Our original projection put America on track to see over 100,000 fatalities by early June. However, strong social distancing measures were put in place over the last three weeks, altering that trajectory to a lower figure by early June. Now, we face the daunting task of attempting to project where things are headed over the next four months. In attempting to arrive at good answers, there are several important things we must now consider:
1) The model was far too conservative and vastly underestimated the R0 value and the infection velocity of the virus.
2) Very strong social distancing factors (i.e. "lockdowns") have been put in place in many cities, causing a lagging mitigation effect that will aggressively slow the number of new infections in those areas.
3) Each city is being handled differently now, which means we technically need a standalone model for each city that takes into account the start date of the lockdowns, the efficiency enforcement of the lockdowns, the mutation strain of the virus circulating in that city, the percentage of people in that city who use public transportation, etc. But that becomes very complex for all the obvious reasons.
4) Each city is on a different starting date timeline in terms of when the number of local infections crossed the 1,000 mark. This means, for example, that Atlanta might be 3-4 weeks behind NYC, even though it's on a similar track in terms of its rate of spread ("velocity" of infections). In addition, each city has a different R0 value based on its own culture and transportation systems. Cities where people tend to own no private vehicles and rely on public transportation are clearly being hit harder than other cities, just as we warned would happen over a month ago.
Given those factors, here is where we see things headed for the next four months.
Before we get into the projections, here's an important note. We are well aware that "confirmed infections" is nowhere near an accurate number representing how many people are currently infected. Basing projections on infections alone leaves a very wide window of variability.
Two far better numbers to watch are:
1) Number of hospitalizations.
2) Number of deaths.
Both of these numbers, we believe, are far more accurate and very difficult for officials to fake or fudge, either accidentally or on purpose. So we are shifting our projections to monitoring these numbers rather than infections.
In particular, the "new deaths today" number for each state is especially important when expressed as a ratio of deaths-to-population. This number is a trailing indicator of the number of real-world infections, given that people who die from the infection must first be infected.
By monitoring the number of "deaths per million" in each state, we can assess how deeply the epidemic has penetrated the population and therefore how far long the infection has progressed in that area.
New York, for example, with 883 deaths and a population of 19.44 million people, is currently at around 45.4 deaths per million people.
This ratio is the highest in the nation, which tells us that New York is ahead of all other states in terms of progressing along the timeline of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The next closest state, by the way, isn't New Jersey or even California. It's Louisiana, which has 137 deaths out of a population of 4.67 million, giving us 29.3 deaths per million people.
California is only at 3 deaths per million people, which likely means this pandemic is still in the very early stages in that state, and we should expect a lot more hospitalizations and deaths there in the next few months.
If you're wondering how many deaths equals how many infections, the level of uncertainty on such an equation is high, but here's a simple way to estimate it.
First, you have to assume a case fatality rate. We'll take 2%, as that's on the low side of what is being currently estimated by the WHO and various nations like Italy.
So that means for every 1 person who dies, 49 people were initially infected. However, those initial infections took place several weeks earlier, and they've had time to multiply and spread.
The final number you get depends on the doubling speed and time lag you choose. If you say, for example, that a person who dies from the coronavirus was initially infected three weeks ago, and if you assume the number of real-world infections doubles every week, then you would calculate that right now there are 49 x 2 x 2 x 2 infections that equate to that one death. That number is 49 x (2^3), or 392.
If those are your starting assumptions, you might say that for every 100 deaths in any given state, there are 39,200 people who have been infected during the same span of time it took those 100 people to die.
With 883 total deaths in New York so far, multiplying that by 392 gives you 346,000 infections in the state, which is about 1.8% of the population of New York. This gives you an idea of how far away things are from "herd immunity" which, according to the best guess at the coronavirus R0 value, would require 83% of the population to be immune.
Note carefully that we are nowhere near herd immunity in any U.S. state. That's why ending lockdowns would be catastrophic without taking additional precautions as described below.
If you wish to make more aggressive assumptions of the spread of the virus, such as real-world spread doubling twice per week instead of once per week, then over three weeks you have six doublings, and the formula for the number of currently infected people might be, theoretically, 49 x 2^6. However, the rate of real-world doubling was substantially slowed by the social distancing measures put in place over the last two weeks across the United States, which means you can really only count one week out of the three at that rate. So, arguably, you might have a total of four doublings by now, not six. That would mean 1 fatality today could theoretically translate into 49 x 2^4 infections, which is 784.
