The first two MONTHS during H1N1, the CDC reported at least one MILLION Americans were infected with H1N1. During the H1N1 global pandemic, 980 schools closed in the United States and 607,778 students contracted H1N1. The elderly were largely unaffected by H1N1. It mainly affected the young. These individuals who contracted H1N1 were typically in better health leading to a lower mortality rate.
On the other hand, the elderly are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. These individuals typically have a lower immune system leading to a higher mortality rate. This infectious disease is also more contagious than H1N1. So, is it fair to compare apples to oranges? You decide!
In my opinion, if you really want to compare the two flu strands, leave out the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. COVID-19 is also a more complicated flu strand, which could explain the increased time needed to develop tests and vaccines. If we are to compare anything, compare President Trump’s actions to those of President Obama.
From a CDC historical report:
Once the numbers of cases increased beyond the point where counting of individual cases was practical, on July 23, 2009, CDC reported the number of 2009 cases for the last time...This methodology and the resulting estimates also underscore the substantial under-reporting that occurs when laboratory-confirmed outcomes are the sole method used to capture hospitalizations and deaths.
So, these are the numbers many media moguls want their media stations to blow out of proportion. As stated above, the CDC stopped reporting on the aforementioned stats, which led to inaccurate numbers. In addition, as with any study, changing the methodology for reporting midstream has the tendency to deliver in false statistics.
Charles Ornstein of ProPublica is correct, H1N1 and COVID-19 are not the same. However, portions of his analysis are misleading.
Where is the news coverage to compare the first two months of each of these viruses? The media is quick to report a year long comparison of H1N1 to two months of COVID-19. As I have learned in all of my statistics courses, you can skew data to tell the story that you want to convey.
ProPublica is supposed to be an INDEPENDENT investigative journalism newsroom. However, I believe that I have supported my claims that they are NOT an independent newsroom. But, do your own analysis and decide.
Until next time...