OK, that’s not QUITE right. Some of these things are not like the others.

I’m referring to the death rate in different countries. It varies widely, which would indicate that we really can’t use statistics from one country to predict what will happen in others.

In other words, using them to set up computer models of predicted outcomes will not be reliable.

See the map (from a Daily Mail story):

France shows 7, 574 deaths for a caseload of 90,843 – that’s a 8.3% death rate.

The UK shows 4,120 deaths for 42,449 cases – an almost 10% death rate.

Italy: 15,362 deaths, 124,632 cases – over 12%!

Clearly, these are NOT the numbers we are seeing in the USA. For us, as of yesterday:

9,620 deaths, 336,851 cases – death rate slightly under 3%

NY is almost 1/2 that total number of cases – 123,018. Deaths in NY – 4,159. That brings NY’s death rate to just under 3.4%

Not great, but not at the levels of many European countries.

What does that all mean?

What needs to be addressed is WHY death rates differ so widely among the states. States with similar number of cases have widely differing death rates:

IL – 274 deaths, 11,256 cases – 2.4% death rate

PA – 150 deaths, 11,510 cases – 1.3% death rate

Both states contain urban and rural parts, both have impoverished people/old people/ill people. And, yet, dramatically different outcomes. Go check out the stats yourself, and come to your own conclusions.

This epidemic will be the focus of many epidemiological studies for many centuries (should civilization survive – which, I think likely). But, for now, using the models to make policy for our country would be foolish, as long as the models are based on the extremely high death rates of some countries.

One major way America does planning for public health needs to change – I address it here.

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