COVID-19 UPDATE: White House raising deaths >100k. Data from 10 states (~50% US), nursing homes 0.4% pops, but 18% cases (44X) and 42% deaths (102X)
The White House has steadily raised the forecasts for COVID-19 deaths and this week, President Trump warned >100,000 deaths are likely compared to what looked like 65,000 a few weeks ago. Part of this can be attributed to states opening up their economies and thus, naturally making a trade-off between economic hardship and pandemic hardship. And part of it is better tracking by states. The CDC released some data comparing reported US deaths in 2020 (2/1-4/25/2020) vs what was expected and it shows overall US deaths are 3% below expected--the lockdown has led to "avoided" deaths in car accidents, overdoses, murders, etc.
This pandemic is a global tragedy. And when we look at the mortality, the risks are much greater for older Americans.
But nursing homes have been a much greater source of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Our data scientist, tireless Ken, compiled nursing home statistics for 10 state (~50% of US population) and the statistics are heartbreaking (and a full discussion is Point #3 below):
In these 10 states:
- nursing home residents total 671k or 0.4% of the population
- nursing home residents account for 18% of cases or 44X the pop ratio
- nursing home residents account for 42% of deaths or 102X the pop ratio
These are absolutely shocking to me -- nursing home residents are a mere 0.4% of the population but are 18% of cases.
This has many policy implications and it particularly weighs in one the policy trade-off of economic hardship vs healthcare. Nursing home residents need special protection and accommodations. But residents of these homes are not part of the workforce, nor large consumers of the movement economy. And this also suggests less healthcare risks for non-nursing population if the economy is re-opened.
But this is simply a really difficult challenge to navigate.
POINT #1: US new cases up to 24,320 (vs 22,483) -- CA reports >1k 1D surge and mostly from LA county (like last week). NY cases steady
On the COVID-19 new cases front, Wednesday was another day of ups and downs (by state) and the overall US reported cases was 24,320, up from the day prior. Total cases have a strange cadence of downward progress, followed by spikes. So today's rise falls within that normal volatility. And as the chart below shows, the 24K reported today is 36% below the peak reported 12 days ago on 4/24/2020 of 36k cases.
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