The Real COVID-19 Numbers

A+great+difference+has+emerged+in+the+number+of+Covid+19+deaths.+Many+people+are+starting+to+wonder+if+the+numbers+are+something+to+worry+about.

CNN & CDC

A great difference has emerged in the number of Covid 19 deaths. Many people are starting to wonder if the numbers are something to worry about.

Nick Sauers, Writer

The truth about the disease Covid-19 has been varied by many sources and skewed by the media. Different sources will talk about different aspects of the disease. Some opinions are disputable, however, we seem to see a lot of variation on a topic that, realistically, should be inarguable: the number of deaths from Covid-19. 

Many people will believe anything they read without digging too deep into the research themselves. It seems in times of this pandemic, the facts vary more from source to source than the opinions. This means you have to be extra careful in deciding what you trust about the information on this disease. But are the numbers really that different?

The answer is yes. For example, according to data.cdc.gov, it says that the death count for Covid-19 from February 1 to May 12 is 51,495 in the United States. This is information driven from the most recently updated CDC source.

However, a little bit more digging leads you to different information on data.cdc.gov. A different page of this data reveals that there were 34,521 total deaths in the United States from Covid-19 from February 1 to April 30.

New deaths were reported between April 25 to May 12, but it still raises some questions about the number of deaths that are reported per week. It seems a little weird that the number increased by almost 50 percent over the course of two weeks. For now, though, we are going to assume both of these numbers are approximately accurate.

What is even more interesting, however, is that cnn.com released an update on Covid-19 on April 30, the same day the CDC released the previously mentioned update on the disease. However, CNN reported that there were 63,001 official deaths in the United States. How can there be a near 30,000 death difference between these two sources on the same day? Even the most recent CDC update reports less deaths than CNN’s report from two weeks earlier.

This is a prime example of how the news media can manipulate data in order to fit the current common narrative and introduce a fear factor. It is also very possible that current news sources are focusing on the death count from ILI (influenza-like illnesses), instead of just Covid-19 itself.

But do these numbers still pose a threat? Should the government be putting such high restrictions on citizens? We can find an answer to these questions by taking the current number of US deaths listed by the CDC (51,495) and divide it by the total US population (328.2 million). After dividing these numbers, we get 0.0001. If we multiply this number by 100 to get a total percent of deaths relative to the US population, we get 0.01 percent. If we perform the equation in reverse to get the correct proportion of deaths, we get roughly 1 in 6,400 (6,373).

We also need to look at the ages of the deaths. According to cdc.gov, about 80% of reported deaths from Covid-19 in the US are people aged 65 and older. This means that if there is a 0.01 percent chance of dying from Covid in the US (based on the data above) and 80 percent of these deaths are for people over the age of 65, that means that the percentage of death from Covid-19 for people under the age of 65 is about 0.002 percent, about 1 in 32,000 (31,867). 

It is also helpful to look at other ILI deaths. Looking back at the most recent report from the CDC, there have been a total of 76,043 reported pneumonia deaths from February 1 to May 12. This is greater than the amount of total Covid-19 deaths for the same time period. It would make more sense to close the country for pneumonia than Covid-19 (even though neither disease seems to be that serious for the general population).

How do we know these numbers are even accurate? The short answer is: we do not. In times like this, even information from the CDC can be false or slightly exaggerated. It also does not help that Medicare now pays $13,000 dollars to hospitals for every patient that is admitted with Covid-19. It does not seem to be proven that any cases were fabricated just to earn money for the hospital, but when a massive amount of money is related to a certain disease that a patient may or may not have, there is a potential for lines to become blurred. 

In reality, we would not be able to have a completely factual number of Covid deaths in this country, simply because not everyone is being tested. The only way we would be able to know for sure is to start this pandemic over and base counts on official testing. For now, we rely on the numbers we are given by various different sources, whether correct or incorrect. We are left to decide for ourselves who and what we should trust.

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