As I noted in a recent post, everywhere you look these days the coronavirus pandemic is on the run. Covid-19 cases are down, hospitalizations related to the virus are down and deaths “with Covid” are down. Meanwhile, vaccinations are up … and masks are beginning to come off as American society begins returning to “normal.”
Oh, and the battle over who gets the credit for all of this is well joined …
Having had Covid-19 once (and possibly twice), I can affirm the virus is serious … but that it is also nowhere near as bad as it was made out to be. That’s why I have been arguing for the past year against the sort of societal shutdowns that accompanied the initial wave of the pandemic and its subsequent spikes.
There is one data point, though, which I believe is worth tracking as Covid-19 numbers continue their precipitous plunge … the case fatality rate for the virus.
Before addressing that number, though, let’s do another quick snapshot of where we currently stand with respect to other key indicators for Covid-19 – which appears to have originated in a government laboratory in Wuhan, China (something my news outlet addressed in detail over a year ago).
First, let’s look at vaccinations: According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50.8 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while 41 percent of the population is “fully vaccinated.”
As vaccinations have climbed, all of the core metrics used to track the spread of Covid-19 have fallen off of a cliff. As of June 1, 2021, the seven-day rolling average for daily new confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States stood at 19,338 – its lowest mark since March 30, 2020 and a 92.5 percent decline from its revised peak of 261,321 cases on January 8, 2021.
As for Covid-19-related hospitalizations, those stood at 25,987 on May 31 – the lowest total since March 31, 2020 and an 81.7 percent decline from their peak of 142,273 hospitalizations on January 14, 2021.
Finally, the seven-day rolling average of daily new deaths “with” Covid-19 stood at 593 on June 1 – down 82.9 percent from a peak of 3,469 deaths on January 16, 2021.
While all of these numbers bode extremely well for the trajectory of the virus, the aforementioned fatality rate is cause for concern …
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The Covid-19 case fatality rate – or the number of deaths “with” the virus per 100 confirmed cases – remains stuck at 1.8 percent. In fact, this key indicator has not budged since February 13, 2021, when it ticked up incrementally from 1.7 percent. It has not advanced or receded by more than a tenth of a percentage point from either of those two readings since December 11, 2020.
In other words, while cases, hospitalizations and deaths have plunged (and vaccinations have skyrocketed), Covid-19 is no more or less deadly than it was at its zenith in early January.
What gives? Good question …
There was no shortage of sketchy reporting last year when it came to Covid-19 deaths … but lately there has been a dearth of reporting on the subject. Neither the pro-lockdown fearmongers nor the tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists seem to have the foggiest notion as to what is happening. Seriously … why is the case fatality rate associated with Covid-19 unchanged despite nearly half of the country being vaccinated?
“I would have liked to have seen that number go down,” a nurse tracking the data told me recently.
Me too …
In lieu of that, though, I would settle for some clarity as to why this number has not gone down.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Magnum P.I.-style Detroit Tigers’ road lid pictured above).
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