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TWJ COVID Tracker: The Latest COVID Numbers the Media May Not Want You to See

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Is the COVID-19 pandemic spiraling out of control?

As the delta variant continues to spread, recent weeks have seen many news outlets claim as much.

However, in many of these cases, outlets are engaging in what seems to be a dishonest bait-and-switch — where their coverage was once focused on the fatality rate and number of COVID deaths, now it seems to be centered on the number of new COVID cases.

Due to the seemingly dishonest, shifting nature of this coverage, The Western Journal has decided to provide regular updates on the COVID fatality rate in the United States as it changes over time. These statistics are taken from Our World in Data, a trusted source on COVID-related statistics.

Sept. 20, 2021, Update:

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1.33 percent case fatality rate (moving-average)

5.85 deaths per million people (seven-day rolling average)

417.31 cases per million people (seven-day rolling average)

While the delta variants case-fatality rate remains on an upward trajectory, the number of new COVID cases is now seeing a sharp decline.

As mentioned in previous updates, experts predicted that the current delta variant surge would see its final days sometime between late September and mid-October.

Sept. 13, 2021, Update:

1.13 percent case fatality rate (moving-average)

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5.54 deaths per million people (seven-day rolling average)

514.83 cases per million people (seven-day rolling average)

Going into mid-September, the delta variant isn’t the only factor driving the surge in cases.

Now that the majority of children in the country are going back to in-person schooling, that return is certain to have an influence on the number of cases as well.

Nevertheless, as mentioned in last week’s update, experts expect the bump in cases and deaths as a result of the delta variant will be short-lived, as was the case in other countries that have already overcome their own delta variant surges.

Sept. 6, 2021, Update: 

0.93 percent case fatality rate (moving-average)

4.35 deaths per million people (seven-day rolling average)

412.33 cases per million people (seven-day rolling average)

COVID numbers are only slightly up from last week, although the overall upward trend has remained steady.

Based on how fast other countries, such as the U.K. and India, have recovered from COVID-19, experts predict the U.S. will see a quick recovery in the coming weeks. According to WebMD, the former senior adviser for the Biden administration’s COVID response, Andy Slavitt, predicted as much.

Multiple predictions place the end of the current uptick at sometime in September, although some less optimistic predictions claim the current surge could be drawn out to mid-October.

According to The New York Times, while some experts do, in fact, predict a downward trend within that time period, a new spike will quickly follow driven by a return to school for many Americans.

This reality will pose an important question to the U.S. population: Are citizens ready to live with the consequences of COVID-19 or will they support an indefinite return to further COVID restrictions and economic lockdowns?

Aug. 30, 2021, Update: 

0.92 percent case fatality rate (moving-average) 

3.99 deaths per million people (seven-day rolling average)

479.63 cases per million people (seven-day rolling average)

The uptick in cases continues as the COVID case fatality rate nears 1 percent.

As COVID deaths near 4 per million people per day, various outlets continue to ring the alarm bells on COVID.

However, 4 deaths per million people is far from outside the norm when it comes to common causes of death.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, the average day in 2018 saw heart disease and cancer cause approximately 4.48 and 4.08 deaths per million people respectively.

And, of note, this higher number of deaths per day is not a year-long average, but rather is occurring during the current, temporary spike in cases.

Aug. 23, 2021, Update: 

0.80 percent case fatality rate (moving-average)

3.12 deaths per million people (seven-day rolling average)

453.47 cases per million people (seven-day rolling average)

The numbers of COVID cases and deaths have risen slightly from last week, with the case fatality rate hitting its peak on Friday.

Since then, the COVID case fatality rate has begun to trend down, although, as flu season draws closer, a new spike in cases is expected to come.

Various establishment media outlets have published panic-induced headlines warning of this coming spike, but COVID numbers should be expected to ebb and flow for the next several years.

Medical and public health expert Jonathan M. Ellen explained as much in an Aug. 9 article for City Journal, saying, “There are pockets of people who for various reasons will never be vaccinated. As a result, outbreaks will continue to happen.”

“The elimination of Covid is highly unlikely; the more likely outcome is that it will become an endemic condition — a problem we learn to live with, like influenza or motor-vehicle fatalities. In 2019, there were 49 influenza deaths and 11 motor vehicle deaths per 100,000. Currently the average daily rate of Covid deaths is 0.15 per 100,000 — representing an annualized rate of almost 58 per 100,000,” Ellen wrote.

Aug. 16, 2021, Update:

0.66 percent case fatality rate (moving-average)

2.13 deaths per million people (seven-day rolling average)

406 cases per million people (seven-day rolling average)

In August, the U.S. continues to experience its lowest COVID-related fatality rate since the onset of the pandemic — roughly 0.66 percent.

Despite this, the majority of coverage on COVID over the week prior (Aug. 8 to Aug. 15) avoided reporting the fatality rate or overall death statistics, opting instead to cover the rising number of COVID cases.

The best example of this is seen in reporting from The New York Times.

A number of such stories published by the Times lamented the growing threat of the delta variant and its hand in the rising number of cases without once mentioning the plummeting fatality rate.

This included stories such as “Taylor Mac’s ‘Joy and Pandemic’ Is Postponed as Covid Cases Surge,” “Jason Isbell and Stevie Nicks cancel shows over COVID concerns,” “Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today” and “Virus Misinformation Spikes as Delta Cases Surge,” among others.

One of the only Times stories to mention COVID deaths was “We Studied One Million Students. This Is What We Learned About Masking,” published on Aug. 10.

The story suggested that, despite their rarity, COVID deaths among children are too prevalent and, because of this, mask mandates must be enforced for children.

“Schools that do not require masks will have more coronavirus transmission,” the article read.

“And while mortality from Covid was only two per 100,000 school-age children as of April, with more than 50 million public school children in the United States, that could still mean many avoidable deaths of children in a year.”

The data on child mortality for COVID cited by the story shows that, in 2020, deaths caused by injury, suicide, cancer, homicide, congenital anomalies, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular complications and even influenza were all more common than those related to COVID among children ages 1-17.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa




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