COVID-19 update: Though deaths up slightly, CDC says outbreak no longer qualifies as epidemic

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U.S. daily COVID-19 deaths through July 12th

But we’re all supposed to die! Even though the last week has seen a slight uptick in the number of daily deaths from COVID-19 (as shown by the graph to the right [source]), the CDC’s latest data update, through July 4th, notes that as of that date the overall death rate put the Wuhan virus below their “epidemic threshold.”

Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 6.9% during week 26 to 5.5% during week 27, representing the eleventh consecutive week during which a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC has been recorded. The percentage is currently below the epidemic threshold but will likely change as additional death certificates for deaths during recent weeks are processed. [emphasis mine]

In other words, at the beginning of this month the numbers said the epidemic was over. To underline this point, the CDC’s totals also include deaths from pneumonia and influenza, which therefore reduces the death rate for the Wuhan flu even more.

(Note: The two spikes on the graph of daily deaths on May 7 and June 25 are because New York and New Jersey suddenly added a whole slew of new deaths, under suspicious circumstances.)

The increase in deaths during the past week probably reflects the increased number of cases in the past month. It also partly explains why the CDC has not officially declared the epidemic over. They expected the death rate to rise, and it has.

However, even that rise hardly ranks as an epidemic. The ratio between the death rate and new cases has dropped considerably, by more than half. When the epidemic reached its peak in deaths in early May, the number of new cases per day was about 30,000, resulting in about 2,000 deaths per day, a ratio of one death for every 15 new cases. Now the number of new cases per day is generally exceeding 60,000, yet the number of daily deaths averages about 750, a ratio of one death for every 80 new cases.

Daily COVID-19 statistics for Arizona

This is clearly illustrated by the situation in Arizona, as shown in the graph to the right. Despite the fast rise in new cases (hyped absurdly by our bankrupt mainstream press), the number of deaths and hospitalizations has simply not kept pace.

We can draw two bits of good news from this data. First, it appears that the virus is losing it deadliness, either because the general population is gaining herd immunity or because the virus itself is beginning to die.

Second, the numbers once again show that the virus’s overall death rate is probably not much worse than the flu, and also poses almost no threat to the healthy population, especially those under 65. Most of the deaths are among those over 65 who are also sick from other chronic illnesses.

Furthermore, the risk from this disease is also mostly confined to residents of the northeast, specifically in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Those four states alone account for 42% of all deaths nationwide. Or to put it another way, if you lived anywhere else and were below the age of 65, your chances of dying from COVID-19 were practically nil. And if you are a resident of these four states but are below 65, your risk also remains almost as low.

This is an epidemic of the aged ill, concentrated mostly in the high population density regions of the East Coast. The rest of the country should simply stand down from the harsh measures of social distancing, masks, isolation, and lock downs. We really can return to normal life.

In fact, we should never have abandoned that normal life. The data in the beginning pointed in this direction, and nothing that has happened since has suggested otherwise. All we had to do was focus on protecting that elderly population while the rest of us went on with our lives, and all would have been well.

Instead, we panicked, and along the way the panicky elected Democrats in charge in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania actually made things even worse by taking actions that actually increased the death toll among that vulnerable elderly population. They mandated that nursing homes had to accept sick patients, thus exposing that vulnerable population directly to the virus and killing thousands unnecessarily.

It is time to stop panicking. It is time to take a breath, recognize that we are all not going to die. It is time to put aside our fears and become sane again.

Because if we don’t we will bring misery not only to ourselves but our children for generations to come, far in excess to anything that COVID-19 has wrought.


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  • Shaun

    Agree. In Minnesota, the death count from COVID-19 for those under 50 for the entirety of this whole thing was 38. 38! What’s more selfish – Me refusing to wear a mask and supposedly putting an elderly individual at risk or that elderly at risk individual insisting on going into public and forcing the entirety of society to take these drastic measures? I submit that if you are worried that you might contract this virus and die then you have an absolute right as an American to stay home and not put yourself in harm’s way. This is a choice. Make one. Don’t rely on the government to force the vast majority of the country to act in a way that is NOT healthy for a normal society just so you can have the illusion of feeling safer while putting yourself at risk all while forcing a continued shut down of the economy.

    Also – don’t forget that this is exactly what the left wants. That remains their only real hope for a Bidden win however remote.

  • Rose

    I was curious to see just how long it takes the preliminary PIC percentage numbers to settle into their final values. Clicking “View Data Table” from each of the “Past Weekly Surveillance Reports” for weeks #20 — #27 and aggregating figures gives the following progression. (So the week #20 number changes over the span of 8 reports but the more recent week #26 number only over two.)

    20: 12.0, 15.9, 18.1, 18.7, 19.1, 19.2, 19.1, 19.0
    21: 9.8, 13.7, 15.5, 16.3, 16.6, 16.6, 16.5
    22: 8.4, 12.4, 14.5, 14.9, 15.1, 15.1
    23: 7.3, 11.4, 12.5, 12.9, 13.1
    24: 7.1, 9.5, 11.0, 11.4
    25: 6.9, 9.0, 10.0
    26: 5.9, 6.9
    27: 5.5

    Given that pattern, it is near certain that week 27’s PIC percentage will grow above the current 5.8% threshold, probably with its first update.

  • CRT

    Which is why suddenly, deaths are being reported as rising. Whether they are actually deaths from the virus or just deaths WITH it, we’ll probably never know

  • Edward

    Shaun suggested: “Don’t rely on the government to force the vast majority of the country to act in a way that is NOT healthy for a normal society just so you can have the illusion of feeling safer while putting yourself at risk all while forcing a continued shut down of the economy.

    But, isn’t the whole purpose of government to force the vast majority of the country to use the proper pronoun to match each individual’s gender identity? (This becomes problematic when someone’s identity changes continuously. Have you ever been trapped in a lady’s restroom stall when you suddenly started feeling more masculine that feminine?)

  • pzatchok

    The infection rate for this or any infectious disease should look like a bell curve.
    Unless you do something like ‘locking down’ the nation and that just lengthens it out. It doesn’t reduce the amount of infected it just takes longer to get them infected.

    Out of a population of 350 million we have ONLY tested 3.3 million. Not even 1 percent yet. At this rate how long will it take to test the whole of the population? Its about a 2% a year rate right now. That is 50 years to test everyone.

    How long will it take to reach a 75% of the population infected rate? The estimated low end for heard immunity?

    My shot in the dark guess would be 3 years if we keep doing everything they recommend. One year if we just quit all this mucking about.
    That is three more years until you get to see grandma in the nursing home. By the way most of those people have not been outside or even seen anyone other than a nurse in 6 months. People in jail are getting better treatment.

  • Andrew_W

    pzatchok, I more or less agree with your math and conclusions, though herd immunity could happen at about 60% people immune. And the US has now tested 43 million, not 3.3 million. I’m guestimating that around 15 – 25 million Americans have been infected so far.

    The 3 years is the figure I’ve suggested with a regime intended to keep infection rates down to a level as to be politically acceptable and not overwhelm the health system.

  • pzatchok

    I woke up and realized my numbers were all wrong.

    But THREE years? Not three years to save even a single life but three years so hospitals don’t get overwhelmed?

    Just let it go and overwhelm that hospital system. It will only last a moth or so once it starts.

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