If you listen to the mainstream media, you would think our healthcare system was about to collapse under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the virus outbreak a pandemic yesterday ratcheted the chorus up even more.
A Calmer Voice
At least one medical professional has been pointing this out on every platform that will let him. Dr. Drew Pinsky spoke with WMAL host Larry O’Connor yesterday and shared some important information with listeners. First and foremost, he told listeners in no uncertain terms to stop listening to journalists.
My God, their reporting is absolutely reprehensible. They should be ashamed of themselves. They are creating a panic that is far worse than the viral outbreak.”
Instead the public should be listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC in going about their business. Wash your hands and get a flu shot. If you are in the high risk categories, especially those over 65 with special attention to those with a pre-existing condition or a smoker over over 50 avoid public events and practice social distancing.
For the vast majority of the population this virus will present as a cold or mild flu according to Dr. Drew. he points to the experience of South Korea as instructive. There the death rate from COVID-19 is 0.8% as of today and they have a medical delivery system and population over the age of 65 that is similar to the United States. He referred to the panic over healthcare resources in this country, such as the number of ventilators as “total BS”.
Dr. Drew also explained the difference between testing and screening. “You don’t test people willy-nilly,” he said. To administer a test there is medical criteria that the doctor evaluates the patient’s symptoms against. When the index of suspicion is high, you administer a test. If it is moderate you tell the patient to go home and isolate. Testing of asymptomatic people is called screening, which is not typically done during viral outbreaks in the U.S.
The U.S. Response
The host, O’Connor specifically questioned Dr. Drew on two items. First, he asked what if anything the administration and the agencies could have done better. Dr. Drew said the WHO, CDC and other agencies should be taking a bow. The virus has been identified, mapped and accurate test has been developed and work on treatment and vaccinations are underway. He noted other countries may have a faster practice to get them to market than the U.S. testing protocols allow, and this is something that should be looked at.
He reiterated numerous highly trained technical professionals like Dr. Fauci have been doing this work inside the NIH and CDC for decades. You could add they have managed these illnesses under multiple administrations, including the last one. To assume they have become sloppy or stupid all of a sudden as the media is positing is ridiculous and insulting. Dr. Drew added, “This is insanity. It is a level of insanity that is making me angry.”
How Viruses Act
O’Connor then asked why the doctor said that high risk populations should limit their exposure “for the next couple weeks” and if that was really what he expected. Dr. Drew responded:
That is not what I expect. I guarantee it. Viruses have a life. They come on, they grow, they plateau and they go away. There is a time course to the lifecycle of every influenza and every viral outbreak. We are in the uptick. We are about to hit the plateau, we will contain it and then it will start to die down. It hates heat, it hates humidity and it will go away.
Dr. Drew noted all the doctors he has spoken with across the medical community agree. You know who else supports this conclusion? The NIH. Here’s what they found with the SARS coronavirus:
The dried virus on smooth surfaces retained its viability for over 5 days at temperatures of 22–25°C and relative humidity of 40–50%, that is, typical air-conditioned environments. However, virus viability was rapidly lost (>3 log10) at higher temperatures and higher relative humidity.
If you would like some perspective on the unending cycle of doomsday coverage, I suggest you listen to the full segment. And remember the talking heads on cable news and in the print media are the same ones Obama Bro Ben Rhodes told you were uninformed and easily manipulated.
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In the meantime, do something proactive. If you are healthy and outside the high risk population, offer to go shopping or pick up needed items like prescriptions for a senior in your community so they can more easily practice social distancing. Monitor the CDC guidance for updated information. take a walk in the fresh air and maintain your own physical health. And by all means avoid listening to any media segment that is not focused exclusively on information from a current agency professional involved in the management of the COVID outbreak.