from the College Fix:
Med prof: There are ‘major problems’ with current coronavirus mortality estimates
Death rate ‘biased upward by a substantial amount’
As coronavirus hysteria dominates the globe, scientists and health experts and professors have taken to major news outlets citing shocking data and grim projections to stress the disease’s purported severity. But some academics and medical experts believe that the threat of the disease is being wildly overblown based on what we know about it so far.
Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, told The College Fix that there are “at least two major problems with current estimates of the COVID-19 mortality rate,” and that the estimated death rate is likely far too high.
Bhattacharya, along with Stanford medical professor Eran Bendavid, wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal late last month that popular assumptions of the fatality rate of COVID-19 could 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,” the professors wrote. They argued that preliminary data indicate a possible fatality rate as low as 0.06 percent.
In his interview with The College Fix, Bhattacharya outlined why the widespread estimates of that rate are likely very flawed.
“First, they are based upon a testing technology that registers as positive if the virus is present and negative if not. Patients who are infected and recover are not counted. The second problem is that the set of people who are tested tend to be people who are relatively advanced in the course of disease,” he said.
“Together, this means that the COVID-19 mortality estimates are biased upward by a substantial amount,” he added.
The professor suggested that the coronavirus may have infected far more people than scientists currently think.
“In a distressing number of cases (especially older people with chronic diseases) COVID-19 can be deadly, so it is not something to take lightly. I do believe that the mortality estimates that have been widely published are too high, but at the same time I think the disease is more widespread than people have thought to date,” he said.