Coronavirus dashboard for May 24: 3 weeks to “0” new cases?
Coronavirus dashboard for May 24: 3 weeks to 0 new cases?
No, that won’t happen. But, even so, that is the current trajectory. Let’s start with the overview:
Total *confirmed* cases: 33,117,737Total deaths: 589,893
Note that there are many more cases that we don’t know about because the people were never tested. Since about half of cases appear to be only mildly or non-symptomatic, an additional 10% of the population having been infected seems like a reasonable guess. And excess deaths for 2020 ran closer to 900,000, so we may also be missing many deaths.
Before I go further, let me address an article that appeared over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that an “intelligence source” had confirmed that it was likely that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan. That report seems to have convinced both Nate Silver and Matt Yglesias.
A pretty good takedown of that article appears here:
Essentially, somebody associated with an intelligence agency in the Trump Administration authored a report – but not an actual official intelligence report – in the closing weeks of that Presidency making the claim, possibly for political reasons, based on a document that is never disclosed or identified, and the document itself disclaimed that “additional corroboration” was needed. The same “information” likely was the basis of similar reports last April, one by the BBC which subsequently had to walk back its claims.
Turning to the updated data, we are within a few days of 50% of the entire US population having received one dose. with 50% of the adult population and nearly 40% of the total population being fully vaccinated:
Deaths declined by about 7% in the past week to an average of 546/day, while cases declined almost 25%, by about 8,000 to 25,270/day:
If this decline of nearly 1,200/day, which has been going on for the past 7 weeks, were to continue for just 3 more weeks, we would arrive at 0 cases per day! The slow pace of the decline in deaths is of some concern as, if anything, I would expect that to accelerate and decline faster than new cases. So it will have to be watched.
Finally, below is a comparison of new cases over the past 8 weeks for the 5 States that have administered the fewest vaccinations per capita (MS, AL, LA, AR, and WY) vs. the 5 jurisdictions that have administered the most (VT, MA, HI, CT, and DC):
The only overlap is that of Alabama. The other 4 States with few vaccinations are in the top 1/2 for new cases, while the 5 jurisdictions with the most vaccinations are in the bottom 1/2. At some point soon, the federal government may have to step in directly to administer vaccinations to willing people (probably among the minority Black population) in those States in the Deep South that have been recalcitrant.
No excuses for Silver and Yglesias. Obviously an attempt to appeal to both sides.
Given how SARS and MERS started and spread, it seems rather obvious that COVID followed the same general path. You don’t need aa conspiracy theory for “throw a match on a bunch of oily rags and get a fire”. Mix people and animals and some bad luck, and you get sick and dead people. You can package it with lots of innuendo and get great headlines like “The Reagan CIA Created AIDS to Kill Homosexuals” or “The Mongols Used Plague As A Bio-weapon, Forgot About Blowback”. I’ve seen both of those. Conspiracy theories are fun, but one has to take The Protocols of the Elders of COVID for what it is. Maybe they can tie in UFOs and the Kennedy assassination. I’m always amazed by how little imagination one finds in conspiracy theories.
We now have two COVID populations. COVID is a mild cold for vaccinated people, but still a serious disease for the unprotected. With 50% of the population vaccinated, one would expect the death rate to drop by 50% subject to lag. Since vaccinated people are less likely to spread COVID even if they have it, the number may be lower. Of course, we’re trying to compensate for this by ending mask usage and re-opening venues, so I expect a long slow decline punctuated by the introduction of more dangerous variants.
” a comparison of new cases over the past 8 weeks for the 5 States that have administered the fewest vaccinations per capita”
The CDC is making sure that places where many are vaccinated will have lower positive test results for Covid. The CDC is recommending that vaccinated people should never be tested and if they are tested and do test positive that should not be counted as a case of covid if the person does not have symptoms at the time of the test. That alone will ensure that the numbers are skewed to make it look like the vaccine is working
“Along with its relaxed mask guidance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that any asymptotic person who is fully vaccinated no longer has to be tested or screened for COVID-19, even if he or she is exposed to the virus.
Dr. Michael Kilkenny, the CEO and health officer with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, said now, fewer people are coming to testing sites, and he said that is because fewer people need to.”
I could send you a few articles by reputable sources which will say similar and that the US was still funding research in Wuhan. Writing on such in January / February 2020 would be promoting a conspiracy. To wit, R&D was done in Wuhan (was it covid related?).
This is like writing on HCQ as a cure or an ionophore? The former is not true and the latter can be true.
Jim, I’m not getting your point. Not having vaccinated people test is likely to increase the positivity rate. But I think the point about positivity being not so reliable when testing veers away from almost random is a good one. I was a lot less alarmed by high positivity in Wisconsin when it got to the point were people had a much clearer idea about the illness. People wised up about having their 5th negative COVID test. Yes, hypothetically positivity can tell you about an accelerating (or decelerating) transmission environment, but only when the selection criterion for test subjects remains the same. It did not in Wisconsin, even if it was individuals thinking about it differently in October than they might have in June as opposed to medical advice changing.
Here is another example of the contradictory statements made by the CDC in their guidelines for the vaccinated:
“The risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus. Vaccinated people could potentially still get COVID-19 and spread it to others.”
My question to the CDC is if the vaccinated are still getting the illness and still spreading it to others then how would “continued community transmission” ever come to an end?
