Doing the COVID Math
September 30, 2020
The recent misstatements and exaggerations in the presidential campaign by candidate Joe Biden on the number of COVID deaths of 200 million needs to be clarified. This is more than half of the US population of 328.2 million reported in 2019 by the US Census Bureau.
Quite obviously, one of every two people has not succumbed to COVID. Similarly, candidate Biden reported 60,000 military COVID deaths, when the actual number was 6. Mr. Biden corrected the misstatements shortly after. Whether a mistake or intended, this kind of hyperbolic rhetoric and the media's lurid reporting of "hot spots" around the country have had the effect of really scaring the entire population.
Those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions should be very concerned about their activities to avoid this infection. For everyone else under 55, the fatality rate is .02%....in English, only two persons out of 1,000 who contract the disease die.
Last month the CDC released data that only 6% or roughly 12,000 of the 200,000 deaths were solely caused by COVID 19.
Nationwide, there has been an average increase of 10% over normally expected deaths. These
should be characterized as "untimely" because we all are going to eventually die, and the vast
majority of these COVID related deaths were in elderly people with premorbid conditions.
In other words, most of these were already headed towards death imminently. So, what really matters is the trend line. How much has COVID foreshortened the "length of life?"
According to the CDC, as of September 28, 2020, the US's "length of life" on average shortened for the elderly at-risk population is 24 days.
In Delaware "length of life" on average shortened 15 days. By contrast, in New York City, "length of life" was curtailed about 6 months early, and in New York State (excluding NYC) about 6 weeks. Nearby
New Jersey averaged a loss of almost 2 months.
For most of the US, the "length of life" trend line peaked in April and has never again come close.
While all life is precious, to pass away 24 days early is hardly a pandemic or the Great Plague. To pass away 190 days (six months) early as in New York City is noteworthy and merits some serious scrutiny over the management of the outbreak.
The media has been looking down the wrong end of the telescope, looking and reporting on cases instead of looking at hospitalizations/ICU patients, which has peaked a long time ago in nearly every state.
We regard it as our duty in the Health Policy Sector of the Caesar Rodney Institute to quell unnecessary hysteria and panic due to false or misleading data recounting.