“Embracing Facts Over Fear,” Edward Pinto, Director AEI Housing Center, on COVID19’s Impact, Data-Driven Insights


The analysis below about COVID19 related data was sent to MHProNews by Edward Pinto, Director of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Housing Center. Pinto and AEI have periodically been referenced by the mainstream media and MHProNews for years.

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Properly understood, their information is both insightful and troubling.

For a background on Pinto, per the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Housing Center bio, “Before joining AEI, Mr. Pinto was an executive vice president and chief credit officer for Fannie Mae until the late 1980s. Today, he is frequently interviewed on radio and television and often testifies before Congress. His writings have been published in trade publications and the popular press, including in the American Banker, The Hill, RealClearPolitics, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, as the director of the AEI Housing Center, he oversees the monthly publication of the AEI Housing Market Indicators, which has replaced AEI’s monthly Housing Risk Watch and AEI’s FHA Watch.”

Pinto earned his JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pinto’s AEI insights will be followed by an MHProNews analysis and commentary. It should be noted for clarity that the data Pinto is presenting is for the United States.


The following article was published in RealClearMarkets this morning:

QuoteMarkManufacturedHomeLivingNews“As of May 17, about 91,000 lives have been lost to the coronavirus.  Notably, those aged 65 or older accounted for 80 percent of these deaths and residents or employees of long-term care facilities accounted for one third of all deaths.  Based on life-expectancy and taking into account that 90 percent of all coronavirus deaths had one or more co-morbidity factors, an estimated 800,000 life-years have been lost.

This is about half the number of life-years lost to the 38,000 motor vehicle driver fatalities in 2018.  The reason for this disparity is simple.  The median age of coronavirus fatalities is 81, while the median age of driver fatalities is about 40 years.

To put it in an even clearer prospective, someone aged 45-54 has the same likelihood of dying in motor vehicular accident in one year as from the current coronavirus pandemic.  And someone aged 35-44 is about one quarter as likely to die in such an accident as from the coronavirus pandemic.

It would take a doubling of deaths due to coronavirus to equal the driver life-years lost in 2018 due to vehicular deaths.

What does this mean from a policy perspective?

First, stop the multi-trillion dollar bailouts. Quit shutting down large swaths of the economy and paying people not to work. Instead, aggressively reopen the economy in those states and counties that have warmer temperatures, low case and death rates per capita, declining case levels, and minimal mass transit.  And of course, we should implement best health practices and protect those living or working in nursing homes, food processing facilities, and prisons.

Second, in places historically reliant on mass transit, focus on removing the friction that prevents employees from returning to work.  Consider providing a business’s employees and self-employed individuals a tax credit of up to $1000/month for 3 months to be used to pay for parking, ride-sharing and taxis, rental cars, tolls, and gasoline. And, there is a large surplus capacity for each of these today.  This would also help take demand pressure off of mass transit operators.  The cost would be $30 billion for say 10 million currently unemployed individuals.

Third, places like California are mired in shut down orders and slow re-openings. According to data from Safegraph, San Francisco’s level of foot traffic has recovered to only 42 percent since its low of 33 percent in mid-April.  Los Angeles is in a similar situation. Compare this to Dallas, where foot traffic is at 66 percent, up from 42 percent in mid-April. Atlanta and Houston have posted similar gains. Why is this happening, given that California is 33rd and 29th lowest respectively in cases and deaths per capita?

Fourth, get the facts straight about so-called spurts in cases and deaths.  A May 14 headline about Texas blared: State reports largest daily increases in cases and deaths. Ignored was that Texas, the second largest state, is 39th and 40th lowest respectively in cases and deaths per capita.  Also ignored was the fact that more than 16K prisoners and staff had been checked for COVID-19 in first 3 days of self-testing. Or that, thousands of Texas nursing home residents have tested positive for coronavirus.

Fifth, accelerate access to so-called elective medical treatments. According to foot-traffic data from Safegraph, hospitals are only at about 60 percent of normal activity. Elective surgery only means you get to choose a date, not that it isn’t potentially life-threatening.

Americans want to go back to work.  It is time to let them again exercise their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

To view the article on the AEI Housing Center website, please click here.

Edward J. Pinto
Director, AEI Housing Center

American Enterprise Institute
1789 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036



Comparing Facts Noted Above With Other Sources

In Florida, 83 percent of coronavirus deaths are people 65” and “The average age of those who’ve died was 77 years old. Fifty-seven percent were men. About 63 percent were white…” said the Tampa Bay Times 4 days ago.

According to left-of-center Bloomberg on May 7, 2020: “Coronavirus Deaths by Age: Covid-19 Is Extra Deadly for…the elderly, with those 65 and older accounting for 80% of the U.S. deaths.”

Rephrased, AEI Housing Center Director Pinto’s data on death counts by age seems to be in the same range as a spot check of other sources claim. Note that Pinto cited and linked his sources, as a good researcher should do.


MHProNews Analysis and Commentary 

Facts are often politicized in media reports, which is why this publication has used the left-right media bias tool for some years. Medical or ‘scientific’ information is regretably politicized too. Part of the problem in this current pandemic is that the ‘science’ has been contradictory and thus unreliable. If there ought to be an immediate takeaway from how public authorities and much of the media has handled the outbreak, it is that red herrings, misinformation and a lack of critical analysis has abounded.

For instance, there was the “Red Dawn Breaking Bad” email chain that was big news in April. ICYMI and/or as a reminder, the following snapshots are relevant to this discussion.

The Kaiser Health News and then the New York Times reported on a so-called “bombshell” email chain dated from late February 2020 that included a range of American public and health officials. While valid arguments can be made that other preventative steps could have been taken and done more swiftly, that point must be placed in a broader context of other known facts inside the U.S., the international community and a timeline of events. More on that further below.

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As the New York Times (NYT) framed those late February 2020 “Red Dawn Breaking Bad” emails, “Even after Mr. Trump took his first concrete action at the end of January — limiting travel from China — public health often had to compete with economic and political considerations in internal debates.” Of course, everyone has to compete for attention at the White House. Put differently, that phrasing was hype, not pure and objective journalism.

That NYTimes statement cited above ignores the point that Chinese public officials and the World Health Organization (WHO) – among others – issued purportedly false and misleading information weeks earlier. Had those international sources responded accurately and timely, there would have been no need for the “Red Dawn Breaking Bad” emails in the first place.

Keep in mind as you read this historic tweet from the WHO that officials in Taiwan notified them 2 weeks previously that they saw evidence that what some now call the Wuhan Virus – COVID19 or novel coronavirus – was being transmitted person-to-person. At a minimum, WHO should have tempered this statement above with the report from Taiwan. Furthermore, the WHO should have issued an accurate or balanced statement weeks before this date. See the report linked here for more details.

Put differently, “Red Dawn Breaking Bad” was one of several classic ‘red herrings.’ A distraction from what the public should be focused on.

Artful dodge, razzle dazzle, ways of emotionally or otherwise moving the focus away from the actual issue.




The reason this matters, as the NYTimes understands quite well, is that the sooner correct preventative action had been taken, the more lives that could have been saved. Who says so? Medical researchers at the University of Southampton. It is standard procedure when a viral infection poses the risk of a pandemic to quarantine those impacted as swiftly as possible.



Classical journalism seeks to answer these questions. Who did what, when, where, why and how? Who got how much for doing – or not doing – something of importance?

Trillions have been borrowed and trillions of dollars of market value has been wiped out. These are not trivial issues, they are as important as it gets – life, death, livelihoods and threats to personal freedom. Thus to unpack those critical questions, the following report is your foundation for information across the left-right-media divide. Books will be written about this pandemic someday, but the report below which includes source materials and references is far easier and faster to read, digest and is available now.



To end on a possibly hopeful note, our business nightly market report yesterday indicated from two different media sources that mortgage applications rose week-over-week. That is occurring as the shutdowns are being lifted in numerous states. The data looks promising, click the link below to learn more.




One other useful report for those who want to grasp the potential opportunities and threats are found in the report linked below.





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The links above and below the byline are relevant to this topic. That’s a wrap on this installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing© where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)

All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

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The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.


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The featured image includes several metaphorical items. It can be seductive – but dangerous – to believe certain things. A mask, among other meanings, is used to project a false face, often used by actors. The eye conveys vision or understanding, which that woman and the mask partially obscures. The wall can stand for the harsh reality that sets in when illusion and the hard facts meet.

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