Yesterday the US saw a sharp rise in covid-19 daily cases to 144,270 and hospitalizations to 65,368 (both records) and another sharp rise in the seven day average of deaths to 1,421. At this rate, we are looking at more than 300,000 deaths by the end of the year.
Our daily update is published. States reported 1.4M new tests and 144k cases, another all-time high. 65.4k people are hospitalized, 15k more than on election day. The death toll was 1,421, pushing the 7-day average over 1,000. pic.twitter.com/IQYu9w5wr4
— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) November 12, 2020
The trend shows all the signs of the early stages of exponential growth and if nothing is done soon, the impact will be devastating. It is unconscionable that not only is Trump not doing anything, he is not allowing Biden’s task force (that is refreshingly comprised of leading scientists and infectious disease experts) to get important information, and many Republican governors are following his lead of being cavalier about mandating basic precautions.
If Trump were not so delusional that he has not lost, he would tell Biden’s task force that he will implement their recommendations. Then at least he can try to blame them for the inevitable rise in cases within the next couple of months before he leaves office due to his inaction to date, and can be spared some of the anger. By not doing anything to help Biden’s covid team nor doing anything himself, he will rightly reap all the opprobrium that will come when the infection, hospitalization, and death rates soar before inauguration day, possibly reaching a total of over 400,000 deaths.
Remember back in February when he predicted that the then rate of 15 deaths per day would soon go down to zero?? Now he claims that his administration has saved two million lives, a ridiculous claim since the US has the highest death toll of any nation and even in per capita terms has the eighth highest death rate.
How did he arrive at this preposterous figure? It is by comparing to academic modeling of a worst-case scenario..
The warning stemmed from a paper authored by Neil Ferguson, an epidemiology professor at Imperial College London. He modeled how COVID-19 can spread through a population in different scenarios, including what would happen if no interventions were put in place and people continued to live their daily lives as normal. [My italics-MS]
In the paper, Ferguson wrote, “In total, in an unmitigated epidemic, we would predict approximately 510,000 deaths in [Great Britain] and 2.2 million in the US.”
Ferguson did not respond to our request to talk through the study with him. But in a July email interview with HuffPost, he said Trump’s boasting of saving 2.2 million lives isn’t true, because the pandemic isn’t over.
Andrea Bertozzi, a mathematics professor at UCLA, said it was important to remember the 2.2 million figure was derived from a modeling scenario that would almost certainly never happen — which is that neither the government nor individuals would change their behavior at all in light of COVID-19.
The study didn’t mean to say 2.2 million people were absolutely going to die, but rather to say, “Hold on, if we let this thing run its course, bad things could happen,” said Bertozzi. Indeed, the results from the study did cause government leaders in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom to implement social distancing measures.
Trump at his rallies before the election complained about all the coverage of covid-19 and said that the media was incessantly talking about it purely in an effort to harm him and that the topic would disappear from the news the day after the election. It was just another one of his self-serving delusions. In reality, the story is becoming bigger by the day.
And meanwhile, the number of people who attended a largely maskless Trump ‘victory party’ in the White House on the night of the election and have since been confirmed to have covid-19 keeps increasing. The people identified are all high-profile people who work closely with Trump. We do not know how many of the lower-level staffers have been similarly diagnosed.
Burying your head in the sand is not an effective way to combat an infectious disease.