UPDATE: The CDC says it does not anticipate lifting COVID-19’s “epidemic” label anytime soon. A spokeswoman for the CDC explained to Politifact that the death rate alone does not determine whether or not COVID-19 is still an epidemic.
Despite the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, deaths have continued to decline and may soon reach a level where the coronavirus will no longer qualify as an epidemic under CDC guidelines.
A disease outbreak qualifies as an “epidemic” by the CDC when the number of weekly deaths caused by the disease exceeds a certain percentage of overall deaths, explains Daniel Payne of Just The News.
According to the CDC, “Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 9.0% during week 25 to 5.9% during week 26, representing the tenth week of a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC.” If the percentage continues to decline, it is likely COVID-19 will lose its classification as an epidemic in the next few weeks.
Some might scoff at the idea that deaths will continue to decline, but it’s been 22 days since COVID-19 cases started to spike and there’s been no spike in deaths.
Considering this data, it seems likely that deaths will continue to decline as it is mostly younger people getting infected, and treatments have also improved. A recent large-scale study conducted by the Henry Ford Health System also found that despite past reports and fearmongering by the media, hydroxychloroquine reduces the death rate of COVID-19 by more than half.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis