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Coronavirus X: The Death Rate for Coronavirus is Falling and Will Continue to Fall

Folks, we are well into our first week of quarantining. I am honored to continue caring for patients. I want to be there in this time of need. Patients are asking me, “Aren’t you scared?” I am scared for us as a society. Right now, we are being driven by fear.  We have to look at and understand what is the true story about this illness and that will help minimize the fear. My next few posts will try to lower our fear down to manageable levels by discussing therapies that work such as vitamin C.

 

We are continually pounded with media reports about every death from COVID-19 and every new case. Just think if every new influenza case and death was continually reported by mainstream media starting in December. By January of every year, we would be quivering in fear. I am scared for the people who are not working and wondering how they are going to pay their rent and feed their children. However, I am not scared of COVID-19. I do not mean to minimize the seriousness of this virus. It is extremely contagious. It can be particularly deadly to the old and sick. However, it is a flu-like virus that the vast majority— nearly 99% when all is said and done–will recover from. It is not Ebola or hemorrhagic fever. It is not killing or maiming children in droves. Yes, people will die from this. Perhaps a lot of them. COVID-19 affects primarily the elderly and those with chronic conditions. Keep in mind tens of thousands of US citizens die per year from influenza and pneumonia not caused by COVID-19—and these illnesses primarily affect the elderly and those with chronic conditions.  These are the people we need to worry the most about and who need the most surveillance and care.  And, they should all be taking their vitamins.  Especially vitamin C.

 

Should we all quarantine now? We have no choice. Once the CDC fumbled away our chance to contain this illness it rapidly spread across America.

 

It did not have to be this way. On the homepage for the CDC it states, “CDC {is} working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic.” Folks, the CDC must have taken a holiday from the end of December until the middle of March as WE DID NOT HAVE THE PROPER TEST KITS TO MONITOR AND CONTAIN THIS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS INFECTION EVEN THOUGH WE KNEW IT WAS COMING AND THE TEST KITS WERE AVAILABLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES!

 

Now, nearly three months into the coronavirus mess, US doctors can finally test for it. At least some of us can. I was told by Quest Lab on Thursday March 12, 2020—nearly three months after the first Chinese cases were reported–coronavirus test kits were available. Of course, that is after nearly three months of being unable to properly test many patients suffering flu-like symptoms when doctors in many other countries were able to. During this time, on an almost daily basis, I asked my lab if the coronavirus test was available and the answer was a consistent “no.”

 

The headline in the New York Times today (3.18.20) states, ”U.S. Lags in Testing, and Gaps in Data Aren’t Helping.” Out of all the major Western countries testing for coronavirus, the US is dead last—and dead last by a long margin. That means we have failed to gather crucial data about coronavirus—who was sick, who died and who recovered. The NYT article reports that the US has tested 125 people per million.   South Korea has tested well over 5,000 per million. My blog post ‘Coronavirus VIII: Why Does S. Korea Have Lower Death Rate Compared to US?’ (1) described how S. Korea effectively managed the coronavirus infection much better than we have.  How did they do this? They aggressively tested, treated, and quarantined infected individuals from the start of the crisis. That is the opposite of what the US CDC did. As I said in the previous blog post, the post-mortem of this crisis will be ugly for the CDC as well as for President Trump. The president initially downplayed the crisis then claimed anybody who wanted to be tested could get tested. Well, here we are, three months into the crisis and there are still not enough tests to go around.

 

Testing is important because we need the data to know how widespread the illness is and, more importantly, how deadly it is. Due to a lack of tests, the only people initially being tested were the hospitalized and the very ill. That skews the data to claim a higher mortality rate. Recall the average flu mortality rate is 0.1%. The initial US testing of coronavirus in the very ill revealed a death rate of approximately 2-4%. That is where the scare-mongering headlines claimed that coronavirus was 20-40x (2/0.1-4/0.1) more lethal than our usual influenza mortality rate.

