Health officials worried about the annual biker rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. The event drew half a million people who by all accounts spent much of their time in very close quarters with each other in various stages of sobriety and dress. Think of this as the Harley Davidson answer to Burning Man, or Coachella. Naturally, if people were frolicking, drinking, and what-have-you, then they could easily spread COVID-19.
The event happened the first week of August. Depending on whom you ask, anywhere from 290 people to 250,000 people caught the disease at the event.
South Dakota health officials reported 124 cases in their state that could be traced back to Sturgis, as the rally is called, while the Associated Press reported 290 cases. There has been one death reported.
But a research group out of California issued a 63-page report that labeled Sturgis a superspreader event that could infect 250,000 people, which will cost our national health system billions of dollars. The group stretches their imaginations and the truth to arrive at those numbers.
Now, guess which numbers have been picked up by the USA Today, NBC News, and Kaiser Health? Yep, the 250,000-person and $12 billion-dollar estimates, because, why not? They’re big, and they make “those people” look bad.
The researchers looked at cell phone data to track how closely people gathered at Sturgis, and then where they went after that. By labeling the event as “supespreader,” they used exponential estimates of the number of infections that might occur. To reach the $12-billion-dollar number, they estimate that everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 requires an average of $46,000 in care, including $11,000 for people who are asymptomatic.
How is it that people who have no symptoms require $11,000 in care?
So far, the outrageous estimates are nothing more than hyperbole. The event occurred a month ago, and so far we haven’t seen one thousand, much less one or two hundred thousand, COVID-19 cases traced back to it.
We’ll see if the mainstream media reports the lack of cases.