COVID and the CDC

Some have rightly noted the double standard shown by numerous public health officials and politicians regarding “social distancing.” Were public health officials indicating that COVID-19 is not as dangerous as originally stated by their apparent approval of rioting throughout America?

Multiple statistics can be provided here to answer the question and show that SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is not the “threat to all Americans” that it has been made out to be. One need not be an epidemiologist to arrive at this conclusion. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others have provided criteria to determine the severity of a “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome” (SARS) virus. One needs only to evaluate the facts from the standpoint of the severity criteria.

The “SARS” in “SARS-CoV-2” stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome” (which is sometimes also referred to as “acute respiratory distress syndrome” or “adult respiratory distress syndrome”). When the virus was first reportedly discovered, the panic and hysteria propagated by public health officials was supposedly due to their belief that the SARS-CoV-2 virus would cause millions of people to experience pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and death. During the initial outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the CDC was suggesting that the expected sequences of events leading to death in COVID-19 patients would be viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

How does one determine the severity, danger, or threat to society that a SARS virus poses? In the past, the CDC determined the severity of a SARS virus by looking at evidence and incidence of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. A SARS case was designated to be “severe respiratory illness” if a patient had the following:

  • Temperature higher than 100.4°F (38°C), AND
  • One or more clinical findings of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing) AND
  • Radiographic evidence of pneumoniaOR
  • Acute respiratory distress syndromeOR
  • Autopsy findings consistent with pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome without an identifiable cause

[Emphasis added]

If the CDC and other public health officials were consistent, they would be determining the severity of the currently spreading SARS virus by looking at incidences of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Calculating the number of people whose death certificates list them as having died from COVID-19 and pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome would provide a more accurate count of people who likely actually died from COVID-19 (rather than those who presumably died from COVID-19 or those who died with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test).

How many deaths involving COVID-19 have shown evidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome, then? According to the CDC, as of this writing, 15,243 death certificates out of 106,008 deaths “involving” COVID-19 included the contributing cause of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. The statistics are here, up to the week ending June 20, 2020.

That is a big deal. SARS-CoV-2 -- “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2” -- has reportedly resulted in less than 15,243 deaths due to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome.

One should not trivialize life and death; this article is not making light of those deaths. Instead, it is merely evaluating the statistics from the standpoint of the CDC’s severity criteria to make the point that SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 are not as severe as many have stated.

One could also view the statistics of deaths involving COVID-19 and pneumonia to determine the severity of SARS-CoV-2. Before listing those statistics, it should be noted that the directors of the CDC and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wrote about a “case definition of COVID-19 requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia”; such a definition of “COVID-19” along with the potential that higher numbers of untested persons have been infected but unharmed by SARS-CoV-2, they explained, would suggest that “the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza… or a pandemic influenza.”

Considering the COVID-19 death rate from the standpoint of deaths certified as being caused by both pneumonia and COVID-19 may shed more light on the topic, then. Oddly, instead of listing pneumonia due to COVID-19 or viral pneumonia individually, the CDC obscures the pneumonia statistics by combining viral pneumonia with various types of influenza diagnoses (COVID-19 is not influenza) and various types of bacterial pneumonias. Combining those statistics is misleading. Even so, here are they are; as of June 20, 2020, 44,192 deaths involving COVID-19 also listed influenza or various types of pneumonia as an underlying cause of death or contributor to death.

This is also a big deal. Even after potentially inflating the pneumonia statistic by including various types of influenza and bacterial pneumonia, the total number is still less than half of what are listed as deaths involving COVID-19.  If a true COVID-19 death required a diagnosis of pneumonia, and if less than 45,000 or so COVID-19 deaths include that pneumonia diagnosis, then the COVID-19 death count of 106,000 or more could be inflated by 60% or so.

Based on the SARS case severity criteria used by the CDC in the past, the data indicates that SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19 are much less dangerous than numerous persons have led Americans to believe.

After applying the CDC’s SARS severity criteria, would COVID-19 death counts even be high enough to label COVID-19 as a public health emergency, epidemic, or pandemic? Maybe the above statistics are reasons why numerous public health officials and politicians were not concerned with the recent mass rioting and destruction throughout America?

