According to Jay Bhattacharya, director of both the Program on Medical Outcomes and the Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging at Stanford University, the decisions made by most governments during the past six months in reaction to the Wuhan virus made no sense, and actually acted to worsen the epidemic.
“We essentially, in effect, exposed people who were at high risk in nursing homes, in assisted care facilities, elderly populations,” Bhattacharya said. “We essentially, in the early days of the epidemic, did the inverse of the right policy.”
“We quarantined the healthy, and we exposed the sick,” he added.
The professor noted that the World Health Organization, early on in the pandemic, suggested that the death rate for the disease might be as high as 3.4%, significantly higher than that of seasonal influenza. Revised estimates have put that rate as low as 0.26%, though some studies have put it closer to 0.5%. [emphasis mine]
The mortality rate for the flu is generally estimated at about 0.1%, so the Wuhan virus is higher, but really not by much. Moreover, these new estimates are much closer to what could have been gleaned from the early data, data that the WHO and many other government health officials ignored in favor of unreliable models. More important however is that, when compared to the flu, the data today suggests that COVID-19 is less dangerous to the healthy population, and a greater risk to the elderly sick, which once again shows that quarantining the healthy population (the lock downs) makes no sense. It only slows the arrival of herd immunity, giving the virus more time to reach the vulnerable population.
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