The Time has Come for some Answers about the Coronavirus Pandemic

How much does the general public really know about the Chinese Coronavirus?  What is the death rate solely attributable to the virus?  Of those that have died, how many had serious underlying conditions?  Do the reported deaths include those who died of other ailments but had also contracted the virus?  What is the actual age breakdown of fatalities?  The CDC claims that this virus is extraordinarily contagious; how much of a threat to spread the virus to others are those who are asymptomatic (have the virus but report no symptoms) yet are still contagious?

Since the Chinese Communist Party has refused to fully share their actual experience with the world, including the death toll, one has to turn to other sources.  There are presently two primary sources that can be analyzed: Italy and New York City.

As of April 1, 2020, Italy had recorded 13,100 deaths (4.3% of its recorded cases).  By far the highest number in the world, if China’s extremely dubious 3,300 deaths can be believed.  87% of all the deaths in Italy have occurred among those over 70.

It is generally acknowledged that not only does Italy have the oldest median population in Europe but also among the unhealthiest due to smoking and air pollution in Northern Italy, the epicenter of their coronavirus outbreak.  Further, its medical care system is among the worst in Europe and overstretched even in the best of times.

As to how they have categorized the death toll, Professor Walter Ricciardi, Advisor to the Italian Ministry of Health:

The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous, in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

On re-evaluation by the National Health Institute, only 12% of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88% of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity, many had two or three pre-morbidities.  

However, a more comprehensive study undertaken by the same National Health Institute examined in detail the medical records of 18% of the nation’s coronavirus fatalities and found that only  0.8% of the total deaths were due solely to the coronavirus.  Using the total number of coronavirus cases in Italy, the death rate for those with no underlying issues is 0.014%.  The underlying conditions most prevalent among the fatalities were lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

The overall Italian experience is a primary input factor in the model being used by the Centers for Disease Control and the White House to recommend the current course of action in the United States.

On March 31 per NPR: Dr. Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task said models based on Italy’s data project at least 100,000 Americans will die in the next few weeks.

The best immediate data breakdown that goes into all factors of coronavirus fatalities in the United States has been generated by New York City.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in February to April 2, the City recorded 48,200 cases, 9,700 hospitalizations (20% of total cases) and 1,397 deaths (2.8% of total cases). 

70% of all deaths were patients over 65.  Only 18 of the 1,397 fatalities were directly attributable to the coronavirus. 

Of the balance (1,379) 75% had confirmed underlying conditions and 25% were waiting for confirmation of which pre-existing conditions were present.  These conditions included: diabetes, lung disease, cancer, immunodeficiency and heart disease.

In Italy the death rate directly attributable solely to the coronavirus is 0.014% and in New York City 0.03%. 

In Italy those over 70 account for 87 percent of overall deaths; in New York those over 65 account for 70 percent, (99% of whom in both Italy and New York had serious underlying conditions).     

It is strikingly clear that older people with serious pre-existing conditions are at an exponentially higher risk. 

Per the New York analysis, while there were 81 deaths among 17-45-year-old (5.8% of overall deaths) all but 5 had serious underlying conditions.

Nonetheless, the national fatality numbers being issued by the CDC lump all deaths as coronavirus if the virus was at all present when a patient succumbed.

The Coronavirus has a long incubation period so symptoms may not appear for five to 14 days.  Thus, people that feel fine are still capable of transmitting the virus to others during this time.  The CDC estimates asymptomatic transmission could be as high as 25%.  But at this stage the experts in the United States and Europe do not know what portion of adults with Covid-19 are asymptomatic or how high the transmission rate is.

This is one of the primary factors in the CDC and the White House Task Force’s call for home confinement and social distancing.   They are also weighing the merits of asking everyone to wear masks.


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These facts and statistics prompt a number of questions:

Why do we not know how many in the United States have passed away due solely to contracting the coronavirus?

If the death rate from only contracting the coronavirus is 0.03%, why are healthy people, the vast bulk of the labor force who exhibit no serious underlying conditions, being forced into a nationwide de facto quarantine? 

Further, while the long-term effects of the virus are unknown, and will be for some time, in the short term, most healthy younger people, if they do contract the virus, will only suffer mild symptoms or none at all.  But is the issue of what may happen a considerable distance down the road sufficient reason to shut down the nation as we have never done in any previous deadly pandemic in this nation’s 244-year history?

Why are not the resources of the states and the federal government focused on isolating, if necessary, or monitoring not just the elderly with serious underlying conditions but others with severely compromised immune systems, instead of a scattergun approach focused on everyone in the country?

Why are the CDC and the NIH using Italy, a nation whose demography, lifestyle habits and medical system bears little similarity to the United States, as the foundation of the model being used to make life and death decisions for Americans?  How was the Italian Health Institute’s study that determined the fatality rate of those contracting the virus, with no serious underlying conditions, was 0.014% factored into the model predicting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths?

Most flu viruses and the family of coronavirus can be spread by those who are asymptomatic.  In a 2014 study it was determined that up to 77% of those with seasonal flu or pandemic infections were asymptomatic.   Perhaps that same percentage applies to Covid-19 infections, although those unknowingly infected with Covid-19 can infect others for an extended period of time.  The health experts are effectively trying to shut down the country in order to contain the spread of the virus, which is a near impossibility in a nation of 330 million people the size of the continent of Europe.   Based on the mortality rates discussed above, why are we using that approach when focusing on those most susceptible with minimal societal disruption, as in Sweden, may be a better alternative?

This nation is choosing to plunge millions of people into depression, heart attacks, suicide and unbelievable stress, and the people deserve some unvarnished answers and transparency.

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