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Dr. Fauci’s Comments Yesterday

By March 30, 2020Commentary

Coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus, is your whole life just coronavirus?  Well right now it kind of is.  Dr. Fauci, the medical face of the national response to the coronavirus epidemic, gave his first somewhat definitive interpretation of what the likely outcome of the current wave of the epidemic will be in a TV interview yesterday.   (Fauci Interview)   He indicated that he believes, based on the models, that we will have “millions” of cases and 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.  He also said that in his experience models always “overshoot”, so he was taking more of a midrange case.  Part of the problem is not just that models do give a range and the upper end may overshoot, but that the media and some politicians are fond of picking the upper end and acting as though that is the likely outcome.  In any event, my home state of Minnesota has 1.7% of the United States population.  So we could expect 1700 to 3400 deaths, although due to the relatively small density of our population and other factors, I think it will be less than that.  You may recall our Governor said there would be up to 74,000 deaths.  Seem like a big difference to you?  And I would caution you again about calculating death rates.  We have 9 deaths in Minnesota, 7 were in nursing homes or other group care settings for old people.  Those people had a very high likelihood of mortality in the coming year.  Their health condition is such that any additional health shock, or just the continued decline in health, will likely lead to death.  It therefore becomes questionable to treat their deaths as due solely to coronavirus.  Meanwhile the economic carnage continues apace.

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  • Archelle Georgiou says:

    Kevin, Governor Walz specifically said that 74k was the upper end if we did NOTHING and he did not expect this to be the state’s experience. At KSTP, we have been careful to explain this number so as to to not accelerate panic and to inspire adherence to social distancing.

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