More bad coronavirus numbers in the U.S.

Yesterday (April 17), there were more than 32,000 new Wuhan coronavirus cases reported in the U.S. There were 2,535 new reported deaths. At the end of the day, U.S. reported deaths stood at 37,164, according to Worldometer.

The IHME has lowered slightly its estimate of total U.S. deaths from the virus to 60,308 through the end of July (“current social distancing assumed until infections minimized and containment implemented.”) Looking at the recent death numbers, it seems to me that we might reach something like that total by the end of April.

Looking at the recent numbers of daily new cases, we might be in for a deadly May, as well. Since the beginning of April, we have averaged more than 30,000 new reported cases per day. Yesterday’s number was 32,165. Deaths from April cases reported so far will, I assume, occur mostly in May.

Italy has flattened its new case curve to a more substantial degree than the U.S. yet has. Its new reported daily cases are a little more than half of what they were a month ago. (By contrast, our number has more than doubled in that period, but this is probably due in considerable part to increased testing. Italy was testing on a widespread scale well before we were.)

Italy’s fairly steep decline in new daily cases has been accompanied by some decline in the daily death count. At very the peak, around the beginning of this month, Italy was losing approximately 800 people per day to the virus. Now, it is losing 500-600. However, that’s been the range for about the last ten days.

I hope the U.S. is better able to provide treatment for victims of this virus in May than Italy has provided in April. However, the Italian experience suggests that, even once we see a substantial decrease in the number of new reported cases daily, we will still suffer a high number of deaths, given the high numbers of new cases being reported now.

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