A Diamond in the Sea.

In a blog post yesterday, I laid out the case that my good friend and co-author Charley Hooper made for the conclusion that the deaths from the coronavirus-induced Covid-19 disease will be comparable to the deaths from flu. One of Charley’s big pieces of evidence was the case of the Diamond Princess.

Another friend, Phil Magness, contacted me to give his input about why that was Exhibit A for Charley’s case. I am reporting this with Phil’s permission. Here’s Phil:

Charlie’s comment on the Diamond Princess is one of the most convincing I’ve seen to date.

I replied: Ditto me. I’m really excited that I might lose the bet.


In addition to the relatively low infection rate despite being several weeks in close quarters, it’s basically the only case where we have a true controlled experiment where 100% of passengers [and he obviously means “and crew”] were tested and we know exactly who got it. It has everything all the other stats are lacking: a reliable numerator and a complete 100% accounted for denominator, plus known locations of all passengers.