What the CDC seems to be saying in truth is that they believe vaccines have turned covid into a much milder disease which will now circulate forever.
To Eric377: I wasn’t talking about the positivity rate nor was the original article to which I was responding. The article claimed that new cases were going down where vaccination was more prevalent. How do you know that is not because new cases among the vaccinated are intentionally not being detected or recorded?
There are scientists saying that the CDC is being reckless.
“What the CDC seems to be saying in truth is that they believe vaccines have turned covid into a much milder disease which will now circulate forever.”In truth, the CDC is saying nothing of the sort. You’re saying that, and pretending to speak for the CDC. In fact, the reduced level of infectivity associated with vaccination means that we could see SARS-CoV-2 eliminated if enough people get vaccinated soon enough, world wide. “There are scientists saying that the CDC is being reckless.”There are far more scientists not saying that. I’m one of them.
The latter or the former?
Hi Jim. Might have misread yours. Sorry. But I agree that if they won’t count asymptotic cases for vaccinated, but do for unvaccinated then it is very odd.
In truth, the CDC is saying nothing of the sort. You’re saying that, and pretending to speak for the CDC. Even the manufacturers of the vaccine claim that the vaccine only reduces severe illness and death. It does not prevent people from getting covid or from spreading it to others.
That was my point. The CDC is not saying it, but in truth that is what the statement I quoted from the CDC means.
the reduced level of infectivity associated with vaccination means that we could see SARS-CoV-2 eliminated if enough people get vaccinated soon enough
Maybe or maybe not.
How will that happen if the people getting there vaccine are still spreading the virus and not wearing masks and not physical distancing? And how will you know what the level of infectivity or spread of the virus is if there is no testing of the vaccinated?
I have to think about the connection between cases and vaccination a little harder. My strong impression here in Green Bay is that vaccination skews pretty notably towards people who were either in quite low social circulation and/or were skewing towards more caution with masks and social distancing. I am glad that vaccination looks to have had a powerful impact, but I think it is also indirect evidence that masking and social distancing – as practiced, if not as prescribed – might have been quite ineffective. I sort of expected that the current vaccinated population would have “punched below its weight” in reducing cases up to now if the pre-vaccine mitigation techniques were reasonably effective. Impressions only, not detailed data for sure.
@Jim,Instead of prattling on about stuff you don’t know anything about, how about you read some the literature on “herd immunity,” how it is defined and what it means in the context of vaccinations. There’s plenty out there if you’re interested in learning about the topic.
Here is a CDC quote. ”
We are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms. Early data show that vaccines help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19.
I would like to suggest you folks go read the story about Ivermectin at Nakedcapitalism and then come back and write about how the vaccines are another example of the finacialization of everything like Boeing making crap airplanes.
What does it say about a society that allows itself to become a projected $100 billion dollar income stream for Big Pharma based on lies and deceit?
I come here occasionally because I majored in econ 50+ years ago and keep wondering how long the global private finance religion is going to last. China with its public finance religion has put our species into a civilization war that acolytes for the private religion pretend is not happening.
Covid is not going away and humanity would be better served with an Ivermectin based strategy than the evolving vaccines focused on profit and income streams, IMO
Unless it goes through a FDA/CDC clinical trial, regardless of how many private trials are done, anecdotal stories told by qualified medical personnel, and other comments made by private citizens, nothing will be forth coming. Indeed pharma will lobby state and federal legislators to block any actions to put Ivermectin into rapid clinical trials which Fred Upton’s sponsored 21st Century Cures Act allows. In which case the government sponsored Phase 3 trials can be done while the drug is administered as is happening with mRNA vaccines and also the J&J viral vector vaccine. The FDA used emergency authorization to get all three on the market before Phase 3 was completed.
I worked in the Pharmaceutical industry and am very aware of the costs of manufacturing. I scrapped out 3 million tablets one time which were worth $3,000 on the accounting books and worth far more retail. I do not remember the ICER evaluating Lilly’s insulin and saying the insulin was worth 10 times what it was 10 years ago. They still did it. Rituxan which I use from time to time had a price increase of 15% whole sale and 20-something percent retail. The ICER said there was no basis for such increases even though the manufacturer said there was a basis. Humira had similar increases lacking a basis of new established usage being helpful. Both were fantasy for the #2 and #1 costly drugs.
Boeing is different.
Do you recall the debacle with HCQ as a cure? To my knowledge, it was not touted as a cure. It was used as an ionophore to allow AZT, Zinc, etc. to enter the cell and block the Covid chain was linking(? – need a better word here and to lazy to look it up). The ACO Henry Ford Hospitals (Detroit) for AZT ran its own clinical trials for HCQ involving ~2500 patients using HCQ as an ionophore for AZT, etc. It was said to be successful and documented. It went no-where.
So yes, I hear the issue. I do comment and respond at NC. Yves and I have talked face to face in the past and via email. She has not kicked me out of NC (yet). She has used some of my posts from AB at NC. To your point I understand your point. If I see an opportunity to write on it, I will Too busy with Single Payer, maternal healthcare, and healthcare issues. Thank you for your zeal on Covid drugs and healthcare.
Thanks for the response. Below is a link to a number of studies but they may not meet your criteria.
I think the pressure to use Ivermectin will come from outside the US who will be made to look more “private finance driven” foolish….what a shit show we are watching