Is Covid-19 Killing More Americans Than Official Numbers Suggest?

For whatever reason, New York City was hit particularly hard by Covid-19. As you can see below, the Centre For Disease Control shows that from February 1 to April 17, the city saw 175% of its normal number of deaths.

This suggests that there were around 9,000 extra deaths during this period. Officially, only 5530 of those were caused by Covid, but it seems likely that the true Covid death toll is a lot higher than reported. If Covid accounts for even only half of the extra deaths not attributed to it, then the true mortalities in NYC are about 50% higher than reported.

Meanwhile, the picture looks very grim for America, overall, as this graph from Our World In Data shows.

While the recent lockdowns should start reducing that death rate rather soon, the movement to re-open the country prematurely risks kick-starting the infection rates once more. That could see the epidemic hit places that have previously escaped the worst.

As Australians, we live in a country that is largely abiding by the lock down and (mercifully) has both sides of parliament on board with a death minimisation strategy. That allows us to focus on overcoming the economic pain, without fearing for out health. A key part of the reason we have this situation is that we are doing our best to test, test, test.

On the other hand, it is extremely likely that detection of the disease is far less effective in the USA. As you can see below, the country records a positive case for every 5.3 tests administered, whereas we are testing far more widely.

I am exceedingly grateful for what we are doing in this country and am watching horrified as the USA takes a different path. While the stock market remains strong, the coronavirus is probably getting so entrenched in their communities that only a Chinese style full lock-down, cure, or vaccine will prevent the tens of thousands of deaths that are likely on the horizon.