Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Q & A with Reporters:
Gov. Ron DeSantis: relays first reporter’s question to Dr. Martin Kulldorff Professor, Harvard University Medical School: “ … Herd immunity … I think it’s being used to say to just do nothing… Can you talk about taking action and where the action’s most beneficial?
Kulldorff: “Yeah, doing nothing would be terrible. That would lead to many deaths, unnecessary deaths among the elderly. So the key thing is that we have to do a better job in taking care of the elderly and protecting them through a variety of measures. At the same time that we should let younger people live their lives. That’s what makes public health [inaudible] such an approach. In public health, we differentiate who are at the high-risk and who are at the low risk and we have to protect those at high risk. But to do – to do nothing, that would be a terrible thing… (Click for partial transcript) (Click for link to video)
An Epidemiologist Speaks
Different epidemiologists hold various opinions about how America should respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, some support getting to herd immunity as soon as possible, including by immediate opening of the schools.
An interesting and measured view come from Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis – a professor at Stanford University in the Departments of Medicine, of Epidemiology and Population Health, of Biomedical Data Science, and of Statistics. He writes in the article linked below:
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.
Dr. Ioannidis is interviewed here, where he says, “solid evidence” is needed. Instead, “We have really a pandemic of news stories and newsclips and anecdotes about coronavirus.” In reference to shutdowns, he discusses the dangerous “domino effect” that begins when a leader starts
“making decisions that may be extreme, there’s a sense that if you don’t follow-up with even more stringent decisions and even more severe decisions, you may be claimed to be negligent.”
Coronavirus disease 2019: the harms of exaggerated information and non‐evidence‐based measures
(European Journal of Clinical Investigation, March 19, 2020)