 

Even though we still don’t have enough test kits now, we are testing many more than we did a few weeks ago. In the US, as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, there are 7,700 confirmed cases and 118 deaths. That comes out to a 1.5% mortality rate which is still much higher than the annual influenza mortality rate but lower than the 2-4% rate a few weeks ago. As more and more tests are done, the number of positive cases will invariably rise which, in my opinion, should lower the death rate further. That is good news. That should calm some of the fear.

 

We will never have fully accurate rates because WE HAD A LACK OF TESTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS OUTBREAK. Therefore the final mortality rate numbers will overstate the true rate. Having said that I predict the final numbers will show a mortality rate below 1%. It may be slightly higher than the annual flu mortality rate but it will be much lower than the alarming numbers the media have been promoting.

 

Final Thoughts:

I believe the final mortality rate for COVID-19 will be near the annual flu mortality rate.  It may be slightly higher. That still means many will die, but the vast majority won’t.  We need to be cautious and provide our body with the correct nutrients in order to help it withstand corona and other viral infections.  Vitamins A, C, D and iodine can help as I have stated in previous posts.  Intravenous nutrient therapies can help.  Eating a healthy diet can help.  Maintaining hydration can help.  There are a lot of things you can do to minimize your chances of becoming a statistic in this crisis.

 

My next blog post will show you why I think COVID-19 will start to recede much earlier than predicted and why vitamin C and other nutrients should be prescribed for all coronavirus patients.

 

To All Our Health,
~DrB

 

Author Info

David Brownstein, M.D.

Comments ( 60 )

  • Author Icon
    Jonathon Campian

    (replying to an existing conversation)
    There are MANY REASONS for Japan’s low rate of the virus spreading; a few of the main are:
    1) THEY DON’T TOUCH WHEN GREETING OTHERS, BY CUSTOM. Their Chinese neighbors westernized and now shake hands as a common practice.
    2) THEY HAVE GREATER SOCIAL DISTANCING. You can expect a Japanese person to immediately apologize if they bump into or brush against you by accident. https://culturalatlas.sbs.com.au/japanese-culture/japanese-culture-communication
    3) THEIR PUBLIC CENTERS AND TRANSPORTATION ARE KEPT CLEAN WITH A SENSE OF PRIDE. Taxi drivers get miffed if you touch their door handles, have any dirt on your shoes, or ruffle their white doilies covering their seats and headrests. ref: https://www.thetokyochapter.com/tokyo-taxi-tips/
    4) THEY HAVE HIGHER PUBLIC HYGIENIC PRACTICE. From roadsides to malls it’s kept clean with a sense of pride. Almost all of their public workers wear white gloves called gunte, they’re everywhere, and worn by the public, especially women more than any country I’ve visited. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/03/19/reference/white-gloves/#.XnfgNnJKgpU
    I don’t have Japanese or Asian heritage or ties, though I’ve traveled. I’m telling it like I see it. Their society is better conditioned against a pandemic versus ours, especially the conditions of our sanctuary cities which may increase exponentially.
    Jonathon, and yes DrB, I did read your post.

    • Author Icon
      Pamela Pour

      You are so right Jonathan! I have lived in both Japan and China! VERY different cultural scenario and response to germs, hygiene and health. In addition, I feel like Americans often have a feeling of “We are better than them. That sort of thing doesn’t happen here. We have a much higher standard of cleanliness”. But do we? and in what sense? We haven’t worn shoes in our house in over 20 years. We wash our hands upon entering our home with soap as well. These are habits we obtained while living in Japan. Most Americans do not do even these two small things. Thanks to Dr B we have options to protect us! Thank you DR B and your staff!

  • Author Icon
    Greg

    If the projections of an infection rate of 40% to 60% of the US population is correct, even if the mortality rate is under 1% that’s still close to 2 million deaths. Are the numbers floating around extremely exaggerated?

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    John Miller

    I have the amounts for Vitamin A, C and D3 that are recommended but have missed the amount of iodine to take. Please state what that is I have liquid kelp.

