Brace yourself for the latest COVID–19 predictions. You’re not going to like them predicts Mark Sumner of the Daily Kos Staff. You will want to read the original post. I’ll hit just some high points.
Just two weeks ago, when Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that the United States could see 100,000 cases of COVID–19 in a day, it seemed like a nightmare scenario. At the time America had just topped 40,000 cases for the first time. Make that 50,000. Then 60,000. Tuesday was the second day the nation logged over 70,000 cases in a day. It was also the first time the United States recorded over 1,000 deaths from COVID–19 since June 9.
To say that Mike Pence’s “no second wave” op-ed is going to be recorded as one of the most bassackwards statements in history is a given. But what’s shocking is that even Fauci’s prediction that was disturbing at the start of the month, looks like it could end up undershooting the real situation as badly as Pence did. The reasons for that are simple enough: We have governors who are willing to kill their people to score political points, we have a government determined to hide the truth of what’s happening, and we have people who are intentionally destroying their communities to own … whoever is left to care. And the result is that instead of 100,000 cases a day, the United States could be facing a million cases a day. Herd immunity, here we come … with half a million dead in tow.
Gov. Gregg Abbott has reversed himself in Texas. Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona hasn’t actually issued a mask order, but has at least gotten out of the way for cities and counties that want to do so. On Thursday afternoon, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who had refused to ever issue a stay-at-home order for his state, recognized the threat of the spiking cases there and issued a statewide mask mandate. There remains some hope, because not every governor is Ron DeSantis (Florida) or Brian Kemp (Georgia). Even the most ardent Republican politicians are going to have a hard time throwing their citizens into mass graves to please a man who will be out of office in January.
We are still where we were at the start of March. Except that instead of dealing with 239 confirmed cases and a few thousand cases circulating through the public, there are tens of millions. And just as in March, the number of people who would become infected before herd immunity would bring the epidemic below the point where it could sustain itself is likely around 70%. Possibly higher. That would mean going through what we’ve been through so far, six more times. Except faster.
That number can be pushed down though social distancing, pushed down more through widespread use of masks, pushed down more by stay-at-home orders and serious lockdowns. All those things are coming. They’re just coming too late. They’re already too late to keep the total number of dead from reaching something between 300,000 and 400,000. The always optimistic IHME model is now projecting 224,000 by November 1. That’s just … where we are.
UPDATE - Trump cuts CDC data reporting in favor of a power play at HHS. Here’s another piece by Mark Sumner. Days after hospitals were told to stop sending information to CDC, all the fears appear justified.. Your tax money supports data collection and reporting. Just not to you.