Some have rightly noted the double standard shown by numerous public health officials and politicians regarding “social distancing.” Were public health officials indicating that COVID-19 is not as dangerous as originally stated by their apparent approval of rioting throughout America?

Multiple statistics can be provided here to answer the question and show that SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is not the “threat to all Americans” that it has been made out to be. One need not be an epidemiologist to arrive at this conclusion. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others have provided criteria to determine the severity of a “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome” (SARS) virus. One needs only to evaluate the facts from the standpoint of the severity criteria.

The “SARS” in “SARS-CoV-2” stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome” (which is sometimes also referred to as “acute respiratory distress syndrome” or “adult respiratory distress syndrome”). When the virus was first reportedly discovered, the panic and hysteria propagated by public health officials was supposedly due to their belief that the SARS-CoV-2 virus would cause millions of people to experience pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and death. During the initial outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the CDC was suggesting that the expected sequences of events leading to death in COVID-19 patients would be viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

How does one determine the severity, danger, or threat to society that a SARS virus poses? In the past, the CDC determined the severity of a SARS virus by looking at evidence and incidence of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. A SARS case was designated to be “severe respiratory illness” if a patient had the following:

  • Temperature higher than 100.4°F (38°C), AND
  • One or more clinical findings of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing) AND
  • Radiographic evidence of pneumoniaOR
  • Acute respiratory distress syndromeOR
  • Autopsy findings consistent with pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome without an identifiable cause

[Emphasis added]

If the CDC and other public health officials were consistent, they would be determining the severity of the currently spreading SARS virus by looking at incidences of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Calculating the number of people whose death certificates list them as having died from COVID-19 and pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome would provide a more accurate count of people who likely actually died from COVID-19 (rather than those who presumably died from COVID-19 or those who died with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test).

How many deaths involving COVID-19 have shown evidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome, then? According to the CDC, as of this writing, 15,243 death certificates out of 106,008 deaths “involving” COVID-19 included the contributing cause of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. The statistics are here, up to the week ending June 20, 2020.

That is a big deal. SARS-CoV-2 -- “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2” -- has reportedly resulted in less than 15,243 deaths due to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome.

One should not trivialize life and death; this article is not making light of those deaths. Instead, it is merely evaluating the statistics from the standpoint of the CDC’s severity criteria to make the point that SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 are not as severe as many have stated.

One could also view the statistics of deaths involving COVID-19 and pneumonia to determine the severity of SARS-CoV-2. Before listing those statistics, it should be noted that the directors of the CDC and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wrote about a “case definition of COVID-19 requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia”; such a definition of “COVID-19” along with the potential that higher numbers of untested persons have been infected but unharmed by SARS-CoV-2, they explained, would suggest that “the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza… or a pandemic influenza.”

Considering the COVID-19 death rate from the standpoint of deaths certified as being caused by both pneumonia and COVID-19 may shed more light on the topic, then. Oddly, instead of listing pneumonia due to COVID-19 or viral pneumonia individually, the CDC obscures the pneumonia statistics by combining viral pneumonia with various types of influenza diagnoses (COVID-19 is not influenza) and various types of bacterial pneumonias. Combining those statistics is misleading. Even so, here are they are; as of June 20, 2020, 44,192 deaths involving COVID-19 also listed influenza or various types of pneumonia as an underlying cause of death or contributor to death.

This is also a big deal. Even after potentially inflating the pneumonia statistic by including various types of influenza and bacterial pneumonia, the total number is still less than half of what are listed as deaths involving COVID-19.  If a true COVID-19 death required a diagnosis of pneumonia, and if less than 45,000 or so COVID-19 deaths include that pneumonia diagnosis, then the COVID-19 death count of 106,000 or more could be inflated by 60% or so.

Based on the SARS case severity criteria used by the CDC in the past, the data indicates that SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19 are much less dangerous than numerous persons have led Americans to believe.

After applying the CDC’s SARS severity criteria, would COVID-19 death counts even be high enough to label COVID-19 as a public health emergency, epidemic, or pandemic? Maybe the above statistics are reasons why numerous public health officials and politicians were not concerned with the recent mass rioting and destruction throughout America?