A defiant President Trump feels that the death models being presented for the coronavirus are overblown, and unnecessarily spreading fear and anxiety.
Last week, The White House, starting pushing back against “frightening” high-end statistical modeling, one of which has nearly the entire planet catching the virus this year.
Dr. Deborah Birx, President Trump’s go-to expert at his daily COVID-19 briefings, pointed to such deceiving estimates like those that have 600,000 infections in the Chinese city of Wuhan and its surroundings, or that more than half of Germany will be infected.
“I know that it has become a place where people are looking at numbers rather than what is needed, because if you do these projections, when you got to those projections that said, like a Germany and others, that implied that 60 percent or 50 percent of the population would get infected, I want to be very clear,” Dr. Birx said during one of last week’s briefings. “The only way that happens is this virus remains continuously moving through populations in this cycle, and the fall cycle, and another cycle.”
She added, “I think the numbers that have been put out there are actually very frightening to people. But I can tell you, if you go back and look at Wuhan and Hubei and all of these provinces, when they talk about 60,000 people being infected, even if you said, all right, well, there’s asymptomatics and all of that, so you get to 600,000 people out of 80 million.”
Birx continued, “That is nowhere close to the numbers that you see people putting out there. I think it has frightened the American people. I think on a freely, on a model that you just run fallout, you can get to those numbers if you have zero controls and you do nothing. And we know that every American is doing something.”
A main driver of these “doomsday predictions” is Neil Ferguson, a professor at London’s Imperial College of Epidemiology. Mr. Ferguson and a colleague posted a new report March 26, saying that without stringent social distancing and government intervention, the world will suffer 7 billion infections out of a population of 7.8 billion, with nearly 50 million deaths.