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Cost Of COVID-19 High For Americans

September 8, 2020

 

The news regarding COVID-19 is not for the faint-hearted. This morning the first news story I read was about the huge number of bikers who thought their ‘free-dumb’ was more important than the health of their fellow citizens.

The inevitable fallout from last month’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an annual event that packed nearly 500,000 people into a small town in South Dakota, is becoming clear, and the emerging picture is grim. 

According to a new study, which tracked anonymized cellphone data from the rally, over 250,000 coronavirus cases have now been tied to the 10-day event, one of the largest to be held since the start of the pandemic. It drew motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country, many of whom were seen without face coverings inside crowded bars, restaurants, and other indoor establishments. 

The explosion in cases, the study from the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics finds, is expected to reach $12 billion in public health costs.

This afternoon the news from Wisconsin was also most disconcerting.  Dr. John Raymond, president of the Medical College of Wisconsin reported the seven-day average daily case jumped from 678 on Aug. 31 to 880 yesterday.  He added that this is a “troubling trend.”

The state also broke a new record today recording 17.6 percent of today’s tests as positive, bringing the seven-day average for percent positive to an all-time high of 11.3 percent. 

“Wisconsin has clear increases in new cases,” he said, pointing to the doubling time in the state for cases — 44.9 days — which could result in 80,000 more cases by mid-October. The reproductive number in Wisconsin is 1.2; that indicates the number of people a contagious person can infect before they show symptoms.

Meanwhile the continued efforts by the Trump White House to politicize the vaccine is concerning for those who know such efforts will hinder a segment of the nation from trusting any future development.  Over-promising for the November election is exactly the wrong course of action any candidate should take.  But since Trump is only interested in political self-preservation it comes as no surprise he would take such a tactic in the final weeks of the campaign.

The one we need to heed, however when it comes to COVID-19 information, is Dr. Anthony Fauci. He addressed the comments from Trump about an early vaccine on PBS’ NewsHour.

“Well, I think that’s unlikely. The only way you can see that scenario come true is if that there are so many infections in the clinical trial sites that you get an efficacy answer sooner than you would have projected. It’s not impossible but it’s unlikely that we’ll have a definitive answer at that time. More likely by the end of the year.”

This year our nation has been taxed with anxiety and stresses of the kinds not seen in decades.  This is a time when solid leadership is needed, and some genuine concern given to the electorate’s frustrations.

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