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      John,
      I have my patients take from 25-50 mg/day on a routine basis. When ill, double or triple the dosage. You should review this with you doctor.
      DrB

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      Justin

      Japan thus far only 33 deaths since the pandemic started. In Italy the death rate is exceeding 600 deaths per day. Experts really need to scrutinize the data and figure out why the Japanese population is faring so well. I believe that the consumption of high iodine food, like kelp, fish, etc is helping this population group

      • Author Icon
        Chris

        That’s interesting! Also, doesn’t Japan vaccinate much less than the rest of the world?
        Maybe this is a factor too?

  • Author Icon
    Alan

    Hi, thank you for your blog posts! While I don’t expect to end up in critical care since I take relative large doses of vitamin C, on a daily basis and up it considerably if I feel any illness coming on, how can I make sure that if I do end up in the ICU that I can get IV vitamin C administered to me?

    • Author Icon

      Alan,
      When you figure that one out, let me know. We have a therapy that has been shown to work–vitamin C–yet I doubt that would ever be given in any ICU across America.
      DrB

      • Author Icon
        Alan

        Thanks for your truthful response. I have one more question, this one regarding iodine. I have been using a couple drops of Lugol’s mixed with water in a small spray bottle and spraying it in my eyes, nose, mouth and on my face before and after I go out or come in close proximity or contact with anyone or anything. Also, when spraying it in my nostrils I try to snort a bit up and through my nasal passages. Since it appears that the virus enters through these areas and colonizes the nasal passages first, does this seem like it could be effective at killing off the virus before it can become established?

        • Author Icon

          Alan,
          Topical iodine is an effective viricidal agent. However, you want to take it orally as it can prevent lung and other internal problems from coronavirus.
          DrB

  • Author Icon
    Jonathon Campian

    A snapshot of early Covid-19 testing per capita:
    USA = 23 tests/million
    Japan = 66 tests/million
    S Korea = 3,692 tests/million
    and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, two weeks since 100th case is:
    USA = 7,375 cases
    Japan = 420 cases
    S Korea = 6,088 cases
    So……How can Japan’s cases be so low if they did very little early testing like the USA?
    and….How can S Korea’s cases be so high if they did so many tests?
    Dr. B, these numbers fly against your boldened print above: “WE HAD A LACK OF TESTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS OUTBREAK”.
    This is not as simple as you decare, but it is always the easiest thing to point the finger at our government.
    I don’t believe this will see the light of your posted blog page because I’m semi rebutting you. Things aren’t always the way the NYT says.
    THE ABOVE NUMBERS ARE FOUND ON https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/12/21172040/coronavirus-covid-19-virus-charts
    -Jonathon Campian

    • Author Icon

      Jonathan,
      You did not read my posts. S. Korea, with a much smaller population compared to the US. They have high numbers BECAUSE THEY TESTED. They have had much less deaths because THEY TESTED EARLY and they jumped on the illness from the beginning. You control an illness like this by testing at the start and treating/quarantining early. We did not do that in part, BECAUSE WE DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH TEST KITS. Our numbers are starting to climb now because we are testing more.
      Japan is a different story. They have the Olympics coming this summer. Japan has every reason to minimize the numbers. Japan has also been lax in testing and their numbers may be much higher than what they are reporting. Perhaps they have lower rates because Japan was also aggressive at containing outbreak clusters. Another possibility for Japan’s lower numbers is their ingestion of iodine which is about 100x higher than in the US. Iodine is one of the main things I have recommended for this crises–and I have recommended it for over 20 years. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I don’t see deaths from flu and pneumonia in my patients as a regular occurrence. Time will tell with Japan. Time is already telling the story with the US and it is not a good story.
      DrB
      DrB

  • Author Icon

    Everything I have read about vitamin C and the successful use of IV C in Wuhan makes me agree this is a no-brainer. That said, wondering if you can comment on Chris Masterjohn’s concern that vitamin C boosts interferon, which in SARS is a trigger for the “cytokine storm” that causes inflammatory damage in the lungs. He agrees on high dose and IV C for treatment, just not prevention. He posted this today in “What I am Doing for the Coronavirus” on his web site. I find he is generally well informed on supplements. Are these viruses so different from one another that what helps a patient infected with one virus can cause harm in a patient with another? (SARS, H1N1, Influenza A, Ebola….).

