Tag Archives: suicide

Proft: The Question the Incomplete Data Demands


36 states have COVID-19 death rates of 1 or less than 1 per 100,000.

According to the CDC, the overall death rate in America in 2018 was 724 per 100,000.

For influenza and pneumonia it was 15 per 100,000. Projecting COVID-19’s lethality rate is tricky because of the lack of a denominator on the infected. However, CDC guesstimates 25 to 50 percent of infected are asymptomatic. There’s a good chance lethality rates could be much lower than current reporting indicates.

Bristol University risk management professor Philip Thomas projects once mitigation efforts result in a GDP contraction of more than 6.84%– more lives will be lost than saved. Studies of previous recessions suggest that for every 1 percent point increase in unemployment, the suicide rate increases by 1 per 100,000.

Given what we know about COVID-19 and about the lives economic ruin takes, is a prolonged shutdown the right call?

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Michael Medved: The Biggest Threat to Our National Well-Being

Despite strong economic growth of recent years, an even more important number tells a much less encouraging story.

For three years in a row now, we’ve suffered an unprecedented decline in life expectancy—with self-inflicted harm striking more Americans in the prime of life. The lead author of a new study for the American Medical Association says, “the whole country is at a disadvantage compared to other wealthy nations.”

While people around the world enjoy steady increases in longevity, America has been moving in the wrong direction for the first time in a century.

Experts say prime causes are drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholism—“deaths of despair” that inflict a horrible toll, despite declining rates of crime and poverty, and dramatic improvements in medical care.

Prospective leaders in an election year must confront this threat to our national well-being that prematurely steals spouses, parents, neighbors and work colleagues from those who need them.

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Michael Medved: Problems Beyond Politics

I’m sure I’m not alone in knowing several families that are prosperous, hard-working and deeply religious and yet lose children to the world of drugs, out-of-wedlock birth, welfare dependence and hopelessness.

It’s also increasingly common to see solidly middle-class couples who, after 20 or 30 years of seemingly successful marriage, suddenly break up, causing pain to themselves, their children and even their grandchildren. In spite of a booming economy and increased opportunity, so-called “deaths of despair”—through suicide, alcoholism or drug overdoses—have reached unprecedented levels.

This explains the seeming disconnect between our prevailing prosperity and the big majorities who believe America’s on the wrong track for our future.

The essential problem involves the collapse of family life, and with neither liberals nor conservatives addressing the issue in meaningful ways, our politics seems to offer only a sideshow rather than a solution.

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