News Story

Michigan Health Official Calls COVID Survivors ‘Lucky,’ CDC Data Suggests Survival is Commonplace

Projections show that overall, victims have a very high chance of beating the disease

The state of Michigan’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, recently told reporters that residents are lucky if they contract COVID-19 but don’t die from it.

“If you’re lucky, you get to keep your life and you don’t die. But even if you live, there are many people that have long-term health consequences,” Khaldun said at an Aug. 19 press conference.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s very unlikely the coronavirus epidemic will generate very high mortality rates.

The CDC ran five scenarios for the infection fatality ratio. It described the ratio this way: “The number of individuals who die of the disease among all infected individuals (symptomatic and asymptomatic).” The agency continued, “This parameter is not necessarily equivalent to the number of reported deaths per reported case because many cases and deaths are never confirmed to be COVID-19, and there is a lag in time between when people are infected and when they die.”

The chances of dying from COVID-19 range from 0.5% to 0.8%, with the CDC’s current best estimate at 0.65%. That means the CDC's best estimates currently are that 650 out of 100,000 who contract COVID-19 would die from it.

That would mean, on average, a Michigan resident would have to be very unlucky to die from COVID-19.

This is not the first time a high level government health official has made claims about the epidemic that border on fear mongering.

As Michigan Capitol Confidential has previously reported on June 20, the city of New Orleans’ health director warned that people who host parties who may be violating social distancing rules by not requiring guests to wear face masks.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno said party hosts should select the seven guests out of 100 who they will be “sentencing to death.”

“Right now our fatality rate of known cases is stubbornly stuck at 7%,” Avegno wrote in a June 20 press release. “If you are planning a party for 100 people, look around and decide which 7 of them you would be comfortable sentencing to death.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.