NPR: “Coronavirus is more common and less deadly”

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From that paranoid rightwing news outlet National Public Radio (NPR): “Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.”

The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.

“The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%,” says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

That’s in contrast with death rates of 5% or more based on calculations that included only people who got sick enough to be diagnosed with tests that detect the presence of virus in a person’s body.

It must be noted that the early data (from March 17) did not show a death rate of 5% as NPR claims, but one exactly in the range that NPR is now touting, about 1%, and even that number was thought to be a high estimate at the time.

Of course, you would not have known that if you depended on your news from NPR, or most other mainstream leftist news sources. Once they realized they could use this virus to gin up a panic that could be used politically, suddenly the Wuhan flu was the next plague, with death tolls expected in the millions.

The death rate number of 0.5% to 1% is still about five to ten times higher than the annual flu, but since there is substantial evidence that the number of COVID-19 deaths has been inflated by 25 to 50 percent, we should not be surprised if this new death rate number drops even more with the accumulation of more data.


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  • Tom


    What is truly the “tale of the tape” is the newly updated COVID Deaths chart covering across all age groups. Their data is current up to June 27th. The number of deaths is in steady decline and approaching ZERO!!!
    Below is the CDC link.

  • Rose

    Tom, you can’t read too much into the most recent two to three weeks of that “provisional” graph, due to late data not yet coded or received. You can see this by clicking over to the table on frame 2 of 2, and seeing how the total deaths — even for age groups hardly ever affected by COVID-19 — are significantly down for the final two or three figures.

    For instance, there are about three to four hundred total deaths under the age of 1 every week, with at most 1 or 2 attributed to COVID-19. But the last ten figures read: 334, 297, 319, 343, 303, 283, 288, 229, 158, 35. Yet no one is claiming total infant mortality from two weeks ago is down by half or that from the most recent week is down to a tenth of what it normally runs.

    They other way to see this is to use the pull-down to switch the graph from “COVID-19 Deaths” to “Total Deaths”, and see a similar trend toward zero. If the final three weeks displayed were true to life and could be extrapolated, funeral homes everywhere will soon be going out of business. (Of course that is not as bad as the “cubic model” bizarrely put out in a tweet from the Office of Management and Budget a month or so ago which not only showed the pandemic going away in a couple of weeks, but a decreasing “Cumulative COVID-19 Deaths”, implying reanimation of the dead, a.k.a. zombies!

    That said, reported COVID-19 deaths are way down, though week-on-week numbers have been pretty much level for the last couple days (when discounting retrospective additions).

    Side note: I am amazed that health statistics reporting in the US is as inefficient as it is.

  • Rose: One component of the COVID-19 stats that I have not noted yet in an essay, but keep meaning to, is the false sense of accuracy they give. We always get an exact number (though that number gets adjusted repeatedly).

    Yet with the flu, the CDCs never reported total flu deaths with this kind of precision. Look at the past seasonal estimates here, covering flu seasons from 2011 to 2019. The final death tolls are never given as precise numbers but across a range that generally equals margins of error from 20% to even 50%.

    Yet suddenly the CDC and the U.S. can determine, to the person, how many died from COVID-19? To put it mildly, I have serious doubts.

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