Today’s Wuhan Coronavirus update will focus on models, but not in the way one might expect.

British scientist Neil Ferguson’s advice prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lock down Britain. Ferguson has resigned from his government advisory position after news came out that he broke social distancing rules to meet his married lover, despite the fact he had tested positive for the virus.

Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, resigned from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on Tuesday evening after the Daily Telegraph revealed he had broken lockdown rules at least twice to meet a lover.

Prof Ferguson’s influential study in mid-March warned that the UK’s coronavirus strategy would overwhelm the NHS and result in more than 500,000 deaths unless stringent social distancing measures were introduced.

According to the Telegraph, Prof Ferguson allowed the woman he was seeing to travel across London and visit him at home.

In a statement issued by Imperial College, Prof Ferguson said: “I accept I made an error of judgment and took the wrong course of action. I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in Sage.

“I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms.

As a reminder, Ferguson’s Imperial College model was used to justify the robust national lockdown in the US and UK, making such predictions that hospitals would be overwhelmed. He was such a staunch advocate for isolation that his nickname is “Dr. Lockdown.” The model had to be revised substantially when the virus proved to be less lethal than initially assumed.

Experts are doing what experts do best….telling us how to live and ignoring their own recommendations.

Hoover Institute’s Dr. Scott Atlas bashes latest coronavirus model

Hoover Institution senior fellow Dr. Scott Atlas dismissed a new model from the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which projects more than 134,000 Americans will die of infection by early August as states begin to reopen their economies.

“We should look at the evidence. We don’t need to rely on hypothetical projections,” Atlas, a former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, told Martha MacCallum on “The Story” Monday night. “We have a ton of evidence. And the evidence is consistent all over the world that we know the fatality rate is much lower than what the models were based on originally.

“We know that … the curves have been flattened and the curves to note are not the numbers of cases. The only curves that count are the deaths per day and the hospitalizations per day.”

The doctor also called for schools to reopen, saying young people have little to worry about in regard to the virus.

“We know it’s factually true and proven all over the world that people under 18 have very little, if any, risk of a serious illness and essentially no risk of dying,” Atlas said. “There is no reason to separate people in the age groups 0 to 18, six feet apart. It’s just that there’s no scientific evidence, really, to do that. There’s no evidence really whatsoever to continue to have these schools closed.”

Denmark’s coronavirus infection rate rises slightly since schools and nurseries reopened

And while the models are scrutinized, real-world experience shows that Denmark’s reopening has not been followed by a massive rise in coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus infection rates have risen in Denmark since schools reopened as many countries try to work out when is best to get children back to class.

Danish infectious disease agency the State Serum Institute (SSI) found the reproduction rate of the virus , known as R, has risen from 0.6 to 0.9.

Denmark was the first country in Europe to reopen its schools and nurseries, bringing them back on April 15 with social distancing measures.

Pictures show classrooms rearranged for the new normal, with small groups and large spaces between desks.

New figures by SSI showed the R rate had crept up since mid-April.

The country’s total total infections sit at 9,300 and 460 deaths – with 2,630 new cases and 161 fatalities since schools reopened.

But crucially the R number is still below the level of 1.0, which means an infected person passes the disease on to one other person.

Pfizer begins human testing for experimental coronavirus vaccine in the US

Warp-speed, indeed!

Pfizer said Tuesday it has begun testing an experimental vaccine to combat the coronavirus in the United States.

The U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant, which is working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech, said the first human participants in the United States have been dosed with the potential vaccine, BNT162. They began human trials of the experimental vaccine late last month in Germany.

“With our unique and robust clinical study program underway, starting in Europe and now the U.S., we look forward to advancing quickly and collaboratively with our partners at BioNTech and regulatory authorities to bring a safe and efficacious vaccine to the patients who need it most,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

“The short, less than four-month time frame in which we’ve been able to move from preclinical studies to human testing, is extraordinary,” he added.

Trump looks to wind down coronavirus task force by late May

President Donald Trump is moving to wind down the coronavirus task force as early as this month.

Vice President Mike Pence, who has led the group since it was created in January, said Tuesday the group’s work will be transferred to other parts of the government, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That change could take place this month or in early June, he said.

Trump, who was traveling in Arizona – one of his first forays outside the White House in months – linked the decision to disband the task force with his broader desire to reopen the nation and recharge its economy. Winding down the group would signal a new phase in the government’s response to the virus.

 

 
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