    • Author Icon

      Linda,
      Vitamin C has both antioxidant and oxidant properties. THAT is what makes it so effective.
      I have only seen positive effects with both IV and oral vitamin C, including the last few months.
      DrB

      • Author Icon
        Linda DeRuiter

        I noticed on our TV on Inside Edition the other day that they were interviewing someone about hospitals using high doses of vitamin C for the virus. When they asked Dr.Oz what his feelings were he said we know vitamin C helps with healing so yes try whatever you think will work. I wish there was a way to get this message out to the doctors and the Press so they would follow suit. Thank you Dr Brownstein for all your updates. My husband came down with a cold and I loaded him up with your get better protocol vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin D. He was feeling better after two days and because I didn’t keep prodding him he slacks off and naturally wasn’t doing as well. So now I am his prodding nurse and handing out vitamin C daily I’m his prodding nurse and giving him lots of vitamin C everyday.

  • Author Icon
    Ippy

    Dr. you’re only half right but your half wrong as well. It was China that really set us up they deliberately mislead the world about the number of COVID-19 cases and try to cover up the fatality rate for over two months. With respect to testing why aren’t you using the process of elimination test for flu A and B test for strep in the meantime presume that patient to be positive for COVID-19. They would take all similar precautions with respect to COVID-19 as required. Concerning testing, Great Britain has done less testing than the United States. As matter of fact they basically move right past testing since the start of COVID-19 community spread within the population. Not sure where you got your information on the testing but it is in accurate. Widespread wholesale testing at this point really tells us nothing. Targeted testing especially among healthcare professionals and other critical safety public health infrastructure professionals is what we need to focus on now.

  • Author Icon
    Dave

    Dr Brownstein

    If those numbers are what you suggest they are why are so many countries being overwhelmed by severe form of this illness?
    From what I have heard from reports from both France and Italy their ICU wards are at critical mass and the numbers are growing. They are failing to keep up with the demand.
    It seems that if 99% of people get better their wouldn’t be such a need for ventilation and incubation.

    • Author Icon

      Dave,
      Not all countries are being overwhelmed. S. Korea, Taiwan, and Germany are examples. Severe form of the illness will (IMHO) be shown to infect less than 1% of the total when all is said and done.
      DrB

  • Author Icon
    Jill

    Oh Dr. B, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your posts on this have been a calming balm in all the hysteria, and super helpful. Another doctor I follow, Dr. Michael Eades retweeted one of your posts, I think March 9th’s. Glad to see you two are in “cahoots.”

    Thank God for you and your staff.
    Wishing everyone, including you, the rest of your office, and your family the best.

  • Author Icon
    Jacie

    Hi Dr B,

    I was wondering if you had a different recommendation for pregnant/breastfeeding women for when they get sick? Also, do you know of any liquid vit c or iodine for 25-30 pound toddler?I read about Lugol’s but that it was hard on the stomach so wasn’t sure if that would be a good option for my kids. I want to have your regimen on hand for my kids and my husband but my kids can’t swallow pills. Thank you!

    • Author Icon

      Jacie,
      Pregnant women can and should take vitamin C. The same doses apply as I have stated. For a child, lower the doses. You can judge when on too much if there is loose stools–lower the dose. Children can usually take 100-250 mg/day without issues.
      DrB

  • Author Icon
    Alex Petterle

    Thank you Dr. B!!! We appreciate you so much!!

