Something's in a nosedive

Last Sunday on CNN's State of the Nation, Biden's Health and Human Services secretary, Xavier Becerra, provided hope concerning the ongoing pandemic, albeit in a horrifying way: "I believe President Biden is making it very clear, the plane is in a nosedive, and we have got to pull it up.  And you aren't going to do that overnight.  But we're going to pull it up."  Scary news stories are the norm in the Age of COVID.  Earlier this month, on January 2, 2021, The Hill reported that experts at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicted 150,000 deaths by the beginning of February.  Just one problem: Recent data suggest that the worst of the pandemic is over.

In the interest of unity, let's analyze the COVID data on daily new cases and deaths from the New York Times — in particular, the seven-day moving averages.  Using a moving average is important since there are obvious reporting problems from the relevant state agencies.  The raw daily data have a suspiciously consistent saw-tooth pattern.  There is an unrealistic drop on weekends and holidays and a corresponding explosion during mid-week.  Using the seven-day moving average effectively eliminates the reporting problems by incorporating data over the prior week.  Looking at the curves for new cases and deaths, the NYT data show something perplexing.  As seen in the graphs, the curves are going the wrong way for nightmare scenarios.  According to the NYT data, the IHME's January model's prediction of 150,000 deaths is a fantasy.  While tragic, the monthly number of those who will succumb is probably near 100,000 — a 33% drop in the estimated heartbreaking loss.

Scientists are implicitly recognizing that the pandemic may be winding down.  The January 18 CDC collective forecast model has a mid-range estimate of nearly 488,000 COVID deaths by February 18, 2021.  This would require a daily average death count of around 3,150 per day, which is higher than the NYT's average of 3,085 on January 24, 2020. 

Why isn't this reported by the media?  Perhaps the current deluge of bad news is part of an orchestrated campaign to scare us into the passively accepting the social controls and legislation the Biden administration seeks to impose.

In fact, the NYT data show wonderful news for the future.  There has been a 33% drop in new cases since January 9, 2021.  Given that COVID deaths typically occur 14–21 days after diagnosis, a steep decline in daily mortality is in the offing, rather than the stagnation until mid-February required for the CDC's January 18 prediction.  Need more good news?  The seven-day average daily deaths have declined since January 12, 2021, probably the result of the widespread use of new treatments and the heroic efforts by frontline medical staff.  Couple this with the continued vaccination of the most vulnerable, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions, and COVID deaths are poised for a dramatic decline.  It looks as though the worst of COVID is coming to an end.

So why isn't there a recognition of the good news?  It would seem that caging this monster of a pandemic is a cause for hope.  The answer lies in politics.  If the pandemic is ending, it means that the Biden administration cannot claim full credit for the pandemic's demise.  It means a $1.9-trillion COVID relief package should be scaled down.  It means that the pandemic cannot be used as a bludgeon for "unity," which is what the elite now calls muzzling the masses.  It makes everything harder for those trying to radically change America.  I guess silencing the truth is necessary when the truth becomes inconvenient.

Image: Rafeal Martins BR.