For those who feel as if the coronavirus crisis is never going away, we offer some optimism. Get it here, because lockdown Democrats and their pandemic-cheerleading media allies want to keep the pessimism running high.
On two separate occasions in recent weeks, we’ve presented data that indicate the crisis is winding down. No, this doesn’t mean that infections and deaths will drop to zero. The virus isn’t going away. What it does mean is that the virus isn’t the threat it was when deaths spiked in the middle of April.
This is primarily based on deaths in excess of the expected numbers of fatalities. The Centers for Disease Control chart below shows that total deaths, the blue bars, have fallen below the threshold for excess deaths. Stanford biophysics professor and 2013 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry Michael Levitt called it “a huge milestone.”
There’s no better method for gauging the severity of an outbreak of disease than counting excess deaths. Our World in Data says “excess mortality is a more comprehensive measure of the total impact of the pandemic on deaths than the confirmed COVID-19 death count alone.” According to an opinion piece in STAT, “measuring excess mortality gives a clearer picture of the pandemic’s true burden.”
Unfortunately, the most recent data available is from the week of Sept. 5. The Centers for Disease Control promises to update its data by 5 p.m. Eastern every Wednesday. But the page has not been updated since Sept. 9, so we’re missing the week of Sept. 12. Given the trend, though, we’d expect the total number of deaths to fall yet again below the threshold. If this continues to happen over the next several weeks, what does it mean?
Before we move on, we feel its important to reiterate that COVID-19 is not fully responsible for the death total that surged past the expected threshold. The lockdown response has been deadly.
“Federal data show deaths in 2020 have exceeded those of previous years in numerous categories,” the Wall Street Journal reported last week. “Doctors and health researchers say the fatalities reflect the ways the pandemic has amplified stress and financial strain while causing many people to avoid hospitals for fear of infections.”
The Journal continues:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked thousands of deaths this year beyond expected levels for conditions that also include hypertension, strokes and diabetes. Physicians say the surge was especially notable in the spring, when the pandemic hit New York and other parts of the Northeast hard.
Other facts that the Democrats and press would rather stay out of the news include:
- Researchers applied to Sweden the model used by Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College epidemiologist who earned the label “professor lockdown” for his wild forecasts of coronavirus deaths that caused world leaders to panic. The resulting forecast was between 52,000 to 183,000 deaths, with a median of 96,000, by the end of June. That prompted the academics to insist that Sweden would have to hide under the covers to avoid a catastrophe. Sweden remained largely open and its actual death toll was fewer than 6,000 by the middle of September.
- When compared to Europe, South America, its closest neighbors, other developed nations, and the world, the U.S.’ case fatality rate is among the lowest.
- The rolling seven-day average of deaths per million has been falling steadily in the U.S. since August, which a brief interruption in early September, and is far below its April 22 peak.
- Hospitalizations are in sharp decline.
We expect the Democrats to avoid and ignore facts and numbers that contradict their coronavirus narrative. One, they want to voters to live in fear and take it out on the Trump White House and Republican senators in November. Two, Democratic governors and mayors have had a taste of expanded authority over an ostensibly free people and don’t want to let go of that raw power – it’s exactly what they live for.
Even though we wish we didn’t, we expect the media to do the same. A once-independent press corps has become the Democratic Party’s communications and propaganda office.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board