  • Author Icon
    Marco

    Dear Dr.,
    Thanks for this valuable posts. Do you think that nebulizing of sodium bicarbonate can help coronovirus or flu? Some claims that those viruses are pH sensitive.
    Thanks

  • Author Icon
    Sue W

    My relatives are lab techs and they have stated that the labs are not able to process many of the tests. Lab testing abilities must be increased, their hospital lab can only process 200 tests per day if they dont do any other lab testing. Something to consider.

    • Author Icon
      Ippy

      The final thought of your article contradicts your intent which I presume is to calm fears and focus on prevention. The testing if it’s wholesale like you seem to want, will increase that fear. Do we even know the percent of false positives of the test currently in use?

      When all is said and done almost all health professionals know that the fatality rate of COVID-19 will be very close to influenza a and B. What’s pushing the high fatality rate now is the small “N.”

      The real threat of COVID-19 is it’s newness combined with its high rate of infectivity. Let’s worry about the fatality rate later while we focus on preventing new cases; that’s paramount.

  • Author Icon
    Chris

    Dr B
    Thank you so much for your continuous voice for reason. All our good wishes to you.
    One of your very significant points here is that going forward there will be an increasing number of tests everywhere, so the number of reported cases will indeed go up exponentially, and the skewed statistics this then produces will add further to the hysteria and fear.

    • Author Icon

      Chris,
      Correct. HOWEVER, testing more than just the very sick and hospitalized will result in a lowered death rate which should alleviate some of the fear–that was my point.
      DrB

  • Author Icon
    Marcia Boettcher

    I really appreciate your opinion and perspective, especially with regard to curbing the irrational fear that has been projected on us. I wish politics could be left out of commentaries. We need to be supporting each other on a unified front, and bringing politics into this situation can’t accomplish that. Time enough for it on the other side.

    • Author Icon

      Marcia,
      I reported the facts. We are in this situation due to the failure of our government. That is not politics. That is the truth.
      DrB

  • Author Icon
    Nicolette T Konas

    Hi Dr. B.,

    I re-post all of your posts on thus issue on LinkedIn and FB news streams. People are grateful for your rationales and supplement instructions.

    Your post on the Chinese/smoking made me wonder about Italy’s death rate. Smoking is heavy in Europe. In fact, my family is Polish and when we visited Poland, it seemed everyone there smoked heavily.

    Thank you for your posts.

    Nikki Konas

  • Author Icon
    Sue

    Your blog states that a big part of the problem was the refusal of testing kits….

    The CDC was never offered testing kits from the WHO. Dr. Birx, who is one of the main doctors on the task force, answered that question from a reporter yesterday. Simply, they were NEVER offered kits. In addition, she stated that there were many faulty kits and they were diligent in vetting those kits. Many of the kits were resulting in false positives and the task force did their due diligence in getting the proper, working kits. Much is being done behind the scenes and that is why it’s important to watch more than one news network. Unfortunately, CNN is still politicizing it and coming from a fear based mindset. This just creates more havoc.

    • Author Icon

      Sue,
      The WHO’s test kits were verified numerous times. There were not problems with their kits. The problem was with the CDC kits. The CDC could have easily used the verified kits from the WHO but refused.
      DrB

    • Author Icon
      Ippy

      Couldn’t agree with that comment more! CNN and MSNBC are doing everything they can to paint this administration‘s efforts in a negative light. In other words they are using this crisis as an opportunity for political gain and it is really disgusting. Please watch the daily briefing that the President and his team give everyday.

  • Author Icon
    Deborah

    Dr B

    The only source that I will get any info regarding this virus, is from you and your blog. There are so many mixed messages and a hurry to get something out there before fact checking.

    For those that are experiencing a lot of anxiety at this time, what supplements do you recommend to help alleviate this?

    The CDC is working on and currently testing a vaccine. Will you be blogging about this? I know people that are anxious to get it. I want to share your facts and thoughts with them.

    Thank you for all that you do!

    • Author Icon
      Jill

      Hi Deborah: I have been following Dr. B’s post on all this and he has listed supplement recommendations in a few posts in this series. Most recently, in the blog post previous to this one.

