“If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR [virus] tests, the number of total deaths due to ‘influenza-like illness’ would not seem unusual this year.”
This is a very interesting take. You have to wonder how many people already suspect this.
The College Fix reports:
Stanford epidemiologist warns that coronavirus crackdown is based on bad data
“If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR [virus] tests, the number of total deaths due to ‘influenza-like illness’ would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average.”
This was not written by some right-wing crank claiming coronavirus is a conspiracy to deny President Trump a second term, or an excuse to bring down capitalism.
It’s from a sobering and illuminating essay by Stanford University epidemiologist John Ioannidis, co-director of its Meta-Research Innovation Center, published in the life sciences news site STAT.
The coronavirus-driven crackdowns on public life by state and local political leaders are being made in a data vacuum, Ioannidis warns, and extreme government measures to prevent infections may actually lead to more deaths.
“The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic,” he says. “But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco,” with policymakers relying on “meaningless” statistics based on unreliable samples:
Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population. …
Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] 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.
The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.
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