Two of the nation’s leading health experts joined conservative pundit Mark Levin on his show “Life, Liberty, and Levin,” to discuss the current state of the Coronavirus crisis.
Both doctors, who are well-respected by their peers, wanted to make sure not to “downplay” the seriousness of the virus but said it’s time to start reopening America. The duo said there is still more data to be collected and processed, but said we need to start getting back to normal in stages.
They firmly believe that it’s time to open the country back up.
Levin’s first guest was Dr. David Katz who is the president of True Health Initiative and the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, as well as a board-certified specialist in preventive medicine and public health.
I understand the potential for a contagion like this to hurt people. To kill people. I’m also trained in social determinants of health, and how food insecurity and unemployment and social upheaval can translate into health devastation. So at the very beginning of all this, I was drawn to global data, the data coming out of China, the data coming out of South Korea. And it was apparent in the patterns … that there were these massive risk differentials. There were people at very high risk of coronavirus from infection and potential death, and there appeared to be a much greater segment of the population that was at massively lower risk. If that was true, a one-size-fits-all interdiction strategy – essentially, let’s keep everybody away from everybody, shut everything down – had potential to hurt more people than it helped. And it wasn’t the only option.
Katz says he advocated for a closer look at the risk tiers to make more surgical decisions about which segments of the population to protect from infection, and which segments of society needed to continue to operate to avoid collateral damage. He notes, while the pandemic and its associated deaths are indeed tragic, 1,000 times as many people are being affected by societal disruption, “and that matters too.” [PJ Media]
Levin’s next guest was Dr. John Ioannidis. He is a professor of medicine, statistics, epidemiology, and population health at Stanford University.
I started looking at what type of information we had available, and how solid is the evidence that is guiding decisions that have monumental impact on saving lives, and also potentially harming lives because of the consequences of some of the measures. It became very obvious to me that the evidence that we had through the early phases of the pandemic was utterly unreliable. We had to make decisions on whatever we had. I think we did the right thing to act decisively and urgently. However, many of the numbers that were circulating were based on how many patients we were seeing who had symptoms or got tested and then how many of those died. It’s possible that there was just the tip of the iceberg, that many more people could have been infected, and actually these were never documented, never tested. So the denominator might have been much larger. [PJ Media]
Dr. Ioannidis goes on to say that the new data now shows one out of a thousand people will die. Earlier numbers said one out of thirty people would die from Coronavirus.
That’s a huge difference. Massive, actually.
Both doctors maintain that there are certain people who are at higher risk than others. Those people should remain in quarantine.
In the end, both experts agree that it’s time to gradually and safely begin to relax the social distancing orders now that we have a much better understanding of the way COVID-19 is actually spread and we have a realistic grasp of the actual numbers.
It’s still so important to respect the virus and remember that it has wreaked havoc on a lot of people all over the world and caused a lot of pain, death, and suffering. Many people’s lives will be forever changed because of this wretched virus, and there’s still a lot of people who are high-risk, and many who are just scared – and that’s understandable.
We can’t be so callous that we forget that everybody has a different reaction and perspective on this virus. But at the same time, we need to understand that so many people are losing everything that they’ve worked for and they have a right to fight for their life and family as well.
I think of it this way – let the folks who are high risk stay home and remain protected while the people who are low-risk, carry the load and help rebuild the country.
By now, we all should have a pretty good understanding of how to disinfect ourselves before we go back home. We’ve been practicing it for over a month now.
We’ve got this, America!
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