Dr. Donald Yealy said on Thursday he believes the coronavirus death rate is much lower than feared and predicted a return to normalcy.
“We’ve learned that way more people, far, far more people have actually been exposed to the infection without any knowledge of it,” Dr. Yealy, chair of emergency medicine explained during an extended conversation with reporters. “That makes the overall death rate much lower. Many people just didn’t feel sick at all and recovered without difficulty.”
Yealy cited studies of New York and California, alongside the official death counts due to the COVID-19 coronavirus in Pittsburgh. Studies found that somewhere between five and twenty percent of the populations had been infected, with the majority facing only minor illness — and many remained completely asymptomatic.
Yealy raised a hypothetical situation, in which roughly three percent of Allegheny County residents were infected. That would mean an estimated 36,000 people contracted COVID-19. As of Thursday, the novel coronavirus death toll for Allegheny County is sitting at 94. That puts the death rate closer to .25 percent than current estimates as high as seven percent. “There is a big difference between 0.25% mortality and 7%,” he said.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) May 2, 2020