As soon as the World Health Organization put out a case fatality rate of 3.4% for the new coronavirus, multiple academics jumped in and criticized the projection. Most notably, three medical professors from Stanford University.
Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, two professors of medicine at Stanford University recently published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Is the coronavirus as deadly as they say?”
In it, they provide reasons for why the fatality rate might be significantly lower than the projection given by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This is not to say they weren’t criticized, after these Stanford medical professors published their opinion, many took to YouTube in an attempt to explain why they were wrong.
But if we stick to the experts, and scientific analysis, it’s safe to assume that the original case fatality rate put out by the WHO may be off by a significant margin.
John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford, recently published an article entitled “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data.“ In the article, he also argues that there is simply not enough data to make claims about reported case fatality rate.
He states that rates, “like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes.
As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.”
He states that the real death rate of this virus could be five or more times lower, at 0.025 percent to 0.625 percent.
The main idea is that the number of people infected with the new coronavirus is most likely much higher than we know right now, which would drastically drop the case fatality rate.
According to an article recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Dr. H. Clifford Lane, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the case fatality rate may be less than one percent, and the clinical consequences of Covid-19 may be more similar to that of a severe seasonal influenza.
“On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%. In another article in the Journal, Guan et al. report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity.
“If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%.
“This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”
I felt it was important to share this information because what we are seeing right now is a lot of hysteria, and a lot of fear from people.
That’s not to say it’s not warranted, but we must remember that there’s a good chance that this is not going to turn out as bad as so many people believe when it comes to death rates, and perhaps there is something more behind this full economic shutdown.
With all of the models out there, it’s important to remember that modelling is quite controversial, and models that promote such deadly scenarios from this new coronavirus have been contested by other scientists.
That being said, there are models that have been published that show a much less cause for concern.
A study, from the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, used data on the number of deaths and reported cases in the early stages of the epidemic in Italy and the UK.
The researchers used mathematical modelling to estimate infection rates by fitting a “susceptible—infected—recovered” model of epidemics to the number of deaths seen.
The researchers showed outcomes generated from different assumptions, including a reproduction number of 2.25 and 2.75, and setting the proportion of the population at risk of death or severe disease at 1% or 0.1%.
The study was led by Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford.
One of the models in the study suggests that that millions may have already been affected by the new virus with little or no symptoms, and that the virus is actually in the later stage.
If this is true, like all of the information above in this article suggests, then the death rate is much lower.
Approximately 150,000 people die every day, worldwide. That’s 13 million people that have died so far this year. Coronavirus has killed 22,000 people worldwide so far this year. Perhaps this can offer a little perspective.
Deborah Leah Birx, an American physician and diplomat who serves as the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force also seems to contradict some mainstream media narratives, as well as all of the models that have predicted such doom and gloom and dire situations compared to what they are seeing on the ground, in real time.
She makes some interesting points.
The predictions of the models don’t match the reality on the ground in either China, South Korea, or Italy. We are about five times the size of Italy, so, if we were Italy and you did all those divisions, Italy should have close to 400,000 deaths, we’re not close to achieving that.
So these are things kinds of thins we’re trying to understand, models are models, we’re adapting now, there’s enough data now of the real experience with the coronavirus on the ground, to really to really make these predictions much more sound.
So when people start talking about 20 percent of the population getting infected, it’s very scary, but we don’t have data that matches that based on the experience.
At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves why certain narratives and opinions are being ridiculed.
Dr. Ron Paul, for example, has received multiple “Fake News” strikes for sharing his opinions about the coronavirus.
According to him, “people should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.”
What’s interesting is how some are allowed to share opinions, while others are not.
I’d also like to add in, again, when the final numbers come out they will most likely not account for all those infected or who have been infected.
Furthermore, why is mainstream media not mentioning what’s been happening with vitamin C?
Why are they ridiculing it instead of exploring it? Where does government allegiance lie, with pharmaceutical companies or with the people?
By Arjun Walia, Guest writer