COVID-19 daily death rate plunges; U.S. mortality lower than most western countries

The Washington Times print edition:

The number of Americans dying from COVID-19 has been falling for weeks, a case the White House is making as it points out that the U.S. fatality rate is well below that of Europe’s biggest countries.

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“…the decline in deaths is evidence that either the rise in positive tests is occurring mainly among younger people at low risk, doctors are getting better at treating COVID, doctors in [New York] and the early states made unfortunate and possibly preventable mistakes, or the virus itself is becoming less dangerous.”

That message has been all but lost amid the alarm over the summer surge of COVID-19 cases and talk about a second shutdown.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Monday that the fatality rate — the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed cases — is well below that of France, the United Kingdom and Germany, as she defended President Trump’s comment during his Fourth of July address that 99% of novel coronavirus cases are “totally harmless.”

“The president is not downplaying the severity of the virus,” Ms. McEnany said at a press briefing. “What the president is noting is that at the height of this pandemic we were at 2,500 deaths per day. We are now at a place where on July 4 there were 254. That’s a tenfold decrease in mortality.”

She said the number of deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday was 209, which was down 23% from the previous week.

“What the president was pointing to, and I’m glad you brought it up, was a factual statement, one that is rooted in science and one that was pointing out the fact that mortality in the country is very low,” Ms. McEnany said.

After daily death rates peaked at 3,000 in March and April, they fell Sunday to 251, in large part because younger people who are better able to survive COVID-19 make up a larger percentage of patients.

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Alex Berenson, author of “Unreported Truths About Covid-19 and Lockdowns,” said the “news is significantly better on all fronts” when it comes to SARS-CoV-2, the official name of the virus.

In addition, “deaths actually continue to drop to their lowest levels since the epidemic began in March.”

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July Fourth festivities could result in an uptick in deaths and serious cases in the next two weeks, given reports of celebrations and beaches where not all people engaged in social distancing or maskwearing, but Mr. Berenson said the decline over the past month should hold up statistically.

“Deaths can lag positive cases by a couple of weeks, but they should not lag by a month or more,” he said in an email. “So the decline in deaths is evidence that either the rise in positive tests is occurring mainly among younger people at low risk, doctors are getting better at treating COVID, doctors in [New York] and the early states made unfortunate and possibly preventable mistakes, or the virus itself is becoming less dangerous.”

That message has been all but lost amid the alarm over the summer surge of COVID-19 cases and talk about a second shutdown.

Here’s the latest CDC Report

Here are case mortality rates by country (Johns-Hopkins University). The U.S. at 4.5%. Above it in the list, with higher rates, are: Belgium, UK, France, Italy, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Ireland, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, China, Indonesia, Germany, & Denmark.


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