But even this isn't quite right, since the vast majority of those who are infected become immune over a few weeks all on their own, without showing any symptoms. So even if 784 people were previously infected, there aren't 784 infected right now. The lag times of the curves throw a lot of people off, and they make the mistake of thinking that everything happened today when, in reality, by the time we see deaths or hospitalizations, several weeks have gone by and we're actually peering into the past.
Given all this, as long as we are on the up side of the curve (i.e. before infections have peaked), we might reasonably assume that for every 1 fatality today, there are an additional 500 or so people who have been infected, out of which 10 additional people will die in the coming weeks (2% case fatality rate) from that group.
This rough math only works during the up side of the curve, of course, because once we reach the peak and new infections start to level off, the equations change substantially. That "apex" day is currently estimated to be 2-3 weeks away for NYC, but will lag several weeks later for other cities across the USA.
April will be "hell month" for NYC and surrounding areas in the NE. Hospitalizations and deaths in NYC should peak roughly mid-April (see below for more details), slowly tapering off in the last half of April. This is based on the fact that NYC has most of its population under lockdown since about mid-March. There is roughly a 3-5 week lag time between the origination of the lockdown and the peaking of hospitalizations, followed roughly two weeks later by the peaking in deaths.
The key number to watch for NYC will be the daily new admissions to the hospitals. Once that daily number starts to consistently fall (you should watch a 3-day moving average to smooth it out), it means the daily deaths number will fall roughly two weeks later. We predict the daily new admissions to the hospitals in NYC will happen the first week of April, and the daily deaths in NYC will begin to fall roughly around mid-April.
NYC is likely to end the lockdowns in the month of April, encouraged by these falling numbers. However, this could be a catastrophic mistake that would result in new clusters and outbreaks that might require a new lockdown in June, over a month later. The key here is for NYC to mandate that everyone wear a mask in public and at work sites. No mask = no work. That's how NYC can get back to work without ending up in a second lockdown in June.
Beyond NYC and surrounding areas, April will continue to be a ramping-up month for many other cities that are several weeks behind NYC.
It's not unreasonable to expect daily U.S. deaths during April to average between 500 and 1000, which would produce roughly around 15,000 to 30,000 deaths in the month of April.
By May, NYC will be on the down slope of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, but many other US cities will still be in the peak time, especially during early May. Since NYC is only a small fraction of the total US population, we're looking at much larger numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in May, compared to April.
Our "deaths per million" calculations, above, show that states like California are still very early in the progression of this pandemic, meaning any effort to end the lockdowns would result in a re-ignition of explosive spread rates.
Cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Denver and Miami will be strongly contributing to a large influx of hospitalizations and deaths during May. Results will vary dramatically on a city-by-city basis, depending entirely on how aggressively local authorities have enforced social isolation and lockdown rules in those areas.
We anticipate daily deaths in May will sustain, on average, somewhere between 750 and 1500. That would cause between 22,500 and 45,000 deaths in the month of May.
Although this depends heavily on how aggressively lockdowns were enforced in April and May, by June the number of new infections should drop dramatically, although the lag time of hospitalizations and deaths will continue to produce many fatalities this calendar month.
Although it's always difficult to estimate this far ahead when dealing with a pandemic, we anticipate the daily death rate might average between 200 and 400 for the month of June, producing anywhere between 6,000 and 12,000 additional deaths in the month of June.
For the month of July, this could be halved yet again, perhaps dropping to just 100 - 200 deaths per day, generating another 3,000 to 6,000 deaths. However, this "success" in halting deaths is entirely contingent on several important factors detailed below. Without those factors in place, July could actually see a new round of exploding clusters of infections and hospitalizations.
In summary, we are expecting to see anywhere from 46,000 to 93,000 coronavirus-inflicted fatalities in the USA from April through the end of July, based on what we know today.
It is notable that Dr. Fauci is currently projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths, and he may be correct, given that our own projections have consistently proven too conservative.
Either way, this is a dramatic improvement over the 2.16 million deaths which would have occurred by July 4th if no mitigation efforts were put in place. You can legitimately argue, backed by real numbers, that the lockdowns have saved more than two million lives which would have otherwise been lost.
Keep this in mind when you hear people arguing that all lockdowns should be lifted because the virus is "no worse than the flu." Had America initiated no lockdowns whatsoever, millions would have died by July.
We are humbled to have been part of the effort to raise the alarm early -- we were among the very earliest to accurately warn where this was headed -- and help America save two million lives.
