During the coronavirus task force briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Deborah Birx reiterated why the media’s apocalyptic projections about the Wuhan coronavirus are not only frightening but also misleading.
Dr. Birx pointed out that America is a very vast country and the Wuhan coronavirus, like any epidemic, is not equal everywhere. The focus, the doctor explained, should be on resources and getting them to places where they are needed most.
“There are places that are very spared and there are places where there’s more …,” Dr. Brix said, “and so looking very specifically at where the virus has been, where is it going, who’s got freed-up resources from where it has been because … it hit Washington State earlier than it hit New York, and looking at all of those pieces to really ensure how we can innovatively move equipment around based on the need.”
With some projections showing that 50 or 60 percent of the population could become infected with the virus, Dr. Birx explained why such projections are so misleading.
“The only way that happens,” Dr. Brix explained, “is if this virus remains continuously moving through populations in this cycle, in the fall cycle, and another cycle, so that’s through three cycles with nothing being done.”
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During the coronavirus taskforce briefing on Thursday, Dr. Deborah Birx rebuked much of the media’s panic reporting about the number of estimated deaths related to the coronavirus and the state of America’s medical supplies.
Despite clamorous reports about a shortage of medical supplies in New York, Dr. Birx said her colleagues in the state have reassured her that ICU beds are still readily available and more than a thousand ventilators remain unused. Dr. Birx then took the press to task for their hysterical reporting.
“Please, for the reassurance of people around the world,” Dr. Birx begged the press corps, “to wake up this morning and look at people talking about creating DNR situations, do not resuscitate situations for patients, there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion.”
Dr. Birx said the coronavirus cases are currently concentrated in urban areas and the focus should be on getting medical resources into those areas from nearby parts of the state that are unaffected by the virus or from other places in the United States.
Dr. Birx: The mortality rate is driven almost exclusively by what we have been talking about by people with preexisting conditions and older. So that has become from the very beginning that was our emphasis. When we started two or three weeks ago talking with one another, our focus has been how do we protect those with preexisting conditions and the elderly……you know the estimate in Wuhan was originally. It was over three percent. When they (Chinese) looked outside of Wuhan it was 0.7%. In South Korea it was 0.7 to 0.8%. That’s like a tyranny of averages. That’s probably missing 50-60% of the data because no one was testing asymptomatics. Remember in every country you had to be symptomatic to get a test. So we’re making case fatality rates when we’re missing a significant part of the data.
Dr. John Ioannidis, professor of medicine, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University:
The worldwide attempt to control the recent worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 is an overreaction and a “fiasco in the making.”