Covid-19 and the Chorus of Crying Wolves

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Covid-19 and the Chorus of Crying Wolves

 

The U.S. media continues to pound the drum about the outbreak increasing domestically, citing more cases, hospitals approaching capacity, and an uptick in death rates in some locations. However, one can make the argument that the media has an alternative objective of further tarnishing President Trump’s image before the November election. Below, we provide analytical answers to some of the most pertinent questions Americans face today.

 

With state economies reopening, nation-wide protests across the nation, and an increase in testing, is it unusual to see new cases increasing? Have mortality rates been increasing as well?

During the first three months of the outbreak, only those seriously ill were tested. With testing capacity greatly increased across the nation and the potential imploding of the hospital system greatly reduced, asymptomatic and milder cases are now the order of the day, as nearly 50% of all tests are age 50 or younger. Therefore, it is not unusual to see a higher number of new Corona virus cases. As we will see below, mortality rates have been declining, something that is not regularly in the news.

 

Every day, Covid-19 figures look astronomical, but how do they compare with the seasonal flu?

Currently, there are 3.3 million total Covid-19 cases and 137,000 deaths. The seasonal flu averages 9 to 49 million cases and 30,000 to 100,000 deaths per year.

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The data shows that Covid-19 is proving to be much less lethal than originally thought. A key metric being omitted is percent deaths to new cases which has declined 50% over the last two months. This decline calls into question the fear and panic the media has stoked over an exaggerated expected mortality rate at the onset of the pandemic.

 

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Why are we not hearing about Europe anymore?

In the two worst European countries, only embers of infection levels remain. In Spain, the 7-day moving average for daily deaths peaked at 866 on April 3rd. On July 12, the average is 2. In Italy, the peak was 813 on April 2nd. Today, the average is 14. In Sweden, the 7-day moving for daily deaths peaked at 99 on April 16, now that average is just 4. 

 

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By observing Europe and what they have done to contain the spread, we can only hope that America, too, can put an end to the pandemic.For June, we initiated coverage on Meridian Bioscience (VIVO).  Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic products.

 

Domestically, what is the effect on mortality rates as new cases increase?

As depicted in the charts below, the number of new cases from May 11 to July 11 has increased dramatically. However, the mortality rate from just a two-month window appears to be improving. These results highlight the reasoning previously mentioned that there are currently more tests on younger people who are far less likely to die.

 

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In conclusion, we believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has been over exaggerated by the media. The constant bludgeoning of grim and unsightly deaths from the Corona virus has scared many Americans and disrupted their daily lives. Social distancing and preventative measures should be practiced, but please understand that there are two or more sides to every news story. After the November election, it will be interesting to see how the media portrays the pandemic.

Robert Maltbie, CFA

Founder and President of Singular Research
818-222-6234(office)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

References:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
https://elemental.medium.com/us-covid-19-deaths-compared-to-diseases-pandemics-wars-2a7495a43280

 

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