- NEW YORK POST - Jay W. Richards, Douglas Axe and William Briggs - OCT 17, 2021 -
On Sept. 22, CNN triumphantly announced that 200,000 people had died from COVID-19 in the United States.
CNN tried various ways of rubbing in the 200,000 figure. Their best effort was an infographic blaring, “US COVID-19 deaths are equal to having the 9/11 attacks every day for 66 days.”
Here’s a less biased, but less catchy, comparison: 2020’s attributed COVID-19 deaths were equivalent to having another 2017-2018 flu and pneumonia season boosted by 13 percent.
The CDC estimated that about 177,000 Americans died during the 2017-2018 flu season, from either the flu itself or by complications of pneumonia. (The CDC never made a public announcement about this number, but you can count it yourself from data on its site, as I did in the chart below.) That was a bad year, noted at the time, but mostly by medical professionals. Those with good memories will recall seeing more “Wash Your Hands” and “Cough Into Your Elbows” posters.
Still, nobody remembers a panic. Just as nobody remembers mask mandates or political leaders shutting down small businesses and locking the healthy in their homes. Because, of course, none of that happened. (This lack of panics during past pandemics is detailed in our book, “The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe.”)
On the same day as CNN’s announcement, the CDC officially posted a total 187,072 deaths attributed in some way to COVID-19. Deaths were boosted to a hair under 300,000 after adding in pneumonia and flu.
This is the more important number, since it captures the disease burden better than CNN’s. Even so, it’s not clear how many deaths were caused by the coronavirus alone, how many died with but not simply from infection by the coronavirus, and how many died of other things but just happened to be infected around the time of death.
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