Questioning Conventional Wisdom in the COVID-19 Crisis, with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (32 min) - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15081935


Recorded on March 27, 2020

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a senior fellow at both the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute. His March 24, 2020, article in the Wall Street Journal questions the premise that “coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines.” In the article he suggests that “there’s little evidence to confirm that premise—and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.” In this edition of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson we asked Dr. Bhattacharya to defend that statement and describe to us how he arrived at this conclusion. We get into the details of his research, which used data collected from hotspots around the world and his background as a doctor, a medical researcher, and an economist. It’s not popular right now to question conventional wisdom on sheltering in place, but Dr. Bhattacharya makes a strong case for challenging it, based in economics and science.


In this conversation Dr. Bhattacharya says that within a month time they will have the first mass epidemiological study with serological tests to determine the scale of the virus. Instead of testing if the virus is currently present in the system, it instead tests for markers if you've previously been infected. By testing thousands of people, they can extrapolate the mortality rate of the virus (measured case fatality rate), which can inform government policy on maintaining the 'quarantine' or instead implementing targeted quarantines in specific regions, where the healthcare system can cope with the projected Covid-19 cases.

Dr. Bhattacharya claimed in his WSJ article that if the virus had hit the USA in January 1, that by March 9, three million people should have already been infected. The 499 Covid-19 related deaths by March 9 would have led to a 0.01 percent mortality rate.

He further states that the economic fall-out of the quarantine measures can exceed those of the viral impact in causing more deaths.

He also states, that this being the third corona-related pandemic in the 21th century, that they would have to set up new large scale serological testing surveys up around the world in order to deal with this new threat in a globalized world.
#15081946
Good to hear they are doing the serological study. What we need more than ever is data, and we know that the confirm case data has giant holes in it, since many cases are asymptomatic, and many parts of the world lack the test capacity to detect even symptomatic cases.

I'm also convinced I had the virus already in early Jan. I want to get tested. :)
#15081959
Once we have an antibody test, that will be the game changer. It will determine whether we went far enough or too far. And test centres best be put up everywhere. Real statistics, useful data and accurate projections. Can't wait. Although the UK government say these tests could be over a month away. Until then I suspect people will still be looking at confirmed cases and thinking there is relevance in them. :hmm:
#15082457
Tucker Carlson did a segment on just how widespread the Covid-19 epidemic is. In one village of Lombardy forty villagers of the sixty tested positive without showing any symptoms. In Iceland they've tested 5% of the population and 50% of those infected are asymptomatic. (These are American talking head factoids of course, which means that you'll have to do your due diligence. :lol: )

#15082465
Rancid wrote:What I find surprising is that so many people are resistant to the possibility that this virus is far more wide spread than it appears. As everyone say's, we don't know a lot about this virus, so why the resistance.


Because we must err on the side of caution and the manner in which this virus causes enormous morbidity and mortality is unacceptable.
Anyone who prioritises the economy above health is a shmendrik.
#15082467
Ter wrote:Because we must err on the side of caution and the manner in which this virus causes enormous morbidity and mortality is unacceptable.
Anyone who prioritises the economy above health is a shmendrik.


My comment has nothing to do with the economy, I don't know why you brought that up.

Anyway, as for the rest of it, we can still be very cautions and also explore the path that the virus is more widespread than we though. It might help us find answers to treat people more effectively. Lots of useful information can come from people that are asymptomatic, lots of cross comparisons can be made. We are ignoring a potential treasure trove of useful data that can be used to fight it.
#15082469
Ter wrote:Anyone who prioritises the economy above health is a shmendrik.


Is a death due to poverty worth less than one due to a virus? That isn't to say we shouldn't have restrictions but those restrictions should be in regards to limit other side effects and potential servere consequences. But until we have some strong data, all I will say is whatever side you sit on, you do so blind.
#15082475
B0ycey wrote:Is a death due to poverty worth less than one due to a virus? That isn't to say we shouldn't have restrictions but those restrictions should be in regards to limit other side effects and potential servere consequences. But until we have some strong data, all I will say is whatever side you sit on, you do so blind.