Finally, everything described above is just the first wave of the coronavirus, and if the lockdowns are ended without two very important things happening, the second wave will begin to explode in July and August, resulting in potentially millions of new infections spanning August, September, October and right up to Election Day in November, where Trump will surely be defeated if he is held responsible for the deaths of potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans.
In order to end the lockdowns and avoid re-igniting a new wave of infections, the following two things must occur:
1) Everyone who goes back to work must be tested, preferably with a blood antibody test that's far more accurate than the nasal swabs. Only those who test negative for the coronavirus shall be allowed back to work. Those who are positive must maintain self-quarantine until they are no longer infectious.
2) Everyone must wear a mask. This includes people on public transportation, people in grocery stores and people at workplaces. Masks must be made available and America's culture must change to embrace mask wearing as a form of social etiquette. For without the masks, infections will continue to spread once again, and we'll be seeing wave two of the coronavirus outbreak accelerating by August, with the "Fall from Hell" as the second wave of the virus devastates the United States through the last quarter of the calendar year.
What's notable in all this is that both the availability of diagnostic testing kits and masks (PPE) depends on physical production bandwidth. America needs to be retooled to manufacture enormous quantities of test kits and masks, and those must be widely distributed throughout hospitals, clinics, retailers and more. Thus, the solution to the coronavirus really comes down to a World War II-like "economic production" battle, a race against time to find out how much we can produce so that our nation can get back to work.
In truth, Trump was very slow to get things moving to fight the coronavirus. For many weeks during the crucial early spread of the virus, Trump remained in a state of abject denial, claiming the virus would magically vanish and that we would chase down the few infections at the time (just 15 when he said that), bringing it down to zero. That number is now 133,000 and rising by about 16,000 new infections per day, for the record. And just as I predicted in an early March appearance on InfoWars, when we look back at Trump's actions on this, we will conclude he acted too late and allowed the virus to spread far beyond what should have happened.
Now, with President Trump demanding that America "get back to work" by ending all the lockdowns before Easter, we are on the verge of Trump making a catastrophic mistake that would unleash a second wave of the coronavirus infections as summer draws to a close. If America is told to go back to work without adequate precautions, August could look a lot like the spread in February, and September could be a mirror image of March. By October, we could be back into another full-blown exploding epidemic in America, just like we're about to endure through April. And once again, America will have to experience another lockdown that will bring a second wave of devastation to the economy while utterly obliterating any chance of Trump winning the election in November.
Personally, I'm not even sure how much it matters who wins in November, since Trump is now an economic communist who oversaw the massive expansion of government buying up the means of production across the nation through a multi-trillion-dollar bailout that's nothing less than a Bernie Sanders-style centralized economy fiasco. It also brings up the question of why the American people should ever pay taxes again, now that we know the Fed can simply create $6 trillion any time it wants. This proves the entire federal tax / IRS scheme was a fraud from the get-go. The government doesn't need taxpayer money to fund anything, we now know.
Trump should just switch parties and declare himself a Democrat at this point, given that his corporate welfare programs now dwarf anything that Pelosi, Schumer or Feinstein could have ever dreamed of. The US economy is now collapsing into full-blown communism, with a centrally controlled Wall Street market system that no longer resembles anything an informed person might call a "free market." There are no free markets, there are only manipulated, rigged markets which are controlled by the Treasury and the Fed. Capitalism has been strangled to death by bad government policy and an endless debt Ponzi scheme that will one day suffer a catastrophic collapse that ends the dollar, since all fiat currencies eventually fail.
In effect, Trump has delivered us into economic communism, and the bailouts will only encourage corrupt corporations that should have failed to remain in business while the federal government pays people to NOT work. To call this an economic "disaster" doesn't even begin to describe the magnitude of the treachery and foolishness taking place right now.
America as we know it is over, and as I predicted over a month ago, the coronavirus pandemic will reconfigure human civilization across the globe. All who hold dollars are about to see rapid inflation that will possibly lead to hyperinflation, and the command-and-control economy that now dictates stock market prices while picking which corporations succeed or fail is the exact opposite of free market capitalism.
Prepare to have your wealth, assets and savings looted by the government, for in the end, all that bailout money comes out of your pockets.
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Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com called "Food Forensics"), an environmental scientist, a patent holder for a cesium radioactive isotope elimination invention, a multiple award winner for outstanding journalism, a science news publisher and influential commentator on topics ranging from science and medicine to culture and politics.
Mike Adams also serves as the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation.
In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.
Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.