- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2020

At the coronavirus pandemic’s three-month mark in America, statistics show COVID-19’s death stare spares the young.

Children, teens and mid-20-somethings as a group account for less than 1 percent of all U.S. deaths, new government compilations show.

Scientists every day are learning more about the new horseshoe bat-derived pathogen that broke out in Wuhan, China, and infected the world. Some who survive, whether young or old, face residual health problems such as damaged lungs.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now has three months of health reports that confirm the elderly take the brunt of the coronavirus, while the young mostly skate.

From Feb. 1, CDC reports that of the group ranging from infants to 24 years of age, just 67 have died of COVID-19. In a country of 327 million, the number is not statistically significant.

The CDC issued an April 6 report on pediatric COVID-19 (18 and younger) that reported three deaths at that time.

“In this preliminary description of pediatric U.S. COVID-19 cases, relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized, and fewer children than adults experience fever, cough or shortness of breath,” it said. “Severe outcomes have been reported in children, including three deaths.”

Though they are different diseases, and COVID-19 is overall more deadly and contagious, the flu has killed nearly 500 people this season ages 17 and younger, the CDC says.

Since Feb. 1, COVID-19 has vanquished almost 40,000 in the U.S. 65 and older, the vast majority of 49,822 total deaths. (There is a several-day lag in CDC computations. The death count as of Friday is over 60,000.)

News reports have pointed out that nursing homes — combining an aged population with close human-to-human contact — have been particularly hard-hit.

The CDC says 8,084 residents have died in nursing homes; 35,533 have passed away in hospitals.

President Trump on Thursday announced a series of measure to better protect assisted-living communities. He ordered more shipments of protective gear to all 15,400 Medicaid- and Medicare-certified nursing and better enforcement of infectious disease standards.

The CDC said nearly 500,000 in the U.S. were hospitalized with flu complications in 2018-19. The COVID-19 Tracking Project estimates the current cumulative number at about 100,000 hospitalizations.

Some TV analysts have bristled at comparing COVID-19 to the flu. But the CDC makes such a comparison, creating a chart that shows four causes of death: COVID-19, COVID-19 combined with pneumonia, pneumonia and influenza.

“Pneumonia and influenza deaths are included to provide context for understanding the completeness of COVID-19 mortality data and related trends,” the CDC says.

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