The Coronavirus Shutdown Could Be the Worst Fiasco Ever

4 years ago on March 17th 2020, John Ioannidis, the most cited living medical scientist came out with his extraordinarily brave article in Stanford’s STAT online magazine: “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data

I published the following on Medium that same day:

Tonight — John Ioannidis, professor in disease prevention at Stanford has written the most important thing you will read on this issue.

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

The article hits almost every point myself and a few others here have been saying. Some excerpts titled with the same questions I’ve been asking: What the Nurses Saw: A... McCarthy, Ken Best Price: $19.07 Buy New $17.77 (as of 11:14 UTC - Details)

Is this a mistake?

“The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.”

More good than harm?

“Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries…. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?” Shooter’s Bible ... Sadowski, Robert A. Best Price: $8.95 Buy New $14.90 (as of 12:13 UTC - Details)

Unreliable numbers. Awful range of terrible biases.

“This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.”

The mistake of fatality rates

“That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.”

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