I think nobody should die due to poverty and nobody should die from the virus.
This might be a good moment to address the huge inequalities in the distribution of wealth.
There should be no billionaires anywhere. Income tax should be progressive. Tax shelters should be abolished.
There is enough wealth to give everyone a monthly minimum income, at least in the industrialised countries. Developing countries need to bring their population growth under control.
#15082499
Ter wrote:I think nobody should die due to poverty and nobody should die from the virus.
This might be a good moment to address the huge inequalities in the distribution of wealth.
There should be no billionaires anywhere. Income tax should be progressive. Tax shelters should be abolished.
There is enough wealth to give everyone a monthly minimum income, at least in the industrialised countries. Developing countries need to bring their population growth under control.


I agree with your sentiment although that is the reality and you said health over economy and anyone who thinks otherwise is a schmuck. Unfortunately there is more to this than just saving lives from the virus. When the dust settles and we have mass unemployment and an increase in price for goods and potential food shortages, are you going to say people going hungry was a price worth paying? I might agree also, but that depends on the current infection rate which will determine the estimated death rate - and if the Oxford model of a 50% infection rate is the reality in the UK (I doubt it but without sufficient data we do not know), we may have basically ruined the economy and caused more poverty deaths for perhaps very little in return.
#15082568
The story in the news in The Netherlands now is that 80% of the Covid-19 infected victims needing ICU-treatment are overweight. Of course most elderly people are overweight, so it could mean anything. But the theory is that overweight people have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Another issue is that their chests are heavier, which makes it more difficult to breathe. Their immune systems are also compromised.
#15082573
Like Ter said, this is a rare opportunity to reassess our entire economic system and address the problems of inequality and sustainability with our sleeves rolled up.
#15082581
Ter wrote:Anyone who prioritises the economy above health is a shmendrik.


anyone who doesn't understand that the health and well-being of billions of people depends on the economy is an all-time king fuckwit.
#15082584
What's funny is that those who are eager to get people back to work will eventually transform into the people defending intrusive testing and monitoring in order to make it happen.
#15082590
The Sabbaticus wrote:The story in the news in The Netherlands now is that 80% of the Covid-19 infected victims needing ICU-treatment are overweight. Of course most elderly people are overweight, so it could mean anything. But the theory is that overweight people have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Another issue is that their chests are heavier, which makes it more difficult to breathe. Their immune systems are also compromised.

Thank you for your expert opinion, Dr Sabbaticus.
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[mod edit: @Sivad , do not use the term "Zionazi", either about a group of people (which breaks rule 3) or any member (which breaks rule 2). Prosthetic Conscience]
#15082592
and just for the record I have no problem with Jewish people, some of my favorite people are Jewish and I love Jewish culture.
#15082595
Donna wrote:What's funny is that those who are eager to get people back to work will eventually transform into the people defending intrusive testing and monitoring in order to make it happen.


no it won't because there's absolutely no need for that. The state will try to make that a condition of lifting the lockdown but it won't happen if people don't submit to it.
#15082597
Sivad wrote:and just for the record I have no problem with Jewish people, some of my favorite people are Jewish and I love Jewish culture.


Taco_Bowl_Thumbs_Up.jpg
#15082636
B0ycey wrote:I agree with your sentiment although that is the reality and you said health over economy and anyone who thinks otherwise is a schmuck. Unfortunately there is more to this than just saving lives from the virus. When the dust settles and we have mass unemployment and an increase in price for goods and potential food shortages, are you going to say people going hungry was a price worth paying? I might agree also, but that depends on the current infection rate which will determine the estimated death rate - and if the Oxford model of a 50% infection rate is the reality in the UK (I doubt it but without sufficient data we do not know), we may have basically ruined the economy and caused more poverty deaths for perhaps very little in return.


According to the latest instalment of Peak Prosperity

see at 22:21

the infection rates are pretty low in most countries, well below 10% in most.
So that model does not hold up.
Most people in the general population are not infected.

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