CORONAVIRUS CASES VS FATALITIES: “WHY THE NEXT 6 DAYS WILL BE CRUCIAL”
Most of the US states reporting significant increases in reported cases have also reported large increases in testing…
With the current state of coronavirus infections in the US increasingly about political considerations (especially whether a second wave will lead to another round of shutdowns, more economic carnage, millions more unemployed and crush Trump’s re-election chances) and far less about actual epidemiology and standards of care, two ideological camps have emerged – one which tries to overstate the impact of the pandemic in the US by focusing on the recent surge in new cases in sunbelt states (while ignoring the role recent protests and riots played in said surge), and another which, in downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, has been emphasizing the increasing testing which arguably also explains the jump in confirmed covid cases while underscoring the decline in covid-linked fatalities.
This divergence is shown in the chart below.
Of course, this is a simplified assessment of the current debate. For a more nuanced take we go to JPM’s Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou who over the weekend wrote that the bank sees little evidence that the virus transmission rate, the so-called R, is increasing at an alarming rate.
Additionally, the JPM analyst notes that the evidence from China, Western Europe and from the North Eastern US states suggests that higher mobility post-lockdown has not seen a significantly higher R or a significant rise in hospitalizations. Furthermore, “the increase in cases in some Southern and Western US states and some countries such as Brazil or India do not imply a big second wave, but rather a situation where it takes longer for states to come out of the first wave as they either did not as strict lockdowns in place or relaxed them prior to shifting more meaningfully down the virus curve.”