For many Americans, the charts, the graphs, and yes, the models regarding the severity of the Coronavirus have not passed the smell test. Something in the data has felt off from the jump. Now new figures released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reveal a far different Coronavirus death rate in the U.S. than initially reported. The March graphs showed 100K – 240K deaths in the U.S. As of this writing, the project number stands at approximately 60K total deaths through August. This new death rate – that of 60K – would put the Coronavirus mortality rate in the same league with a nasty seasonal flu year. Thus, we are left to wonder: Have Americans been living A Big Lie?
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Rationally reviewing these numbers is vital. As Liberty Nation’s Graham J. Noble recently reported:
Estimated CDC numbers for influenza, for the 2019-2020 flu season, stand at:
- 39,000,000 – 55,000,000 illnesses
- 18,000,000 – 26,000,000 medical visits
- 400,000 – 730,000 hospitalizations
- 24,000 – 63,000 deaths
Looking at the graph below, one can see the revised U.S. COVID-19 death rate stands at 60,415.* (Though the IHME summary forecasts approximately 81K. See below.) For sure, the range is broader than the seasonal flu – from a low of 31K to a peak of 126K revealing a level of uncertainty for the Coronavirus. That 60K number is not a figure that would necessarily fuel panic in America. Why? Because we’ve seen this before.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an “independent population health research center at UW Medicine, part of the University of Washington, that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems,” according to its website. Director Dr. Christopher Murray and the IHME has been cited repeatedly as a source by the U.S. task force dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. The national response to the virus has largely been based on Murray’s models as well as those of WHO. Who fed those numbers to WHO and IHME – why China, of course, because that’s where it all began. But that’s another topic entirely which you can read more about here.
On Tuesday, March 31, President Trump announced that “mathematical models presented show total U.S. deaths within a range of 100K – 240K,” as Liberty Nation’s Mark Angelides wrote. This was a shocking number for Americans to digest. On our website, we openly queried “Are COVID-19 U.S. Death Toll Predictions Accurate?” and followed it up with “Relying on computer models is a surefire path to panic.” Putting things into perspective, the 1968 H3N2 virus pandemic took an estimated 100K lives in the U.S. Most of these were people age 65 and older. This number comes straight from the CDC. The Spanish Flu of 1918 – again, according to the CDC, took an estimated 675K American lives.
In neither case was the American society or economy shuttered as it is today. We need not pound these numbers to death. We get that every human life matters. We understand that social distancing has helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, reasonable people are left to wonder if federal and state authorities have overreacted to the Coronavirus situation, leaving one to question if – in the end – the cure will indeed be worse than the illness.
*The IHME COVID-19 projections state “We estimate that there will be a total of 81,114 deaths (95% UI 38,242 to 162,106) from COVID-19 over the next 4 months in the US. Deaths from COVID-19 are estimated to drop below 10 deaths per day between May 31 and June 6.” This figure differs from their own as published graph above.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.
For home study students and young people, Liberty Nation recommends…
All About Coronavirus
High School: The Spread of Coronavirus: How It Works
Middle School: A Scientific Look at COVID-19
Elementary School: Coronavirus: The Science
All About The Government Response To Coronavirus
High School: White House Acts on Coronavirus
Middle School: Trump Takes Action on Coronavirus
Elementary School: Trump Versus Coronavirus