Updated information from Germany strongly suggests that the case fatality rate (CFR) is far lower than that which has been advertised and which many people have predicted. It is critical to point out from this preliminary study that the case fatality rate turned out to be ~ .37%. By the American standards (Johns Hopkins) this area of Germany should have had a case fatality rate of 1.98%. In terms of the total population, the mortality is around .06%. This all stems from the “different reference sample sizes of infected individuals.” In other words the denominator was far larger in terms of people who had either been currently suffering from the virus and were not sick enough to enter the healthcare system or who had already had it and in fact were now immune. This has not been factored into the “models” that have been promoted by states like Minnesota where the governor inexplicably continued to keep the state shut down for long periods of time despite emerging evidence that would not support this. The suggestions from the Germans certainly include certain levels of sequestration particularly for vulnerable individuals and continuation of “hygienic standards”. However, restoration of business under certain restrictions is certainly not only possible but likely recommended. It is critical that “immunologic resilience” is promoted more rigorously and at higher levels. We have been talking about this here for three months.
And then we have the schools and the fear that reopening will fuel a viscious “2nd wave”. But the data suggest otherwise:
The findings of our investigation are in line with other reports which suggest limited transmission of
SARS-CoV-2 in primary schools. These findings suggest that reopening of primary schools can be
considered carefully, with continuous monitoring of possible resurgence in infections and strategies to
limit transmission such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, respiratory etiquette and masks for older
children. (Arnaud Fontanet, Emerging Diseases Epidemiology Unit, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, Paris 75015, France)
The governor of Minnesota should have had his “experts” start looking at other countries that are further down the road in managing all of this. Sweden, that has never shut down most businesses, right now has a CFR of ~ 10% ostensibly. However, they have tested a much smaller fraction of the population than Germany, and so that number will likely plummet as more tests are done. The important thing, however, is that the new cases in Sweden are now falling rapidly. They did not shut down their economy. Right next door to Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota seem to be having a completely different experience with COVID-19. South Dakota and North Dakota also have not placed anywhere near the same restrictions on businesses that Minnesota has. It is starting to appear that they will be none the worse off and highly likely to have suffered far less economic damage. In fact Minnesota has the worst economy while having done the poorest job also in protecting the vulnerable from the virus (mostly from long term care facilities).
Kevin Roche — an articulate health care consultant and former United Healthcare division CEO — opines that Minnesota has basically swung and missed on 3 separate “models”:
While the media and some political leaders spreading all the panic they can about the epidemic, particularly in regard to almost exclusively asymptomatic and mild cases, they ignore the fact that hospitalization and death rates are continually declining. This article details the decline in deaths. (CV Article) But here is the interesting thing in the article. A Minnesotan did an analysis of our state’s deaths by looking at each death certificate. Of 740 supposed coronavirus deaths only 41% listed coronavirus as the primary cause of death. Apparently this is a common issue. The CDC says that only 7% of death certificates listed coronavirus as the only cause of death. For the rest there were on average 2.5 additional causes listed. The article notes that hospitals and doctors have a financial incentive to list coronavirus as a cause of death. So again, a lot of coronavirus deaths are to patients who were very sick and were likely to die soon of some other cause. Very few are to healthy people.
It needs to be mentioned that the expertise being supplied to the Minnesota governor’s office largely comes from the University of Minnesota’s “CIDRAP” — the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy — headed up by the renowned epidemiologist, Dr Michael Osterholm. When Dr Osterholm is not promoting his book on national podcasts and talk shows, he is apparently counseling the governor’s office on the vagaries of the pandemic. His Center is supported by Gilead — the drugmaker whose very expensive COVID 19 wonder drug, Remdesivir — was just tacitly “approved” by the FDA for the treatment of the disease. More facts need to be revealed here re the drug patent, the US taxpayer money Dr Fauci sent to the Wuhan laboratory against the State Dept’s advice, etc. But the fierce criticism of hydroxychloroquine seemed out of place –especially the “dangers” when compared to my own 35 years of experience in prescribing it. Much of that criticism was recently exposed as plainly fraudulent when the Lancet had to backtrack a bit (unusual for a major medical journal) re their publication engaging in the trashing of HCQ. Regardless, the financial connections between a major drugmaker — conveniently heavily invested in a new, fast-tracked and profitable product — and state-mandated policies is blatantly obvious. The public would know this if the media were not bought and sold as well.
And then we still have the lack of medical education delivered to the broader community. What can an individual citizen do other than huddle in their closet and worry about being an unwilling host to this bug? They can pay attention to their biological resilience partially spelled out in the previous blog on this website. There are other interventions that the average citizen can now start to look at that will help them remain healthier in the face of an increasingly risky biological environment. I strongly recommend that motivated patients/citizens look at PEMF and PBM, 2 energy related modalities that can markedly change overall “immunologic resilience”. These require medical consultation from individuals who understand these approaches. A good start is Dr. William Pawluk in New York who is an expert on PEMF. Photobiomodulation (PBM) also has immunomodulatory effects and may improve overall resilience to community acquired infections. A good start is one of the commercial websites such as Joovv. Dr. Michael Hamblin, a Harvard professor who is published widely on this intervention, is also an authoritative and reliable source of information.
Our clinic offers COVID-19 testing for both PCR (acute illness) and serologic testing (antibody studies for past infection and immunity) for those interested. For those individuals who have been seen in our clinic, if you do not have our COVID-19 protocol that we feel improves “resilience” and that spells out steps to be taken in treating the illness, please let us know and we will send it to you by email.