Matt Grocott presented questionable COVID-19 case fatality rates in his column on Tuesday, including, “The survival rate for individuals between the ages 45 to 64 is 99.9294%.”
The California Department of Public Health lists this data in a table titled, “Cases and Deaths Associated with COVID-19 by Age Group in California,” currently dated June 2. The “60-64” age cohort is notable because it’s the first demographic where the “percent of COVID deaths” (9.2%) exceeds the “percent of California population” (5.9%). The case fatality rate is found by dividing the number of deaths (5,705) by the number of cases (191,442) = 2.98%, or a survival rate of 97.02%
What was most startling to read, though, is that Grocott is a cancer survivor who has received stem cell transplants from the Stanford Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. I’m wondering if Grocott is one of the millions of Americans who are immunocompromised due to his bout with cancer. Anyone taking immunosuppressive drugs, such as prednisone, regardless of vaccination status, needs to be extra cautious to avoid infection because their immune system is weakened.
While cases, hospitalizations and deaths are trending downward, the daily average of deaths in the United States was 459 on June 7, according to The New York Times coronavirus database.
As for Grocott’s comparison of surviving lightning strikes with COVID, an average of 49 Americans die annually from them, according to the National Weather Service. Like COVID, lightning survivors can suffer long-term damage.