With coronavirus infections rising again across the nation, the question of just how lethal the virus is has become more crucial than ever.
Early in the epidemic, public-health experts feared the virus might kill up to 2 percent of those infected, potentially causing millions of deaths in the United States and tens of millions worldwide. Those terrifying estimates prompted the lockdowns that have done incalculable harm to the economy, shattered small businesses and left children traumatized and untold numbers suffering from brutal isolation.
But we now know much more about the virus. And we know its lethality is lower than we originally feared — and highly concentrated in the very elderly and people with serious health problems.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in May that the coronavirus kills about 0.26 percent of the people it infects, about 1 in 400 people. New estimates from Sweden suggest that only 1 in 10,000 people under 50 will die from the virus, compared to 1 in 14 of people over 80 and 1 in 6 of those over 90.
Estimates for the coronavirus’ lethality have fallen so sharply because calculating the so-called infection fatality rate requires scientists and physicians to know both the total number of deaths and the total number of people infected.
Tracking deaths is relatively easy. But tracking infections can be tough. Many people who are infected with respiratory viruses like influenza or the novel coronavirus have only mild symptoms or none. They may never be tested or even know they are infected.
Thus, in the early stages of an epidemic, scientists must guess at the number of mild and hidden infections.
Probably the best way to discover the real number is through antibody tests, which measure how many people have already been infected and recovered — even if they never had symptoms.
Unlike some other countries, the United States still hasn’t completed a national random antibody study — yet another way in which our public-health establishment has failed to get the data we need to make good decisions about lockdowns. But some counties, states and countries have.
Those studies consistently show that far more people have been infected with and recovered from the coronavirus than suggested by data from tests that only measure current infections. Tests of municipal sewage systems — measuring the virus’ genetic signature in wastewater — have had similar findings.
In other words, while the CDC reports 2.34 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, the actual number of infected and recovered people may be closer to 50 million. (CDC Director Robert Redfield told journalists Thursday that the number of cases may be 10 times higher than the earlier 2.34 million.)
Thus, the death rate, which would be 5.2 percent based on that 2.34 million figure, is actually more like one-20th as high — or 0.26 percent.
Hospitals in the US are getting money for diagnosing Covid19. They get more money if those patients are then put on ventilators. It’s time we really started thinking about what that means.
Early on in the launch of the Sars-Cov-2/Covid19 “pandemic”, it was revealed by Dr Scott Jensen that hospitals in the US were getting paid bonuses for diagnosing Covid19 in their patients, and then larger bonuses again if those patients were put on ventilators.
We’re not fact-checking that. We don’t need to. It’s already been done.
As soon as his words were aired, the “independent fact checkers” descended upon them in an effort to prove him wrong. They could not. Resorting instead to weasel words and obfuscations.
Snopes found his assertions “plausible”, Politifact called it “half true”, and FactCheck said it was true, writing:
Which is funny because, to that point, nobody had suggested anything fraudulent. Jensen himself went out of his way to say he didn’t think there was any fraud, but there was an “avenue” for it. Obviously the “fact checkers” agreed, because they all felt the need to add very similar qualifications.
The very fact they rushed to pre-emptively defend the practice illustrates how potentially corrupt it is.
The key fact here, established and unchallenged, is that the CARES act does direct a 20% bonus Medicaid payment to hospitals for every diagnosis of Covid19, and a greater payment again for the use of a ventilator.
...there’s no denying that these payouts potentially incentivise artificially inflating case numbers.
How big an incentive are we talking about?
The CARES act channelled $175bn dollars into the “fight” against coronavirus, including $15 billion purely for treating COVID patients without insurance.
15 BILLION dollars. That’s a lot of extra money.
You couldn’t blame a doctor for gaming the system to get a little for his struggling, under-funded clinic. For labelling some unknown respiratory illness “Covid19”, or re-ordering a test known to create false-positives until he gets the result which may pay a nurse’s salary, or re-stock a pharmacy.
If a few thousand doctors do that a few hundred times each, you’ve created a “pandemic” out of nowhere, with a comparatively small outlay and 99% of those involved believing they’re doing the right thing.
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