Column #266Moses Red Sea

On September 10, 2020, the CDC updated its COVID-19 fatality rates for various age groups. Did you hear about it? The CDC is now estimating that COVID-19 fatality rates, for everyone less than 70, are the same or less than they are for the annual influenza virus. I see that as astonishingly good news because it means America can open up all the wayway—right now.

What the CDC reported was a significant reduction of its former estimates regarding the risks of dying from COVID-19. For many people the change is unbelievable which is why this column will examine the CDC’s numbers in detail. For instance, when it comes to school age children, COVID-19's fatality rate is lower than the fatality rate for the annual influenza bug that sweeps the country every year! Yes, that’s exactly what the CDC has reported. If true, that’s why children belong in school and college students should attend in-person college and stay on campus. Their lives should return to normal.

Of course, not everyone can throw caution to the wind. COVID-19 has a significantly higher fatality rate than influenza for folks over 70, especially if they have multiple pre-existing medical conditions. For their own survival, the more vulnerable in our society must take all necessary precautions and eat foods that support their immune systems and reduce inflammation. For the rest of society, including healthy older people, the news definitely means that business closures, empty stadiums at sporting events, and concerns about sending children to in-person schools are not warranted.1

Unfortunately, the large broadcasting networks, NPR, and the major newspapers haven’t reported the CDC’s good news. Every day the main stream media (MSM) continues to pound home (and I mean pound) the message that COVID-19 is launching a second wave that will double COVID-19 deaths to 400,000 in the next three months. Even the spokesmen at the CDC aren’t talking up the new data! There is no question that the constant barrage of spooky COVID-19 information scares people into believing that schools, churches, restaurants, sporting events, parties, and even beaches should be off limits in order to SAVE LIVES. For more emphasis the MSM ridicules states like Florida and South Dakota for opening up and disparages their leaders.

With dire projections regarding COVID-19 risks still a common news item after the CDC’s lower fatality revelations, one has to wonder who is misleading whom. That’s why we need to closely examine the data that’s posted on the CDC website. I like statistics, so reading the numbers is very easy for me and comparing COVID-19 to influenza is straightforward.2

The CDC published five COVID-19 fatality scenarios. Scenarios one through four represent the lower and upper boundaries of disease severity and viral transmissibility. Like all data the parameter values are likely to change as more data comes in. Scenario five represents the CDC’s “current best estimate” of the real world about current viral transmission and disease severity in the United States, with the same caveat: the parameter values will change as more data becomes available.3

The Scenario Five table above depicts the data for COVID-19 cases divided into age groups. It shows that the fatality rate for the 0-19 age group is 0.003%. That means if 100,000 individuals in the 0-19 age group get COVID-19, that will eventually result in three deaths. So, if 100% of the 56.4 million students that are supposed to be attending preschool, elementary, middle, and high schools get the disease we should expect a grand total of 1,692 deaths. Naturally, that’s highly unlikely because herd immunity would be achieved long before the 100% number is reached and the virus will have faded away. In a normal year there are more than 70,000 deaths in the 5-19 age group and that includes deaths from influenza.4

Now let’s compare the CDC’s new COVID-19 fatality rate for the 0-19 age group by combining the influenza 0-4 plus 5-17 age groups. In the 2017-2018 Influenza table above, of the 11.2 million children who tested positive for influenza in those two groups, 643 died for a 0.0057% fatality rate—nearly double the rate for the same age group with COVID-19. The influenza asymptomatic rate is estimated to be 20% which is half the rate for COVID-19.5

The CDC also says that 43.4% of influenza deaths had a pre-existing medical condition. For COVID-19 the CDC says only 6% of the deaths indicated COVID-19 as the only cause. That translates to 94% of COVID-19 deaths had a pre-existing medical condition. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. For those who have pre-existing medical conditions both viruses are bad, but influenza seems to be deadlier in the absence of preexisting conditions.6

What’s interesting about Scenario Five is that for the fatality rates of the various age groups to tally up to 212,000 deaths, there has to be 34,800,000 cases. Therefore the CDC must be assuming that 10.6% of the US population has already been infected during the past eight months. Since the CDC believes that 40% of COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic and, for many months about 10% of all the tests submitted came up positive, it’s not out of reason for them to believe that nearly one in 11 Americans has had or currently has COVID-19. See table below.

The astounding news here is that the CDC’s COVID-19 fatality data is similar in severity to the seasonal influenza fatality rate which Americans have lived with for decades without shutdowns, mask wearing, and social distancing. For certain, COVID-19 is more infectious than influenza because it’s new, there’s a smaller percentage of the population with a specific natural immunity, and of course there’s no vaccine. This supports the tactic that without a vaccine, achieving herd immunity rather than long-term lockdowns is a far more practical approach for both the short-term and the long-term benefits of the greater population.7

Initially, when COVID-19 started in America all hospitals were operating at nearly full capacity with their regular flow of sicknesses, injuries, and elective surgeries. As the virus quickly spread in some of the higher population centers, the hospitals were quickly overwhelmed with the number of incoming victims. That’s why some COVID-19 patients were sent to rest homes. Couple that error with the lack of rapid testing and dearth of knowledge for treating COVID-19 and the result was a horrendously high fatality rate. That alarmed the nation.

Those days are behind us now. Hospitals have surplus capacity. Quicker tests for the disease are speeding reaction times. There are many alternative treatment methods which have dramatically cut down on fatalities. This has shown everyone that COVID-19 is not nearly as fatal as first thought.

Lockdowns do not prevent infections. They just slow the pace of new infections. Viruses tend to run their course until herd immunity is reached no matter what people do to delay it. In dealing with a mild virus, such as influenza and now COVID-19, shutting down an economy while waiting for a vaccine comes at a far greater cost to society than the virus.

Lockdowns cause “collateral damage” in the form of suicides, abuse, depression, addiction, hunger, riots, and the financial destruction of those individuals who are not allowed to make a living. And, by interrupting the education of 76 million students of all grades, the costs in terms of future incomes will last for decades and be in the trillions of dollars. Shutdowns are a huge blow to vast sectors of the population and they are especially hard on the youngest generation since it will be saddled with future debts and lower incomes.8

The constant terror that Americans have been subjected to has resulted in incredible losses of incomes, jobs, businesses, literally millions of years of education, more suicides, depression, anxiety, crime, murders, etc. Could it be that WHO and CDC scientists overestimated the risks and are now ashamed to admit that all the pain we’ve gone through, and are still going through, was for naught? Is that why this good news about a low fatality rate is being ignored? When will the “scientists” finally come to grips with the realization that current hide-and-wait health policies are no longer needed. Will it be ten years from now?

I believe it’s time to just move on, come clean with the risks, stop the terror and pain, and set Americans free? I thank the CDC for at least publishing its data three weeks ago. Now it’s past time to announce it to the nation.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

Don’t miss these links for additional reading:

1. Food Analysis: EFA, Protein to Fat, Net Carbs, Sugar, and Nutrient Load by Ted Slanker

2. Question 'The Science'? Go To Gulag! by Ron Paul from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

3. COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios from CDC

4. Infant, Child, and Teen Mortality: 2017 from Child Trends

5. Archived Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States—2017–2018 Influenza Season from CDC

6. Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics from CDC

7. CDC Comes Clean: New Fatality Rate Is A Shocker! By Ron Paul Liberty Report

8. U.S. Economy Faces $15 Trillion Hit as a Result of School Closures, Oecd Says from CNBC