Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Coronavirus dashboard for April 5: the problematic cases of Chile . . . and Michigan

Coronavirus dashboard for April 5: the problematic cases of Chile . . . and Michigan

As you probably already know, the news on the vaccination front continues to be good, as the US is now administering on average over 3 million doses a day – and still climbing. At this rate of improvement, every adult in the US could be vaccinated by Memorial Day at the end of next month.


One bit of not so good news is that the percentage of seniors who have received at least one dose has almost stalled out at roughly 75%. For example, yesterday that percentage improved by exactly 0.1%. If 1/4 of even the most vulnerable population simply refuses to be vaccinated, we are not going to achieve herd immunity.


Further, while in the past few weeks I have been highlighting the success stories in vaccination, particularly in Israel and the UK, there are a number of counter-examples that I want to examine today.

First of all, Chile. Chile has administered even more doses per capita than the US, equivalent to about 55% of its population vs. 50% for the US. And yet both cases, and with about a 4-week delay, deaths, have both risen about 50% from the date that vaccinations started to be administered:

Coronavirus dashboard for March 28: good news … < sigh > … and bad news

Coronavirus dashboard for March 28: good news … < sigh > … and bad news

According to the CDC, there have been 30.3 Million *confirmed* cases of COVID-19 in the US, and 550,000 deaths.The true number of actual infections is probably much higher.


On the good news front, the CDC says that 36.2% of the entire US adult population has received at least one shot; a full 20%, or 1 in every 5 adults, has been fully vaccinated. Among those 65 years of age or higher, the news is even better: just shy of 3/4’s (72.4%) have received at least one dose, and just shy of 50% (48.4%) are fully vaccinated.


As a result, as of one week ago, both cases and deaths among senior citizens have declined by nearly 90% since their December peak. Here are cases: 



And deaths among senior citizens have all but disappeared:

Coronavirus dashboard for March 19: yes, vaccinations are working

Coronavirus dashboard for March 19: yes, vaccinations are working

The three big Western standouts for vaccination progress have been Israel, the UK, and the US, respectively. And in all three, there have been dramatic declines in both cases and deaths.


Let’s look at them in order. First, Israel:



56% of all Israelis have had at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. 50% have been fully vaccinated.

Coronavirus dashboard for March 15: good news, and cause for concern

Coronavirus dashboard for March 15: good news, and cause for concern

A year ago today I wrote about the accuracy of Jim Bianco’s forecast of exponential spread of COVID-19. At that time there were exactly 2952 cases, but increasing at 30% each day, and I wrote, “I have not seen any government action significant enough to stop this exponential projection being correct.” 

As of yesterday, there have been 29,438,775 *confirmed* cases – 9% of the total US population. There have certainly been many more cases which have never been confirmed by testing, primarily but not always because they were mild or asymptomatic.


The good news is that vaccinations in the US are making better and better progress. In the past week, about 2.5 million doses were administered each day. At this rate, the entire adult population could be vaccinated by the end of June.   

Vaccinations start to have a dramatic effect

Coronavirus dashboard for February 23: vaccinations start to have a dramatic effect

Totals US deaths, Cases, vaccinated one dose and two doses:

– Coronavirus confirmed deaths: 500,310

– Confirmed infections: 28,190,159

– One Dose vaccinations: 44,138,118, and

– Two Dose vaccinations: 19,438,495.

The good news is, roughly 9.5% of the US population age 18 or over has received both doses of a vaccine. Over 20% has received at least one dose.
The bad news is that we have reached the milestone of half a million dead. Further, probably at least 40,000,000 people have been infected, since many who have no or mild symptoms don’t ever get tested.

Here’s the graph of the 7 day average of new infections and deaths for the US over the last 12 weeks:



While there has been a decline of over 2/3’s in infections, and 40% in deaths, this only puts us even with the very worst levels of the summer outbreak.

Coronavirus dashboard: Groundhog Day

Coronavirus dashboard: Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day, America’s version of the midwinter festival, where people can at least begin to look ahead to the coming of spring in the near future. That’s a good analogy for where we are in the COVID pandemic. 
Let me start with the ghastly news.
First, there have been over 26 MILLION confirmed cases. Since many unsymptomatic cases have gone undiagnosed, it is very likely that over 33 million, or 1 in every 10 Americans, has been infected with the disease:

 

Further, in the 10 worst hit States, roughly 1 in every 500 people in the entire population has died. In the case of New Jersey, it’s 1 in 400:

Coronavirus dashboard for January 25: a vaccination race against time vs. the new mutations

Coronavirus dashboard for January 25: a vaccination race against time vs. the new mutations

 All of the significant economic data is backloaded this week, onto Thursday and Friday. So don’t be surprised if I take a day off between now and then.
In the meantime, here is a Coronavirus update.


First things first: the most ominous thing I’ve read about the new coronavirus mutations comes from Dr. Eric Fiegl-Ding, who says, quite bluntly, “We need to switch to KN95, KF94, or European FFP2 masks ASAP. The new B117 COVID 19 is just too contagious. Cloth isn’t enough anymore folks.”


Everyone needs to take heed of that advice. There’s also evidence that the B117 variant infects people with much higher viral loads (I.e., copies of the virus at the outset), increasing the fatality rate significantly for older people. 


In the meantime, here is where we stand.


Total confirmed infections: 25,127,000 (I suspect the true number, including cases that were never tested, is closer to 33 million, or 1 in 10 Americans)7 day average for last week: 170,032 (down from 249,168 peak on Jan 11)Total deaths: 419,2177 day average for last week: 3,088 (down from 3,355 peak on Jan 13)


Here are the 7-day averages for infections, hospitalizations, and deaths per capita graphically (note separate scales):