COVID and us

The RCP Coronavirus database https://www.realclearpolitics.com/coronavirus/country/united-states/ reports approximately 194,000 U.S. deaths and 6,555,000 confirmed cases, just under a 3% fatality rate. The Pennsylvania share of that statistic is 7,900 deaths with 149,000 confirmed cases, or a bit over 5% fatality rate.

I honestly feel the hazard has been over-reported. To make my point:

1. Quotes of COVID-19 infections are certainly over-stated. The testing used cannot differentiate between 19 and any of the other six COVIDs that can infect humans. Many of the others are less serious than 19. Had testing been done a year ago prior to Wuhan, there would have been positive tests.

2. The CDC admitted through enhanced data analysis that only 6% of the “COVID deaths” involved individuals with ‘just COVID’ as a cause. That reduces the US ‘COVID death’ number to a bit over 11,000. Of the other 94%, it was noted that, on average, they had two or three other contributing factors to their demise. These include heart issues, respiratory issues, diabetes, etc ... COVID may have been a contributor, but surely not a cause.

3. Some states, Illinois among them, had an early reporting process by which a person who tested positive for COVID but died as a result of a car crash was listed as a COVID death. (https://week.com/2020/04/20/idph-director-explains-how-covid-deaths-are-classified/) They say that has been corrected.

4. I note that Pennsylvania testing numbers are low on a per capita basis compared to other states. I’d ask why our governor and Dr. Levine haven’t demanded more tests.

I don’t suggest the risk to my health is zero. The 6% CDC number translates into less than 500 Pennsylvania deaths caused by COVID. Regrettable, but not worthy of driving massive closures of virtually everything for months. Pennsylvania experiences, on average, almost 2,000 flu deaths annually. Nothing shut down for them.

Theodore J. Rieth

Towanda