  • Author Icon
    Ed T

    We appreciate your website and your insights. I haven’t heard any mention of Germany’s .2% death rate – the lowest of any country (I am viewing the worldmeter site). It seems that they are lower in there death rate because they recommend herbal treatments and have a lot of Naturopathic doctors that will give IV’s of vitamin C. I read a 2011 article that said over 50% of Doctors in Germany would recommend herbals. Like to hear your thoughts about Germany. I also would like to hear this question talked about and researched on the news.

  • Author Icon
    Kimsdavid

    The head of the CDC is responsible for our situation not President Trump. The President hires these people because they are the experts in areas he is not. They were the ones advising him. It is now apparent that the head of the CDC and the CDC in general are very incompetent. The President will fire these people when things settle down.

      • Author Icon
        Laura

        Dr. Brownstein, why does it have to be IV vitamin c? Is it because they are so sick at this point they can’t swallow Vitamin C supplements? Thank you.

        • Author Icon

          Laura,
          Oral vitamin C is very effective. However, very sick people require higher serum levels of vitamin C which can only be achieved with IV therapy. Taking vitamin C orally can prevent complications from any illness, coronavirus included, and minimize the need for IV vitamin C.
          DrB

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    Pauline

    We stopped listening to the news,as always they skew it, if I do here anything bizarr I look to see if you’ve posted any updates as you are our voice of reason, in an otherwise world gone mad so thank u.

    Don’t get me wrong I understand the seriousness of this, I drive public transit and we r still open. I worry but am vigalent in taking my a, d, c and iodine and disenfect all surfaces after each rider, use hand sanitizer and try hard to not touch my face. We’ve decided should we get sick we’ll be calling you, our safe harbor, you’re the best Dr. B. I share your blog with everyone.

  • Author Icon
    Christina

    It is not a “flu” (influenza) virus. It is a SARS Cov2 Novel Coronavirus. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Why term it “flu” ?, when influenza is a completely different virus.

    • Author Icon

      Christina,
      You are correct. I should have stated ‘flu-like’. I corrected that. It is one of over 200 flu-like viruses we are exposed to on a yearly basis.
      DrB

  • Author Icon

    Hi Dr. B:

    Do you really trust the so called PCR test kit? I have read as lot of articles saying it is widely inaccurate.

    What is the published sensitivity and specificity of this test?

    I think testing thousands of people, some of whom like Kevin Durant are “positive” and feel fine,
    will lead to mass unnecessary “shelter in place” orders that will lead to more loss of civil liberties
    and have not one iota of an effect on the disease. It will disappear in May when Spring rolls around
    just like every other flu season. The economic consequence of this fiasco are MASSIVE…….world wide
    Depression and bank failures with rioting in the streets is a very likely possibilty.

    • Author Icon
      Rick

      What many people don’t realize is the CDC also grosses up the total number of flu cases each year to account for those people who weren’t tested, or weren’t treated. This is all based on a formula, but some have said the number is around 35 million added cases per year. So of course when the denominator is larger, the death rate would be lower. Maybe we should add that number to the Covid 19 denominator and see what the death rate is? Apples to apples.

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    Stephanie

    Why is the suggested dosage for A, C, and D for adults and children?

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    Diana

    Thank you!

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    Deanne

    It sure is crazy out there. I drove an hour away and and hour back home today for my usual Wednesday basket-making get-together at a friend’s house. It felt weird with parking lots empty and hardly anyone out and about. Thankfully a gas station was open so I could get gas.

    I am reading and sharing your blog posts and information. Here is a link to some other interesting articles on what is happening: https://naturopath4you.com/corona-virus-covid-19-information/

  • Author Icon
    Patrick

    DrB,
    A study from France was just released today that stated 100% effectiveness for 40 patients with the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus. I know this is not considered a holistic approach but what is your opinion of this drug/ side effects, etc

    • Author Icon

      Patrick,
      I think the idea is intriguing and needs to be investigated. We need more therapies that work against this virus.
      DrB

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