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Why don’t US covid-19 cases show up in flu/pneumonia stats — or do they?

For an update to this post, go here.

Dr. Martin Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins medical school, said yesterday in an interview that he thinks between 50,000 and 500,000 people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.

I think he’s right. Given the characteristics of this virus and the length of time during which the US has done almost nothing to stop it, he must be right.

And yet — if he’s right, why don’t these people show up on the flu/pneumonia graphs? Or do they?

Let me explain.

If the US were doing a reasonable number of tests for covid-19, which would be millions per week, these people would presumably show up as positives. But we can’t look to see whether they show up as positives because due to extraordinary incompetence on the part of federal officials including the president, HHS, CDC, and FDA, the US has barely tested anybody.

Luckily, there’s another statistic where we can expect to see an indication of these tens or hundreds of thousands of cases. If they really exist, many of them have been developing pneumonia and going to hospital emergency rooms, and pneumonia cases are counted and graphed by the CDC. Many of these cases should show up on those graphs. But do they?

Here are two pneumonia graphs from this page on the CDC website.

That graph shows no excess pneumonia deaths above what is normal for this time of year, but its data ends February 29, two weeks ago. Maybe when it updates we’ll see an excess.

The big red arrow, which I added, points to a small upswing which may be due to covid-19. Or it may just be noise.

What do you think? Can anybody shed light on this question or point me to other stats where US covid-19 cases may be visible?

For an update to this post, go here.

See Also

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