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Biden’s scaremongering COVID-19 death ‘expectation’

Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 13, 2020

By Jacob Sullum, Reason 

During a debate with Donald Trump last month, Joe Biden said “the expectation is we’ll have another 200,000 Americans dead [from COVID-19] between now and the end of the year.” That implied a total U.S. death toll of about 423,000 by January 1. The current total is around 242,000. Biden’s projection therefore suggests that COVID-19 will kill more than 3,600 Americans a day between now and the end of the year, compared to the current seven-day average of fewer than 1,100.

That is not likely to happen. The “ensemble forecast” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on projections from “45 modeling groups,” puts the death toll at 250,000 to 266,000 by November 28. Assuming that estimate is in the right ballpark, Biden is projecting at least another 157,000 deaths from November 29 through December 31, or nearly 4,800 a day. That’s more than four times the current seven-day average and more than twice the April 21 peak.

Biden’s “expectation” suggests that the president-elect is not paying attention to the COVID-19 case fatality rate in the United States, which has fallen dramatically since mid-May and continues to drop. His hyperbolic warning also suggests that his election will replace a president who falsely assured us that COVID-19 was “going away” with a president who errs in the opposite direction.

The fact that Biden predicted more than three times as many daily COVID-19 deaths as we are currently seeing does not bode well for his approach to the pandemic. All government interventions aimed at curtailing infections, ranging from mask mandates to lockdowns, have costs. Those costs need to be weighed against the likely benefits, which depend on what would have happened otherwise. Biden’s scaremongering puts a big thumb on one side of the scale.

Read more at Reason.com. 

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