A Stanford statistician says COVID-19 isn’t as deadly as we thought — but his calculations in a new study are already under attack from critics who say it overlooks the actual body count.
In an analysis, Dr. John Ioannidis places the fatality rate between 0.02%-0.4%, far lower than the 1%-and-way-up numbers that were once bandied about – and much closer to the 0.1% death rate of the flu.
“While COVID-19 is a formidable threat, the fact that its IFR (infection fatality rate) is much lower than originally feared, is a welcome piece of evidence,” he wrote. “At a very broad, bird’s eye view level, worldwide the IFR of COVID-19 this season may be in the same ballpark as the IFR of influenza.”
The calculations don’t mean that the virus isn’t all that dangerous – because the number of lives lost due to COVID-19, even under tough shelter restrictions, dwarfs the number of deaths due to the flu.
Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology, has long argued that the lockdowns pose a bigger threat to public health than the COVID-19 virus. One of the authors of a pilloried Santa Clara County study, he has repeatedly questioned the prevailing wisdom of our current shelter-at-home strategy.
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