suddenly a drug that's been FDA approved for 60 years is not healthy, despite all the studies around the world that show that it has at least some marked success early on as a treatment.
The level of politicization of this is just, frankly, despicable, given the human lives that are at stake. College football, you have strong thoughts on this, share your thoughts on college football. Well, according to CDC, those fifteen to twenty four, right in the age of play, high school and college football are twelve point nine percent of the population and yet there's zero point two percent of people who have died with covid, only one point five percent of deaths since March.
Of those, those in that age group have been with coded. There's not a single recorded case that we can point to around the world of a student giving a teacher covid why we're not playing football when comorbidities are the number one cause of death with covid. Ninety four percent of the deaths have been with comorbidities because the number one thing this virus does is weaken your immune system. So if you're.
Well, Steve, I have to ask because I notice you're using very specific language. You're saying dying with covid, which I think ties into this. Ninety four percent, six percent number that has been going around. What does that mean?
I mean, what's the distinction here and what are we talking about with the through August 15, KDDI says six percent of deaths were people who walked in who were otherwise healthy, got covid-19 and died. The other ninety four percent were people who had an average of two point one comorbidities, meaning that this did this virus weakened their already weakened immune systems. It does not mean that ninety four percent of deaths are fake news. That's not what it means. What it means, though, is the way that this virus attacks the human body is it specifically targets those who already have an immune deficiency.
So somebody you guys well know that I work with Glenn Beck at the Blaze. He has autoimmune disease. He would not normally have to self quarantine during a typical flu season. Right. But because this virus specifically goes after weakened immune systems, Glenn did self quarantine from our studios for about two to three months. And so it is a very vicious virus. I don't want to understate that whatsoever. But there's a very targeted demo that it goes after.
And that's why this policy that we have done of attacking mice with elephant guns. Guys, I'll leave you with this. I mean, look at Hawaii. Hawaii has had some form of a massive mandate since April. Twenty fourth, there are two thousand miles away from the next closest civilization. They've seen a seven hundred percent increase in cases there. Hong Kong, where they've been masking up since they're on their third wave of lockdowns, and Hong Kong now the Philippines on their second wave of lockdowns work.
And these are isolated places, the Philippines, Hawaii, high mass abuse. And yet in the end, the virus makes its way through the. So we're not going to stop it from getting through. The question is, can we stop it from getting to the people that it's most going to hurt? That is the question.
And stay to be clear, I'm not sure you can refer to California civilization also a very true point. You might even say that's a scientific point. Gentlemen, that's all the time we have. Steve, thank you so much for being here. You can always go. And I would highly recommend you go check out the Steve Dave show over at The Blaze. And Senator Cruz, I will see you in just a little while for our next episode. In the meantime, I'm Michael Noles.
This is verdict with Ted Cruz.