Covid-19 is as Deadly and Dangerous as Ever
Hospitalizations are rising, the daily death toll is creeping back up, and “the virus is as lethal as ever,” scientists say
The idea that Covid-19 is becoming less dangerous or deadly is false, the latest data reveals. “The virus is as lethal as ever,” researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute said in a statement. “Deaths and hospitalizations are rising in hotspots around the country. Exactly as public health experts feared.”
While daily count national deaths had been declining, that’s because there had previously been a long decline in new infections, as New York and other states most affected early on in the pandemic got their curves heading down. With new cases surging in other states and the national total at an all-time—more than 60,000 today—there’s simply a lag in hospitalizations and deaths, the Harvard researchers said.
The progression of the virus, from infection to hospitalization to death if it occurs, takes weeks.
The table below shows changes from June 23 to July 7, 2020, a 14-day time frame, in five states with the highest numbers of new infections and New York, which to date has had by far the highest number of cases and deaths of any state—a factor that skews the national figures.
For weeks, scientists have been saying the national death toll would begin to rise again, as they watched the curve of new Covid-19 diagnoses shoot upward. The trend of rising deaths in the above states has not yet fully affected the trendline of national deaths because states such as New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts have had falling mortality rates, and together their numbers have had an outsized effect on the trendline for deaths.
“The rapid increase in cases in many states has been overshadowed because hospitalizations and death rates have not risen at the same pace,” the researchers said. “As a result, a false narrative is wrongly taking hold that COVID-19 has lost its teeth.”