Of Ventilators, Mark Shea and New York

Guest post by commenter Nate Winchester:
I’ve seen this sentiment going around from several people, but am going to use Mark Shea here as the prime reply to keep this post Catholic themed for the blogmeister. Also because he’s a great example of mental sloth allowing ones feelings to make one bad at math. (But to make it more challenging for myself, I will stick entirely to his own sources.)
This tweet above had a link to a washington post article.
In that article, is the following paragraph.

The president’s comments came shortly after the New York Times reported that the White House had abruptly called off a plan to announce this week that General Motors and Ventec Life Systems would be partnering to produce as many as 80,000 ventilators, citing concerns with the deal’s $1 billion price tag.

Now I haven’t done a deep analysis of the data, but according to the news, it seems like the USA is completely out of ventilators. Certainly there is no mention in the linked article of Trump hoarding a strategic supply of them. Rather it has this paragraph:

As of Tuesday morning, Cuomo said New York needed 30,000 ventilators, noting that the state had so far acquired about 7,000 units, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency offering to provide 400 more. Later that day, Vice President Pence said the White House would be sending an additional 4,000 ventilators as part of an effort to “surge resources” to New York.

So they need 40k, they get 11k. Thus for the purpose of this exercise, let’s assume that the available distribution of ventilators is 0. Nil. Every ventilator is deployed and more are needed.
Now ventilators don’t grow on trees, they have to be made. So let’s assume money is no object and we got GM on making those ventilators they promised. Factories get to work, parts are assembled, and now we’ve got the USA stock up to 80,000 units.
Going with the lowball for Cuomo’s request of 30,000 (since they did get 10k+ as I’m writing this), let’s assume Trump sends 30k of his new ventilator stock to New York.
That now leaves 50,000. For the rest of the country, 49 other states, that means each other state in the union would get…
1,000 ventilators.
(Let’s assume the extra 1k is being sent to the territories.)  A thousand ventilators might be enough to help out Montana, Alaska, Rhode Island… but is that going to be enough for… oh how about the state of Washington? Where Mark Shea lives?
Checking wikipedia… last estimates have the states populations at:
New York – 19+ million
Washington – 7+ million
Washington state has ~37% of the population of New York, and would get 3.3% of the ventilators New York would get.
Considering that Mark Shea once said he “regards Donald Trump as a man who is doing everything he can to kill me [and my family]”, it seems like if Trump really was doing everything he could to kill the Sheas, one of those things would be to accept Governor Cuomo’s request.
Since he turned down the governors’ request, maybe there’s hope for Mark’s survival after all.
And for the rest of you out there. Next time you see a news article out there, double check that the numbers in it fit together. Because the only people worse than Mark Shea at math, are journalists.
Go here to read why New York State has fewer ventilators than it now needs.  Our private sector is already gearing up to make certain we have more than enough ventilators.  When crises occur, inevitably the private sector solves problems caused by the lack of foresight of  the public sector.

More to explorer


  1. /applauds

    Incidentally, for a sense of perspective, New York currently has about 60k cases.

    Take Diamond Princess (which should’ve been a worst case) round it up for easier math to 15% of cases need critical care, assume they all need a ventilator, and that would be 200,000 cases.

    Or about a third more than the total reported cases in the US from January up to now.

  2. The most ill-prepared cities and states were for many decades ruined by crooks and liberals.

    I suggest Trump respond to governors and mayors that blame him for their incompetence: Tell them to resign and dissolve their legislatures and he sends in a Federal official to properly run their cities/states.

    You will not be wrong when you assume that everything you hear, read, or see in the Manchurian (wholly-owned subsidiaries of the CCP) media (including Mark-who?) is either a lie or a factual error.

    Instapundit, “Cuomo could have purchased the additional 16,000 needed ventilators for $36,000 apiece or a total of $576 million in 2015. It’s a lot of money but less than the $750 million he threw away on a boondoggle ‘Buffalo Billion’ solar panel factory. When it comes to state budget priorities, spending half a percent of the budget on ventilators is a no brainer.” Right now, he’s also shoved down our (Long Island) throats an unneeded (his donors need the $$$), hugely-expensive track expansion/boondoggle (there won’t be any more RR cars or train crews).

