My name is Dr. Paul Thomas and I’m a Family Medicine Doctor in Detroit, Michigan with Plum Health DPC ( and this is my update for the Coronavirus as of Saturday April 4th.

Which Counties Nationwide Have been Impacted the Most by Coronavirus?

From the perspective of the number of cases and the number of deaths, the following Counties have been impacted the most by the coronavirus:

New York City (Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island)
Wayne County, Michigan
King County, Washington
Orleans County, Louisiana
Cook County, Illinois
Oakland County, Michigan
Bergen County, New Jersey

This comes from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center ( and it’s notable that Michigan has two neighboring counties in the top 6 hardest hit counties – Wayne County and Oakland County.

What are the current number of cases and deaths from Coronavirus in Michigan?

Currently, there’s 12,744 Coronavirus cases in Michigan and 479 deaths from the Coronavirus in Michigan. What’s most troubling about this is the rapid and almost exponential growth of cases here in Michigan. We’ve seen cases doubling every 2 to 4 days, and that trend does not look like it’s slowing down any time soon. That’s why it’s so crucial that we socially distance our selves to stop the spread of the coronavirus from person to person. The alarming increase in new cases is also why the CDC now recommends face masks for individuals in the community.

Why Has Michigan and Southeast Michigan Been Hit So Hard by the Coronavirus?

Bridge Magazine wrote an excellent article on this ( and I agree with their assessment with one addition that we haven’t been talking about.

In the article, Bridge Magazine talks about the following factors causing Michigan to be more susceptible to the virus:
– Automotive trade with suppliers in Wuhan China
– Detroit Metro Airport with Direct Flights to Wuhan, China
– Michigan’s March 10th Presidential Primary
– Ties between Detroit and Italy via Fiat Chrysler (FCA)

In addition to these factors, I would want to add a few others, including higher rates of overweight and obesity in Detroit and Michigan – rate of overweight is 47.5% in Detroit (34% in NYC) and rate of obesity is 34.6% in Detroit (22% in NYC).

All of these factors have lead to a higher case fatality rate here in Detroit and Michigan than the national case fatality rate:

– National Case Fatality rate is 2.47%
– Michigan Case Fatality rate is 3.75%
– Detroit Case Fatality rate is 3.29%

What are the Comorbid Conditions Increasing the Risk of Mortality in Covid-19 positive patients?

This week, I spoke with a physician colleague at one of the nearby regional hospital systems and we discussed the conditions that lead to a higher mortality rate. These comorbid conditions are as follows:

Cardiovascular disease (High blood pressure)

Diabetes

Pulmonary Disease

Obesity

Cancer

These factors that we discussed were similar to those studied in Wuhan China.

WHY ARE AFRICAN AMERICANS DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS?

African Americans in Detroit and Michigan have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Even though African American people make up only 13.8% of the population in the State of Michigan, 35% of the Coronavirus cases and 40% of the Coronavirus deaths have been experienced in the African American community.

While it’s still too early to state exactly why this is the case, I have a few theories. First, African American folks have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity than their white counterparts here in Detroit and in Michigan. As we stated above, these are risk factors for higher mortality from the Coronavirus. Next, African American people may be more likely to depend on low and minimum wage jobs that put them at a higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus.

WHAT IS THE HOSPITALIZATION RATE FOR COVID-19?

Currently, the hospitalization rate for Covid-19 is about 20% or only 1 in 5 people who get the coronavirus will require hospitalization. However, the rates of hospitalization increase with age, meaning that the older the patient, the more likely that they’ll need to be hospitalized for the Coronavirus. That’s why it’s so important to avoid visiting elderly and vulnerable residents in our community.

Unfortunately, there is a very high mortality rate once a patient needs to be placed on a ventilator. According to studies out of Wuhan, China, the Mortality rate from Coronavirus is 62% among critically ill patients with COVID-19 and the Mortality rate from Coronavirus is 81% among those requiring mechanical ventilation. That means that if you require mechanical ventilation, only 1 in 5 Covid-19 positive patients will come off of the ventilator.

-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

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  1. Well, when govs & doctors refuse to use chloroquine & zpak known legacy drugs where raw data out of CA, NY, Paris, UK, Italy, India are showing it absolutely works expect high volumes of unnecessary deaths.

  2. Please share percentages of cases and deaths by: Date of death, admitted prior to diagnosis, health care workers, civil employees, transportation workers, and balance of public citizens. The top 3 locations to be infected are, floors, bed rails, and touch pads.

  3. Percentage of blacks in Detroit is way above 14%. 2018 census says 78%. Seeing the great majority of cases are in the Detroit area is probably why the death rate is 40%. Corona is a equal opportunity killer. People like you bending the facts are not doing anybody a favor.

  4. The rich say the poor will not catch the new coronavirus so that the poor can continue to provide convenience and wealth for the rich

  5. My friend just told me her cousin, who had symptoms including passing out, was denied by her own doctor a prescription to get tested. Lack of testing until it's too late is a major factor, I believe, for the high number of deaths among African-Americans. Where is the data for the number of deaths of those who were tested beforehand, based on demographics, and those who weren't??

  6. Hello I’m in Holland Mich. I wish I could come and volunteer at a hospital. But, I don’t have the qualifications plus I have Lupus myself:/ I do have some gloves and face masks to donate. I’m a mycology student and have my own PPE

  7. I think you will be seeing more COVID-19 cases in Michigan. People have left the Detroit metropolitan area and fled north and across the state to avoid the concentration of illness. Flight also took place from Wuhan and New York City. Fearful people will act to save themselves. Expect to see the virus appear in increasing numbers outside of Detroit.

  8. Will there be an investigation into any deaths that maybe a direct result of the Governor threatening Doctor's with prosecution if caught using hydroxychloroquine to treat patients? Will the governor take responsibility for any such deaths as direct result of her actions an obvious biasedness?

  9. Think how much worse it would be with functioning mass transit. Glad we didn’t also have trains. But a lot of people through the airport for their spring trips.

  10. Your government know more than you think and counting on you not to think past what they tell you and have no proof but people killed from the test and that's how they know how many people are going to die, All the people that goes to China from Detroit haven't died nor did anybody in their families, PLEASE think and research for yourself to see the lies for yourself, this guy didn't think of this on his own" somebody wrote this out for him and he's acting it out, he's reading this from somebody else

  11. Thanks Dr. Thomas. this is a reality check for personal preparedness. No amount of government is going to protect us! Be prepared, stay safe, stay healthy.

  12. Yeah this is bad hopefully we learn from this and prepare for worse case scenarios in future, too bad Innocent people have to die to make things happen. If they ever will….

  13. Spidas cant chill at da house dey gotta show da neighbors dey new shoes, gold teef, and tattoos that cant be read and dey gotta have sone drama at the local store. JS

  14. Spodas cant folkow basic rules as usual. When this shit starts killin these mfers they will play the race card as usual like at work, school, etc,etc.just lije they did with HIV in the 90s. Js

  15. 🌐Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has requested an emergency supply of the drugs President Trump touted as having success treating patients with severe symptoms of the novel 🦠coronavirus, in a reversal from the state's directive to medical professionals last week to avoid the medication for this purpose. NBC/MSNBC putting on fake news on Chloroquine/Azithromycin, shame on you

  16. African Americans don’t have to fallow the rules or laws! They play the race card and the majority in flint and Detroit suck off the government ass it is. Tell them they won’t receive a stimulus check and you can get them to do what ever is asked ! They will not fallow social distancing unless they are forced to do so and our governor will not do anything about it seeing that’s how she became governor in the first place, no body else voted for her!!!