by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:
The discussion of coronavirus has taken some sharp turns. One such turn is the claim that the mortality rate is not high enough to justify shutdowns. But the mortality rate is not the reason for the shutdowns. The purpose of the closedowns is to reduce the exponential rate of infection. Covid-19 is much more contagious than flu, people can spread the virus for days and weeks prior to developing symptoms, the seriousness of each case is not predictable in advance, and it is a new virus about which little is known including treatment. Therefore, the highly infectious virus can easily overwhelm health care systems—just ask New York City and Italy. This is the reason for trying to reduce the rate of infection. There is no good information on mortality rates as there is no reliable or widespread testing, and the payment incentives result in hospitals reporting the virus as the cause of any deaths that can be associated with it.