  3. CONs come in handy when a hospital system decides to build a new hospital two
    miles from an existing hospital at less than half capacity.
    Little Fredo can blame Trump, but I refer readers to The American Spectator article with DeBlasio telling NYers to go about their business on March 1

  4. I’ve seen fiascos avoided working for electric utilities during the aftermath of hurricanes and blizzards, working to get the power back on. There is no substitute for good logistical playbooks, good communication strategies and good people on the ground reporting back to a funnel.
    I sincerely hope that’s in place.

  5. @Jay Anderson

    Does anyone even still read Marx Che outside of the leftwing cadre of former Vox Nova acolytes who have now migrated to his blog?

    Well according to his patreon…

    He’s got at least 43 readers.

    But I’ve heard other complaints from more popular leftists so consider this a handy reply for any instances you find.

  6. One missing piece in this discussion is a reference to the distribution of fatalities. Not quite half have occurred in the 20 or so counties in Downstate New York and northern New Jersey. Presumably, the ICU caseload, so, provisionally, that is where you’d send a large share of your inventory of equipment to begin with. (New Orleans is in proportionately worse shape, so they’d also be at the head of the line).

  7. This past weekend Cuomo admitted that they have the ventilators they currently need. He said he is preparing for the computer projected “worst case “ scenario and doesn’t want to be short IF the worst case happens.

  8. Was this in response time something Mark wrote on his blog or was it something he posted on Facebook? I don’t see any link.

  9. He fancies ‘they’re digging mass graves’ in New York. He seems to not realize that 150,000 people die in those 20 counties every year, north of 400 a day. A doubling of the usual number of deaths sustained for a period of weeks is certainly jarring, but it isn’t Auschwitz.

    I have a suspicion Mark Shea has been suffering for some time from something quite distressing. I’m recalling a dear cousin of my whose husband drew the short straw and ended up with frontotemporal dementia. Her description of it was “I was married to one man for 42 years, then this stranger appeared”.

  10. @Art

    If you read his facebook and twitter, you can see exactly what it is. He’s just consuming the media (particularly LEFT media) straight from the headline without ever reading the meat of the article or bothering to even think.

    He’s an example of what happens when you turn yourself into an NPC. I’m sure Foxfier could talk about her time in Seattle to back up the idea that they operate in near cult fashion out there.

  11. He’s an example of what happens when you turn yourself into an NPC.

    I seem to recall he was about 47 years old when the quality of what he had to say began to sink precipitously. I don’t think that’s a sign of general aging, as a rule, but it’s been going on for so long I do not know what to make of it.

    I tend to doubt he’s a foundational leftist who took a tour through the Church. IIRC, he grew up in an intact family and his father was career military. He’s too young to have been in college when certain attitudes were fashionable (and he hardly refers to his tertiary schooling, so I doubt it was a seminal period in his life). I seem to recall he entered the evangelical world around 1979 – I’m quite sure an evangelical pastor solemnized his marriage in 1983. He entered the Church ca. 1987, IIRC. (It was after 1983 but sometime before the bizarre Abp. Hunthausen retired in 1991). He didn’t publish on political topics and during the period running from 2002-04, he made only occasional remarks on political topics in his blog commentary (he seemed sort of vaguely Buchananite, but not someone all that invested in it). He had a temperate response to all the troublesome things going on during that period in the Church. He then got into a set of rather involved arguments with a menu of bloggers and academics on the ethics of things like waterboarding. He’s been very angry ever since.

  12. Today’s installment from Marx Che includes a smear of John Zmirak (and, by extension, anyone else who sticks a stiletto into George Soros).

  13. “That was rancid even by Mark Shea’s current standards,”

    That’s what got me banned from him the third time. He posted a similar post where he stated those who criticize Soros only do so because they are anti-Semites. I merely copied and pasted an old post of his criticizing Soros, without commentary on my part. Others commented on it before he could remove the post, so he banned me again.

  14. Smearing Zmirak as an anti-Semite is amusing considering the hostility that Shea has often manifested for Israel.

    The grossly amusing thing is that you’d have to scrounge to find evidence that George Soros ever gave a rip about the welfare of Jews qua Jews. There are people in the political establishment in Israel who regard George Soros as one the country’s enemies. (Which evidently does not bother Shea).

  15. If it weren’t for various outraged Leftists slinging mud, I would never have known that Soros is Jewish. Nor do I care.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: