Senator Rand Paul’s criticism of Dr. Fauci earlier this week left the impression that Kentucky solved the Pandemic problem.  On what basis did he conclude that Kentucky “never really reached any sort of pandemic levels… We have less deaths in Kentucky than we have in an average flu season”?

Kentucky has had 7080 cases of COVID-19 — with little evidence that the pandemic has slowed in May.  On a per-capita basis 0.16% of its population — including its senator — has contracted the disease.  326 Kentuckians have died from this disease or more than 73 per million of its citizens.  This compares to the 33 confirmed seasonal flu death in Kentucky this season.  This gives Kentucky a coincident case fatality rate of 4.6%, ~20 times worse than seasonal flu’s 0.24% this year.  The 4.6% measured may or may not be a good estimate given that Kentucky has only tested 2.6% of its population compared to the national average of 3.1%.

If it were a country, Kentucky’s infection rate matches that of Iran, Turkey, Ecuador, and Russia who certainly acknowledge that they are experiencing the Pandemic in a major way.  As a country, Kentucky’s mortality rate matches that of Brazil and Turkey — certainly nothing to crow about.  Both of these are point in time measurements so depending on where each country’s pandemic experience is, the rankings could change over time.  No matter how you slice it though, Kentucky has not escaped the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Now that it has reopened (May 11th) its death count from COVID-19 is likely to more than double by summer.