Democrats want, above all else, for President Donald Trump to be defeated.
Part of their plan is to so paralyze the country with fear of the virus as to delay any economic recovery until after Election Day in November.
Right now, the glass can be seen as half full or half empty. Virus deaths are down sharply while new cases and hospitalizations, particularly in states that never really closed down during the initial outbreak, are up.
The Trump administration says that the increase in cases is driven by an increase in testing, while pointing out that a disproportionate portion of those who test positive are younger people, not likely to die of the disease.
For them, it's more like a severe case of the ordinary flu.
The I & I editorial board, a spinoff of former writers for Investors Business Daily, feeds the narrative that the media is overplaying the virus’ comeback to trip up President Trump.
They write "the key gauge to watch is deaths [from COVID-19]. They’ve been falling since April and there’s strong reason to believe they’re lower than the official count suggests.
Read the full editorial here.
Liberals counter that deaths are a lagging indicator since new infections take two weeks to manifest and even longer to be fatal.
Goldman-Sachs state level tracker shows that the number of coronavirus tests has increased 23% in two weeks, but he number of positive results is up by just 6.2%.
During that period, deaths are down by 12%.
As I & I writes, "CDC’s own estimates for what’s called the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is about 0.26%. By contrast the rate for the regular flu is 0.1%, not much lower."
The I & I editorial also assails against the prevailing wind by saying that the official death rate may be itself overblown with many deaths reported to be due to the virus that are caused partially or entirely by something else.
Dr. Deborah L. Birx noted last month that the CDC death counts were 25% too high.
There is, of course, a financial incentive for healthcare institutions to attribute deaths to the virus since Medicare offers a 20% premium for COVID-19 patients.
Economist John Lott, Jr. and Dr. Timothy Craig Allen, governor of the College of American Pathologists report that this financial incentive causes "some doctors to feel pressure from hospitals to list deaths as due to coronavirus . . . to make it look a little bit worse than it is."
In late May of this year, in Minnesota, of the 741 deaths attributed to COVID-19, only 41% listed the virus as a "primary cause." I & I wonders, "by that standard, George Floyd . . . who tested positive before he died in police custody could have been counted as a COVID-19 fatality."
In New York, when 10,000 fatalities were reported in May The New York Times revealed that "3700 additional 3700 people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus…had never tested positive."
Indeed, six people said to have died of the virus in Washington State really succumbed to gunshot wounds.
So, are we witnessing a second wave of the virus or just a media induced panic? We will know more in a few weeks if we see if the death toll rises in delayed synchronicity with the rise in new cases.
It may be that a great many of the new cases are among young people who will recover quickly, or that newer therapeutic procedures can prevent their deaths.
Perhaps we'll find ourselves closing everything down when our real viral enemy is no worse than a bad flu epidemic.
Or not? We’ll see.
Dick Morris is former presidential advisor and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris's Reports — More Here.
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