Basic Calculations

Not the calculations of our president, basic or any other kind. Does the president have any idea of how many have died because of his own failure to act when he had the chance, because of his abysmal ignorance of how the Virus spreads, because of his no less ignorance of what might still be done to stop the spread of the virus?

Donald Trump’s remedy at the Coronavirus briefing ofApril 24, 2020 — Injections of disinfectant!?

I take the following from David Leonhardt’s piece in The New York Times, April 24. And I’m not trying to scare you. Just the facts, ma’ma.


The new statistics still suggest that the overall death toll could be catastrophic, and on the high end of the range of the various statistical models. How could that be? There are two main reasons.

One, the fact that more people may have already had the virus also suggests that it’s more contagious than the initial numbers suggested — that any one person with the virus tends to pass it to a greater number of others. And if it’s more contagious, it may be harder to contain in coming months. As society begins to reopen, the virus could spread more quickly. The number of Americans who get it before a vaccine is developed would then be larger.

Two, even if the death rate is lower than feared, it’s still very high. “It is still, with these new findings, many times more deadly than influenza,” … The best current guess is that the death rate for coronavirus is about five times higher than that of seasonal influenza.

A few basic calculations show how scary a 0.5 percent death rate is. If about one in three Americans ultimately get the virus — or 110 million people — more than 500,000 would die. If 200 million people get it, 1 million would die.


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