Monday, May 24, 2021

Coronavirus dashboard for May 24: 3 weeks to 0 new cases?


 - by New Deal democrat

No, that won’t happen. But, even so, that is the current trajectory. Let’s start with the overview:

Total *confirmed* cases: 33,117,737
Total deaths: 589,893

Note that there are many more cases that we don’t know about because the people were never tested. Since about half of cases appear to be only mildly or non-symptomatic, an additional 10% of the population having been infected seems like a reasonable guess. And excess deaths for 2020 ran closer to 900,000, so we may also be missing many deaths.

Before I go further, let me address an article that appeared over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that an “intelligence source” had confirmed that it was likely that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan. That report seems to have convinced both Nate Silver and Matt Yglesias.

A pretty good takedown of that article appears here:

Essentially, somebody associated with an intelligence agency in the Trump Administration authored a report - but not an actual official intelligence report - in the closing weeks of that Presidency making the claim, possibly for political reasons, based on a document that is never disclosed or identified, and the document itself disclaimed that “additional corroboration” was needed. The same “information” likely was the basis of similar reports last April, one by the BBC which subsequently had to walk back its claims.


Turning to the updated data, we are within a few days of 50% of the entire US population having received one dose. with 50% of the adult population and nearly 40% of the total population being fully vaccinated:

Deaths declined by about 7% in the past week to an average of 546/day, while cases declined almost 25%, by about 8,000 to 25,270/day:

If this decline of nearly 1,200/day, which has been going on for the past 7 weeks, were to continue for just 3 more weeks, we would arrive at 0 cases per day! The slow pace of the decline in deaths is of some concern as, if anything, I would expect that to accelerate and decline faster than new cases. So it will have to be watched.

Finally, below is a comparison of new cases over the past 8 weeks for the 5 States that have administered the fewest vaccinations per capita (MS, AL, LA, AR, and WY) vs. the 5 jurisdictions that have administered the most (VT, MA, HI, CT, and DC):

The only overlap is that of Alabama. The other 4 States with few vaccination are in the top 1/2 for new cases, while the 5 jurisdictions with the most vaccinations are in the bottom 1/2. At some point soon, the federal government may have to step in directly to administer vaccinations to willing people (probably among the minority Black population) in those States in the Deep South that have been recalcitrant.