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The Coronavirus Fatality Rate Reported by the Media Is COMPLETELY INACCURATE

Joe Hoft


The current estimate for the fatality rates on the coronavirus just don’t add up.  The estimates based on current data are completely inaccurate. Current data shows that this virus is much less deadly that even the common flu from the 2019-2020 season.

Details below:

Summary of points below:

  1. Estimates have been made about the fatality rate of the coronavirus
  2. Sometimes estimates are reasonable and sometimes they are off, way off
  3. The current global coronavirus fatality rate is estimated at 3.4%
  4. The same rate for the flu is 10% (but the media tells you it’s .1%)
  5. Actual results for the coronavirus are lower than the flu
  6. Current estimates between the flu and the coronavirus are not comparing ‘apples to apples’
  7. Those most at risk from the coronavirus are the elderly (average age of death in 80) and the sick


1. Estimates have been made about the fatality rate of the coronavirus.

Often times estimates have to be made because data is just not yet available.  These estimates usually involve obtaining information that is available and making estimates on what is not.  We cannot tell the future but we can make educated guesses based on information available.  This is what has been done with the coronavirus because this type of virus has apparently never been seen before.

2. Sometimes estimates are reasonable and sometimes they are wrong, way off.

I personally know of estimates made by actuaries (i.e. statisticians) who projected profits in a country that were way wrong.  In this case the government changed the regulations related to the business in the country which resulted in tens of millions in losses in USD.  I know of another case where actuaries predicted a deal to be profitable that eventually led to over $100 million in losses.

The point is that whenever estimates are made they are always wrong because no one can tell the future.  Sometimes estimates end up close and sometimes they are not and sometimes they are way off.

3. The current estimate for the coronavirus fatality rate is about 3.4%.

The estimates for the fatality rate for the coronavirus are shocking.  The CDC released one report in February stating the rate varies between 12% and 1%:

Our estimates of the risk for death in Wuhan reached values as high as 12% in the epicenter of the epidemic and ≈1% in other, more mildly affected areas.

A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and China estimates the mortality rate to be around 3.8% based on actual results:

As of 20 February, 2114 of the 55,924 laboratory confirmed cases have died (crude fatality ratio [CFR2] 3.8%) (note: at least some of whom were identified using a case definition that included pulmonary disease). The overall CFR varies by location and intensity of transmission (i.e. 5.8% in Wuhan vs. 0.7% in other areas in China).

Other reports are that the WHO estimates the mortality rate to be around 3.4%:


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