erik lundegaard

Sunday April 26, 2020

COVID-19 Update: More Widespread *and* Deadlier?

Sunday morning, 9 AM

In the Covid-19 news that mattered this past week—i.e., not anything you'd hear at the Trump press conferences—a study out of Southern California, in which USC and LA County checked for Covid antibodies among the populace, indicates that the pandemic began in the U.S. much earlier than expected and is 30-50 times more widespread than currently thought. In LA County, they found that 4.1% of the adult population has the antibody.

This is both good news and alarming: Alarming because many people have it and don't know it and can pass it on; good news because it means the mortalilty rate is much lower than we think. 

Maybe. At the same time, Ariana Eunjung Cha at The Washington Post has been raising flags about the ways beyond attacking the lungs that the Covid virus is killing us: causing strokes in otherwise healthy 30- and 40-year olds; attacking the kidneys, heart, intestines, liver and brain.

Those were the big stories I came across this week. Both indicate the absolute necessity of having more information. We need to test everybody, not just those with certain symptoms. We need more PPE for medical workers. We need a coordinated national effort to come up with a vaccine.

Meanwhile, during his Thursday press conference, Pres. Trump suggested doctors and scientists should look into injecting disinfectant into the human body to kill the virus; he suggest ultraviolet light. Afterwards, right-wing media leaped to his defense with “This is what he meant” arguments and the next day Trump said he was being saracastic and couldn't you tell? He was joking. So the story became all about him, as it always does, rather than on the virus and what we need to do to combat it. 

This guy gets it anyway.

Today, according to Johns Hopkins, there are 941,628 confirmed cases in the United States. Washington state, which was the U.S. epicenter a month ago, is now ranked 16th. We just got passed by Indiana. Georgia is currently ranked 12th with 23,222 cases. I mention them because their governor, Brian Kemp, reopened the state for business on Friday. We‘ll see how that goes. 

BTW: If the USC study is accurate and can be extrapolated beyond LA County to the rest of the country, 28 to 50 million Americans are infected. That’s 8-15% of the population.

Posted at 09:39 AM on Sunday April 26, 2020 in category Politics  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard