Given Coronavirus IFR <1% then with a US population of 330 million this seems almost certain. I would have put this probability higher if there was a higher option.
If a lot of people get infected, the hospital systems will collapse and the IFR will be higher than 1%, as it was in Wuhan, Lombardy, and NYC. If the whole population gets infected, it will be much higher. Also, the IFC is probably >1% even without collapse.
This analysis suggests that even in Wuhan and NYC the IFR wasn’t higher than 1%.
This paper put Lombardy IFR = 1.1 but with a large confidence interval (0.2 − 2.1). It predicts a higher IFR across the world than in Lombardy which is weird. That’s the paper which has the highest IFR of any in the 13 included in the analysis above.
Ventilators aren’t particularly effective, saving less than half of the people who go on them so even worst case ventilator shortage will less than double IFR. Not sure what other hospital equipment would become the choke point—possibly oxygen supply? Temporary general hospital beds are alot easier to get quickly than temporary ICU beds so I wouldn’t anticipate this being unsolvable.
Not everyone will get infected (due to herd immunity) so 330M isn’t the number to be looking at, although assuming a runaway infection we’d have R=3 so ~220M infected.
To get the 3 million deaths you would need to have the situation where almost everywhere in the US had a massive outbreak killing 1% of their population with their hospitals in meltdown and all of the government institutions doing nothing to stop it and most people on an individual level not taking precautions like masks etc.
It is striking how errors in discussions of this topic are systematically in the direction of downplaying the severity. Probably 95% of errors.
assuming a runaway infection we’d have R=3 so ~220M infected
This is a math error. Herd immunity is achieved once 1-1/R is infected. The goal of “flattening the curve,” is to just barely reach this number. But in a “runaway” scenario, it is much higher. The epidemic final size of the SIR model is 94%.
Since Lombardy had a population fatality rate of 0.2%, I’m not going to look at your citations. I assume the problem is that they ignore most of the deaths.
This is a math error...
Good point, thanks.
Lombardy had a population fatality rate of 0.2%
I don’t think this really means anything without knowing the fraction infected. Robbio’s antibody testing a month ago showed 13-14% infected so naively this gives 1.4% IFR. Possibly some sampling bias though. On the other hand this is a small town and presumably larger towns / cities would expect higher rates.
I’m willing to accept that IFR might push a bit over 1% but that doesn’t overcome the need for a massive outbreak to happen across the whole US without significant action being taken to minimise the impact to get to 3M deaths.