Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Mike Shellenberger+ Your Authors @ShellenbergerMD Author, “Apocalypse Never” : Time, “Hero of Environment” : Green Book Award Winner : President, Environmental Progress : IPCC Expert Reviewer : MD = my initials Mar. 26, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

New Imperial College-London study finds

- Had we done nothing, COVID-19 would have killed 40M & infected 7B

- COVID-19 much more infectious & deadly than scientists had thought

- Columbia Uni. study on Feb 26 estimated 12M dead & 3.5B infected 

Some reporters including @AmandaPresto @realDailyWire who writes, "Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who created the highly-cited Imperial College London coronavirus model... offered a massive revision to his model on Wednesday."

That's just inaccurate 

The big story is that COVID-19 has proven to be far more infectious & deadly than researchers thought

Scientists were *too* cautious, eg Fauci saying "It’s a very, very low risk.. isn’t something the public needs to worry about or be frightened about" 

Now we know that the disease was not only more infectious and deadly but also that health care systems were woefully unprepared for the resulting spike of patients needing ICU beds with ventilators in hot spots, which is the main subject of the new Imperial College London study.

Where @AmandaPresto @realDailyWire implies Imperial College researchers were saying nations had over-reacted, they are in fact saying the exact opposite

They are blunt:

"Delays in implementing strategies to suppress transmission will lead to worse outcomes & fewer lives saved"

The researchers say that even with severe mitigation strategies — 60% reduction in social contacts for elderly & 40% reduction for everyone else — 20M people would still die because health care systems would become overwhelmed in rich and poor nations

In high income places like the US and UK, the peak demand for ICU beds would outstrip supply by 7x

In low income places, it would outstrip supply by *25x*

That's a lot of *mostly preventable* deaths that would pile up

"Suppression strategies will need to be maintained in some manner until vaccines or effective treatments become available to avoid the risk of later epidemics."

That's the opposite of what pandemic skeptics were saying

As with Imperial's last paper, this one is excellent. The language is clear, non-technical, & precise. Authors address the major issues, including econ impacts & are careful not to abuse their authority

I encourage all to read at least its Summary 

Here is a link to the older, Feb 26 Columbia Uni study which estimated likely infection & mortality at one-quarter Imperial's current estimates


Author of @newscientist article @davidneiladam says the article in @realDailyWire & subsequent tweets "DO NOT accurately represent my article or indeed Prof Ferguson’s position... revised estimates are bc UK changed its approach"

h/t @KimLaCapria 

“If a suppression strategy is implemented early,” Imperial researchers found, “and sustained, then 38.7 million lives could be saved...”

My latest for @Quillette 

“Since the paper came out, Great Britain has adopted a strategy of aggressively containing the virus and expanded its intensive-care capacity, so a prediction of a much lower death toll and less stress on ICUs hardly seems surprising” 

"The reason that the peak will be in two or three weeks’ time is precisely because we are in quarantine. If we weren’t, the peak would be much greater, and much later"

Excellent fisking of the data by @jemimajoanna @FT 

You can follow @ShellenbergerMD.


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