Trump’s COVID Legacy

As we witnessed the transfer of power on Jan 20th 2021, here’s a snapshot of the COVID performance in the US at that time.

  • 23.9 million COVID cases
  • 208,000 new COVID cases per day (7 day average)
  • 396,155 deaths
  • 3,260 average daily deaths
  • over 6 million people currently infected or recovering from COVID
  • Over 114,000 people currently in hospital with covid, almost 22,000 of which are in ICU
  • 17m people have recovered from COVID

Lets look at vaccine data

  • 41.4m does have been distributed of which 21.8 million doses have been administered (about 52%)
  • As of Jan 24th, about 18.5 million people have received at least one dose of COVID;
  • Of the 18.5m people, 3.2m have been fully vaccinated.
  • Of the 3.2m fully vaccinated, just 201,000 of people in long term care facilities (why?)
  • A run rate of about 1.4 million vaccinations per day

Lets decipher this data.

  • So far 1% of the US population has been fully vaccinated.
  • At the current rate – that could be the equivalent of about 5m people per week getting fully vaccinated (obviously there has to be a lag between doses… but once we ramp up this will be the figure) – which is about 1.4% of the population per week

When do we see improvement? 20 weeks from now…June 13th 2021

  • Lets say the tipping point in the virus is when 50% of the population have either been vaccinated or had it … that’s 163m people
  • With 23.9m people already exposed to COVID and 3.2m fully vaccinated – that’s 136m new people who need to be vaccinated or who get exposure (at current rates)
  • At the current rate of new infections, and new vaccinations – that point will come 20 weeks from now. Sunday June 13th 2021

At 3,000 deaths per day – that could well be another 400,000 deaths. That’s probably a pessimistic estimate – but not outside the bounds of what’s possible

Conclusion: Did the Trump Team Even Do the Math?

When Trump said – we’re rounding the turn on October 27th 2020 – its pretty clear the adminstration had put all their eggs in one basket – the vaccination basket. Operation warp speed.

But did the adminstration even do some very basic math on how long this would take to administer, and how many people would die in the interim? Obviously NOT.

Lets be blunt – even at current projections it will take 20 weeks (June) to get to 50% population coverage.

100 days from inauguration day is May 1st 2021.

Lets assume that the plan works, and 100m shots have been administered – which is 50 million people people fully vaccinated. That – plus the about 40m people who would have been naturally exposed to COVID (at current rates) – makes about 90m people – about 27% of the US population

Total US population immunity will be at about 27% by May 1st, or about 50% by June 13th.

That doesn’t not paint an optimistic picture for the recovery of certain economic sectors in the 1st half of 2021.

One factor that may surprise to the upside – is the potential for targetting vaccines at the most vulnerable – thereby reducing hospitalization and death rates. But, a sobering thought, the US has over 50 million people who are aged 65+. It would literally take the first 100 days to cover just this demographic alone

Obviously Unfit

Its abundantly clear that even with the rate of vaccine adminstration of 1m shots per day…. this is going to take a long time to get the vulnerable populations of the country vaccinated.

The lack of even a basic understanding of this logistical constraint shows the complete naivety of an approach to COVID that was 100% focused on vaccination and 0% focused on prevention.

Time to get back to prevention. Its just as important as vaccination over the next 5 – 6 months.

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