A Stanford University professor pushed back on the estimated death rates from the coronavirus pandemic and believes they are “unlikely” to be as high as projected.
Stanford University professor of medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he disagrees with the numbers put forth by the World Health Organization, contending that the death rates may end up being lower than thought because research will show many more people had actually been infected.
(Source: Fox News)
“I think, based on the evidence I’ve seen so far, it’s likely orders of magnitude lower than the initial estimates,” Bhattacharya said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday.
“The World Health Organization put an estimate out that was, I think, initially 3.4 percent. It’s very unlikely it is anywhere near that. It’s much likely, much closer to the death rate that you see from the flu per case,” he added.
“The problem, of course, is that we don’t have a vaccine,” Bhattacharya continued.
“So in that sense, it’s more deadly and more widespread than the flu, and it overwhelms hospital systems, in ways the flu doesn’t,” he said, adding that “per case, I don’t think it’s as deadly as people thought.”
Bhattacharya explained that scientists and health officials will get a “much more accurate understanding of how widespread this is” as research continues.
“It really seems like there’s many, many cases of the virus that we haven’t identified with the testing regimens that we’ve had around the world,” he said. “Many orders of magnitude more people have been infected with it, I think. I think that we realize that … means that … the death rate is actually lower than people realize, also by orders of magnitude.”
Carlson asked if Bhattacharya is “more afraid or less afraid” of the coronavirus after the research he has been conducting.
“I’m less afraid than I was,” he replied, mentioning how fears about spreading the virus have affected the daily interactions of families.
“I’m hoping once we get accurate numbers in place, we’ll be able to really sort of quell the fear that’s out there,” Bhattacharya said.
Earlier in his monologue, Carlson discussed the fears caused by the worst-case scenarios being reported initially that predicted millions would die of the rapidly spreading contagion. Carlson presented reports of updated rates from different countries while looking at the overall numbers of cases being tested and confirmed.
“If the infection is more widespread than we thought by definition that means that the virus is less deadly,” he said, pointing out the good news that would be for overwhelmed health care workers and hospitals and that the virus “would be closer to running its course.”
If the trends are accurate, Carlson added, “the rest of us could be slightly less terrified going forward.”
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