Where's the Spike in COVID-19 Deaths?

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Just as soon as states started to reopen, a surge in coronavirus cases put the brakes on those plans. Talk about a second wave has conveniently reignited fears about the coronavirus right as the country is itching to get back to normal, or as close to normal as possible.


But the media wants you to be afraid. They are counting on people to focus on the headlines and be ignorant of the data.

What is the data telling us?

The death count for COVID-19 has been declining long enough that if it continues, COVID-19 will no longer be considered an epidemic by the CDC in a few weeks. Some have argued that the lag between cases and deaths is a moot point because of the lag between diagnoses and deaths. So, let’s take that into account.

The spike in cases appears to have started on June 14, 2020, which makes perfect sense because most people develop symptoms within two weeks of infection, and the George Floyd riots started at the end of May. Studies suggest that deaths from COVID-19 occur between 15 and 22 days, with a median of 18.5, after becoming symptomatic.

It’s reasonable to assume that most of the people who get tested do so because they’ve experienced symptoms. But even if only half of those who have tested positive during the recent spike of cases were symptomatic when they were tested, a spike in deaths should have occurred by now because it’s been 23 days since the spike in cases started. But, as the charts below indicate, there hasn’t been a spike in deaths yet:


How is it possible that there’s been no spike in deaths yet? As Dr. Anthony Fauci recently acknowledged, “The overwhelming majority of people who are now getting infected are young people, like the people that you see in the clips in the paper or out in the crowds enjoying themselves.”

And risk of death for young people is very, very, very small. The CDC’s current best estimate puts the fatality rate for symptomatic coronavirus patients at .05 percent for people under fifty, and .2 percent for those between 50 and 64 years of age. It’s only when you get to those 65 and older that the fatality rate for symptomatic coronavirus patients jumps to 1.3 percent.

The lack of a spike in deaths at this point tells us a lot. It tells us schools could reopen, that bars and restaurants and pretty much everything else can too, as long as the vulnerable population (the elderly and the sick) are quarantined. Life can return to normal for most of us.



Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis


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