We are in the middle of one of the worst crises to ever hit the United States, not since the Spanish flu of 1918 – 1919, the Recession of 1921 and the Great Depression of the 1930s have we seen such a combination of disease and economic disasters attack our country.
In just a little over six months we have gone from full employment, an expanding economy, record employment numbers, and growing prosperity for all to a severe crisis mode. We all have our theories of how this invisible murderous COVID-19 virus came to our shores and has claimed nearly 150,000 American lives, and shut down our economy, putting 22 million people out of work.
What I am going to do today is put together some of the numbers that the mainstream media and the health experts have neglected to show you. Do not worry there will be no higher mathematics or complex graphics to follow, or slides on screen. Just some down to earth facts of where we are in this pandemic, and where we should be going in the next six months. We will also look at some of the other pressing healthcare issues that are far more dangerous and destructive than the COVID-19 virus.
First a couple of assumptions up front, that will be used in some of the calculations in our discussion. First one being the population of the United States, assume it is approximately 335 million people, some estimates are higher some estimates are lower but it really doesn’t matter it is not going to change the bottom-line figures that much.
As of July 24 approximately 149,000 deaths have been recorded, this may be a pure number or a contaminated number, but again it is not going to affect the bottom line significantly.
That is a death rate of 0.044%. You may have heard much higher numbers based upon the number of cases and not the total number of people in the country. Some people like to use cases as compared to death per 100,000 population, well that doesn’t make any sense because cases excludes those people that have been tested with a negative result and also excludes the population that may or may not have contact attracted the virus and is not dead, asymptomatic.
In comparison in 2019, 480,000 people died from smoking, an additional 41,000 died from secondhand smoke, a total of 521,000 people or 3 ½ times the number of people who have died from this virus. A death rate of 0.155% nearly 4 times as great and this is been going on for years. Should we be asking our government to close the economy because people are dying from smoking, I do not think so. Maybe we should just ban smoking, which will probably not happen as many governments state, local, and federal obtain significant tax revenue from smokers.
New Surge, Second Wave?
Everybody is talking about an explosion in the number of cases, hotspots in Florida, Texas, and California, what they do not talk about is the death rate. Since April 11, 2020, the CDC records for death rate has decreased every week including the last four weeks, June 20 to July 11, of this “new surge, second wave” as some would call it. Let us look at those same three states and normalize the numbers per hundred thousand people. First let us look at cases. California 20.3 cases per hundred thousand people, Florida 25.9 cases per hundred thousand people, Texas 15.8 cases per hundred thousand people.
In contrast New York State 279.4 cases per hundred thousand people, New Jersey 176.6 cases per hundred thousand people, Connecticut 123.4 cases per hundred thousand people. I do not think Gov. Cuomo should be going around the country pointing out the best ways to deal with the virus. At the other end of the extreme we have Alaska at 2.6, Hawaii at 1.8, Montana at 4.2 and Wyoming at 4.3.
Yet many people in the Democrat party want a single national policy to deal with things like opening restaurants, beauty salons, movie theaters, and are critical of Pres. Trump when he says that the individual states should be responsible for setting the policy. What do you think is right, should Alaska have the same policy as New York State who has 100 times more cases?
To any good statistician cases is a lousy number to be using to measure the effect of this virus on the health of people in any state, as the epidemic is different in almost every jurisdiction. Now let us look at the death rate.
California is always good to look at because it is the largest state, the most diverse population both by geography and by ethnic group. Five counties in California are responsible for 74% of all cases and almost the same percentage of deaths, these are Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego. For those not familiar with California’s geography these are all located in Southern California south of the Tepache mountain range and North of the Mexican border. Los Angeles alone contains almost 39% of all cases in the state. The other four counties average about 7%.
In contrast the death rate per hundred thousand people in San Francisco is 1.3%, in Santa Barbara 1.3%, and in 38 other counties the rate is less than 0.3%, and 16 of those the rate is zero. Yet the governor of the State of California is demanding that schools remain closed across the state and will not be open in September. Does this make any sense to you, could it be politically motivated?
The same is true in Indiana where five counties containing the largest cities, Marion and Lake counties and three others are responsible for 42% of the cases, no other county has more than 3% of the state’s cases and most have less than 30 recorded deaths. Again. the number of cases keep going up due to significantly increased testing and the death rate is not. We will look at that in more detail.
As of July 24, the United States has reported 52,942,145 tests. Of these approximately 5,046,506 are reported as being positive or almost a 10%, but more significant is the hospitalization rate specifically by demographics.
One of the factors that goes into hospitalization is the morbidity factors for the individual that is tested positive. We all know the older the individual the greater the risk of this virus and more likely they are to be recommended for hospitalization.
As recently as 1 May we were only testing a total of 30,000 people per day, this last week testing averaged 770,000 people per day and of course cases are going to go up even as the rate of infection goes down.
We are doing 25 times as many tests a day across the United States. Almost 5 million people per week. At the beginning of May we were reporting approximately 3,500 cases per day, the most recent numbers are approximately 70,000 cases per day, given the number of increased tests you would be expecting 87,000 cases per day if the rate positive results remain the same. The numbers indicate it has fallen by approximately 10%.
