Yes, hospitalizations are up; that was the whole point of flattening the curve

Just how misleading are the Cooper administration and media reports about “record hospitalizations” and possibly using them to justify shutting down everything again and/or forcing everyone to wear face masks?

This misleading:

  1. those record highs are far below even the best-case scenario highs projected in March
  2. rising hospitalizations in June were considered a good sign that we had flattened the curve (and not seen the spikes in April or May).

My latest Research Brief helps remind us:

In other words, an increase in hospitalizations in mid-June is a feature, not a flaw. What’s changed?

Let’s go back to March 26, the day before Gov. Roy Cooper dropped his stay-at-home executive order. The General Assembly’s House Select Committee on COVID-19 heard testimony from representatives of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS). The society presented the General Assembly with a report on “COVID-19: Analysis and Response.”

In her testimony, NCMS board member and Duke University professor Dr. Eileen Raynor highlighted a graph from that report. Here is that graph:

… To recap, here are the graph features — and where we are as of June 18:

  • Dark black line: Hospital bed capacity, “approximately 25,000”
  • Red peak: The “minimal action” projection: hospitals overwhelmed by an order of magnitude, approximately 225,000 hospitalizations by the peak in late April
  • Orange peak: The “social distancing” projection: hospitals overwhelmed by a much smaller magnitude, approximately 90,000 hospitalizations by the peak in mid-May
  • Blue peak: The “stay-at-home” projection: hospitals never overwhelmed, approximately 12,000 hospitalizations by the peak in early July
  • June 18: Real-time data as of June 18, after recording the 10th record number of hospitalizations this month: 857 hospitalizations

If I were to update the chart for today, here’s how that would look:

Read more here.

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...