Multiple Stanford Medical Professors Question If COVID-19 Is Really ‘As Deadly As They Say ‘
Right now, tensions are high as several countries enforce strict lockdown measures, closing all non-essential businesses and encouraging or mandating that people stay in their homes unless they need to step out for something essential, like food. According to the the numbers coming daily from the media, the death rate from COVID-19 is quite high, having recently passed the 4% mark. Given the infection rate and how fast it’s spreading, it’s not surprising that many people are concerned, and lockdown measures are being enforced.
But what are the experts saying? Well, opinions seem to differ. And as this outbreak continues, some interesting points are being made. One of the latest comes from Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, two professors of medicine at Stanford University who recently published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Is the coronavirus as deadly as they say?”
They make it quite clear that if the projections being given by the World Health Organization are correct, then “the extraordinary measures being carried out in cities and states around the country are surely justified.” But they also make the point that “there’s little evidence to confirm that premise – and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.”
“Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate – 2% to %4 of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others. So if 100 million Americans ultimately get the disease, two million to four million could die. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases.”–Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
The means that right now we don’t have enough data to make a fatality rate claim. The number of infected people has to be larger than the current denominator of the fatality rate (number of confirmed cases), especially given that some people with the disease are asymptomatic. And if the number of infections is larger than the number of cases, and it could be a lot larger, then “the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far.” The professors go on to provide examples for their claims:
Population samples from China, Italy, Iceland and the U.S. provide relevant evidence. On or around Jan. 31, countries sent planes to evacuate citizens from Wuhan, China. When those planes landed, the passengers were tested for Covid-19 and quarantined. After 14 days, the percentage who tested positive was 0.9%. If this was the prevalence in the greater Wuhan area on Jan. 31, then, with a population of about 20 million, greater Wuhan had 178,000 infections, about 30-fold more than the number of reported cases. The fatality rate, then, would be at least 10-fold lower than estimates based on reported cases.
Next, the northeastern Italian town of Vò, near the provincial capital of Padua. On March 6, all 3,300 people of Vò were tested, and 90 were positive, a prevalence of 2.7%. Applying that prevalence to the whole province (population 955,000), which had 198 reported cases, suggests there were actually 26,000 infections at that time. That’s more than 130-fold the number of actual reported cases. Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, the real fatality rate could in fact be closer to 0.06%.
Experts who are making these claims may be attacked, but it’s important to note that this does not mean they are saying Covid-19 is not an issue. Obviously, what’s happening all around the world, especially in Italy, with regards to overwhelmed health systems and more, is quite an eye opener. It highlights how our healthcare system
Article from LewRockwell