Yet the politicians are quick to say the surge in the number of cases indicates a second wave and is an extreme danger to the general population, because the surge is out of control.
Cases is a bad statistic.
As I mentioned earlier those three large states Florida, Texas, and California all being indicted by the media pundits and the politicians of being out of control still have not had a surge in death rate.
There may be a few days where there has been an increase numbers but there have been abnormalities reported in the collection of data. In one county in Florida 100% of those tested were indicated as positive, and an extremely high number of COVID-19 related deaths were reported.
In his press conference this past week Pres. Trump said the numbers will get worse before they get better. What is this based upon?
In the next few weeks, the rate of testing will probably increase by 50% of what it is today. Almost 8 million people will be tested a week and even if the positive rate decreases the number of cases reported will most surely increased significantly.
Why have some hospitals reported that they have limited ICU or hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients? The simple explanation is after the lock down and the initial surge was reduced, and more equipment and facilities became available, hospitals again started performing elective medical procedures, and treating patients whose therapies were put off for several months.
Most hospitals to remain profitable book their facility at about 85% capacity. In the San Francisco Bay area only one of the seven counties had more than 5% of hospitalized patients identified as being COVID-19 related, yet these hospitals were all at approximately 20 to 30% capacity. The one County, Marin, that was higher had 12% of available facilities dedicated to COVID patients.
The latest CDC information indicates 132,366 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. During the same period⏤deaths from all causes were 1,485,725. Deaths from pneumonia were 140,744. A cumulative number of deaths resulting from COVID-19 or pneumonia and influenza 221,570. These are total numbers verified by CDC since the initial first death was reported February 1, 2020.
The highest weeks reported were those of April 11 and April 18 with over 16,000 COVID related deaths in each seven-day period. Since that time, the death rate has fallen by almost 2000 deaths per week in a steady decline, until it reached about 3300 deaths per week on June 20 and remained at that level for the next four weeks. The week ending July 18 the death rate fell by 55% to 1500.
Yet this media fabricated surge of concern, scare tactics, and fear does not report that the actual death rate has been reduced tenfold since it is high point, and by 55% in the last several weeks of this surge in cases.
Dr Fauci’s three-phase criteria for moving from one stage to the other required a significant reduction in cases in each two-week stage. Given the huge increases in testing (25 times) reducing the number of cases is a virtual impossibility. The criteria provided by Dr. Fauci was impossible to meet under the best of circumstances. One of the statistics that is very interesting is that while the number of COVID-19 related deaths has dropped significantly, 10 times lower in the last 2 ½ months, the overall death rate has only been reduced by the reduction in number of COVID-19 related deaths, meaning that all other causes of death have remained constant.
Briefly looking at another interesting statistic is what has this cost our company? The tip of the iceberg is the approximate $6.8 trillion that the Federal government has advanced businesses, hospitals, research, and individuals during the crisis.
No matter how you do the numbers the country is bankrupt!
It is estimated that GDP for the second quarter of the year will be down 25% or approximately $4.5 trillion, and almost as much in the third quarter.
We are looking at a $15 trillion cost of this pandemic before end of the fiscal year. There is currently approximately $1.9 trillion of the appropriated funding yet to be dispersed. The Democrats want nearly $4 trillion additional appropriations which will raise our national debt to over $30 trillion, almost double the GDP. We will owe $2 for every $1 of economic activity we generate. And nearly $1.5 trillion in interest on this debt each year and no repayment of principle. It is not tax-deductible, like your mortgage interest.
If we don’t open the economy, regardless of the fears and perceived risks, which do not really exist when you look at the numbers, and spend another $4 trillion trying to stimulate a closed economy, with 22 million members of the workforce sitting on the sidelines, and do not open up those small businesses, which account for 85% of our economic activity, we are doomed for a financial collapse of apocalyptic magnitude.
No matter how optimistic some of the people in government are, and I am an optimist, but my background in economics and business on a global basis says that type of debt is not sustainable.
The politics of this virus are hiding the facts and the science.
The tax burden to pay that off over 30 years at the rate of interest being accrued would double the tax burden on every individual in the country. And that only includes the Federal government’s debt, New York State says it’s $50 billion in the hole, California $35 billion, many more states that have been fiscally mismanaged $5 to $10 billion in lost revenue each, added all up that’s another trillion dollars.
Keeping the economy enclosed is not an option, a total picture of the statistics indicates the risk is significantly lower to 85% of the population then smoking is.
The science of the infection indicates those with a higher morbidity factors including age, other respiratory and immune system compromises need to be protected from the virus.
The media and the political left refused to look at the European models and success in opening new schools, they use the fear factor of “number of cases” and never mention a decreasing death rate nor the concentration in very limited geographic areas. They also cloud the arguments with fear factors about hospitalization numbers when the data shows excess hospital capacity throughout the United States to handle these phantom surges.
The big issue is will we permit politicization of a pandemic to destroy our country for the purposes transforming our nation to a socialist regime that wants misguided and significant changes to the our society and culture that is unique in the world.
We as a people must decide this in the upcoming election: Will we pick freedom and opportunity⏤over government control and suppression of free speech and elimination of our God-given rights?