The emphasize they are are not predictions of estimated impact. Why is there so much conflicting information out there when it coms to COVID-19? Does the politicization of science play a role? This article has been updated and corrected. What Happened: The CDC has a page on their website titled “Covid-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios.” According to them, “Each scenario is based on a set of numerical values for biological and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 illness, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
These values—called parameter values—can be used in models to estimate the possible effects of COVID-19 in U.S. states and localities. This document was first posted on May 20, 2020, with the understanding that the parameter values in each scenario would be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19. The September 10 update is based on data received by CDC through August 8, 2020.” The Pandemic Planning Scenarios according to the CDC, are “designed to help inform decisions by public health officials who use mathematical modeling, and by mathematical modelers throughout the federal government. Models developed using the data provided in the planning scenario tables can help evaluate the potential effects of different community mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing). The planning scenarios may also be useful to hospital administrators in assessing resource needs...”
In their latest update, age-specific estimates of Infection Fatality Ratios have been updated, one parameter measuring healthcare usage has been replaced with the median number of days from symptom onset to positive SARS-CoV-2 test, and a new parameter has been included: Ratio of Estimated Infections to Reported Case Counts, which is based on recent serological data from a commercial laboratory survey in the U.S. Scenarios 1 through 4 are based on parameter values that represent the lower and upper bounds of disease severity and viral transmissibility (moderate to very high severity and transmissibility).
The parameter values used in these scenarios are likely to change as we obtain additional data about the upper and lower bounds of disease severity and the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Scenario 5 represents a current best estimate about viral transmission and disease severity in the United States, with the same caveat: the parameter values will change as more data become available.
The CDC emphasizes the following: The scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning. They are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19. The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19. Additional parameter values might be added in the future (e.g., population density, household transmission, and/or race and ethnicity). More Info on COVID-19 Infection/Fatality: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “An important characteristic of an infectious disease, particularly one caused by a novel pathogen like SARS-CoV-2, is its severity, the ultimate measure of which is its ability to cause death. Fatality rates help us understand the severity of a disease, identify at-risk populations, and evaluate quality of healthcare.” In early August, they provided a scientific brief explaining how it’s calculated, and how difficult it is to calculate and list all of the variables involved (see references).
The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” In their article, they stated the following: The public has been made aware of the number of COVID-19 deaths and reported cases that have occurred since the beginning of the current pandemic; however, the number of unreported cases has not been widely known or publicized. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than one-third of SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that can lead to COVID-19) infections are asymptomatic, meaning that initial estimations of its severity were grossly overestimated. Now, for the first time, Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) has collated data from U.S. antibody studies and produced an educational document outlining how an accurate case-fatality rate (CFR) requires antibody studies in order to guide and measure medical care and public health policies. Similar to CDC estimations, PIC’s analysis results in a COVID-19 CFR of 0.26%, which is comparable to the CFRs of previous seasonal and pandemic flu periods. “Knowing the CFR of COVID-19 allows for an objective standard by which to compare both non-pharmaceutical interventions and medical countermeasures,” said Dr. Shira Miller, PIC’s founder and president. “For example, safety studies of any potential COVID-19 vaccine should be able to prove whether or not the risks of the vaccine are less than the risks of the infection. “Regardless of proof of safety, however, a potential COVID-19 vaccine should only be voluntary, in order to safeguard a patient’s human right to determine what will happen with his or her body,” said Dr. Miller. You can view the PIC’s educational document assessing COVID-19 severity and how they came to their conclusion, here. Obviously the data is always delayed and things are constantly changing with regards to COVID-19 numbers. Another variable is the fact that deaths being attributed to COVID-19 may not even be a result of COVID-19. You can read more about that and see some examples here. John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University has said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old, explaining how that number rises significantly for people who are older, as with most other respiratory viruses. You can read more about that and access that here. Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, is one of many who have criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus. He has shared his experience thus far: Almost all of the science we were hearing, for example like organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) was wrong...This has been a disgraceful situation for science..Reports were released openly, shared by email, and all I got back was abuse. And you got to see that everything I said in that first six weeks was actually true and for political reasons, we as scientists let our views be corrupted.
The data had very clear things to say. Nobody said to be “let me check your numbers” they all just said “stop talking like that.” More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19.
They are also confused at what’s going on. You can read more about that here. A common theme during this pandemic has been many of the world’s leading scientists in the field criticizing the measures taken by governments for something that may not be as severe as it’s been made out to be. An article published in the British Medical Journal has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the peak of the virus. You can access that and read more about it here Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history is also part of Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee mentioned above and has also expressed the same thing, multiple times early on in the pandemic all the way up to today. Implementation of the current draconian measures that are so extremely restrict fundamental rights can only be justified if there is reason to fear that a truly, exceptionally dangerous virus is threatening us. Do any scientifically sound data exist to support this contention for COVID-19? I assert that the answer is simply, no. – Bhakdi. You can read more about him here.
The Other Side of The Coin: According to the fact-checker Health Feedback, The claim that the COVID-19 pandemic response has been unwarranted has taken many forms. Some involved misleading comparisons with other respiratory diseases like the flu and tuberculosis, while others relied on misinterpretations of COVID-19 mortality reports and unsupported accounts of fabricated COVID-19 test results. In September 2020, numerous Facebook posts making the same claim emerged (see examples here and here), this time highlighting the age-specific infection mortality ratio (IFR) that was added to the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on 10 September 2020 (see archive of website with the update note).
These posts have gone viral, receiving more than 37,000 shares.
They note that a low IFR does not equate to a virus that is not dangerous, and in fact point to the exact opposite.
They go on to explain that Scientists have observed that some survivors suffer from damage to various organs, including the lungs and heart, as well as the nervous system. Such damage could lead to chronic health problems, as this news article in Science reported, although it is currently unclear exactly how long such damage persists and how often it occurs. However, the long-term health effects of COVID-19 can be so severe that physicians and researchers are preparing to provide rehabilitation services to patients to facilitate their return to a functional life[2,3]. Finally, even a small IFR can translate into a large number of deaths if the virus spreads among a large group of people. Indeed, in spite of COVID-19’s relatively small IFR, the U.S. has recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 deaths at the time of this review’s publication while there have been more than 1 million COVID-19 deaths worldwide, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center by Johns Hopkins University. See references to read their full post.
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