Friday Stats and More

Per the CDC’s COVID-19 Cases in the U.S. that the FEHBlog tracks, the number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 1.4 million mark and the number of COVID-19 deaths exceeded 85,000 today. The CDC’s COVIDView confirms that the rate of increase continues to slow. For what it’s worth, the FEHBlog-calculated COVID-19 case mortality rate has been pretty stable for the past month. The Wall Street Journal’s Numbers columnist discusses COVID-19 stats her latest column.

Dividing fatalities by the number of confirmed illnesses produces the case fatality rate. [That’s FEHBlog’s approach] A better estimate of lethality divides fatalities by the number of people infected. But no one knows how many people are infected with Covid-19.

“Right now the death rate is a guess,” Dr. [Fred] Brauer said. “I’ve seen ranges from one-tenth of a percentage point to 3%.”

The FEHBlog has been tracking the simple case mortality rate to find a plateau and the FEHBlog thinks we may be there.

Recently, the filing of Supreme Court briefs defending the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality have lead some press outlets to raise an alarm. The best chill pill is to read this Reason article by Prof. Jonathan Adler who filed on the 38 friends of the Court briefs supporting the statute’s constitutionality. The article’s title says it all — “The Penalty-less Individual Mandate Is Severable from the Rest of the ACA No Matter How You Look at It.” Amen to that.

A friend of the FEHBlog brought to his attention this C-SPAN interview with Dr. David Kimberlin. Dr. Kimberlin is pediatric infectious diseases chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting children. He expresses concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is discouraging parents from taking their children to pediatrician for routine childhood vaccinations. He encourages parents to contact their pediatrician to learn how the vaccinations can be obtained safely. That’s important advice.

In other news —

  • Becker’s Hospital Review discusses each of the fifteen hospital closures that have occurred in the United State this year.
  • STAT News reports that “fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic, remote heart monitoring could become tech’s next big target.
    • “Both Apple and Alphabet spinout Verily have watches equipped with EKGs that detect the heart abnormality atrial fibrillation, or A-fib. Apple and Amazon have recently hired prominent cardiologists to fill their ranks, while Facebook is hiring for a team overseen by Freddy Abnousi, a cardiologist and the social network’s new head of health technology. Among the new roles: an expert in the same type of technology used to monitor the heart in Fitbits and Apple Watches.”

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