Dr. Drew Pinsky joined a panel of the Daily Blast to discuss how the media is creating hysteria over the coronavirus outbreak.
Many viewers have contacted Back to Jerusalem about a recent video that has gone viral because it contradicts much of the information that has been shared.
Dr. Drew feels that the media is hyping up the coronavirus in order to get ratings.
He might be right about this, but there are several things that he says during the interview that are not correct.
At BTJ, we have teams of people on the ground at ground zero in Wuhan. BTJ also has several medical clinics that we have built, staff, and administer in China that give regular updates. BTJ has also been sending supplies into the country to help fight the virus.
From our experience on the ground, there are several things about this interview with Dr. Drew that our supporters need to be aware of.
It is extremely important that the correct information get to our prayer partners regarding the coronavirus.
It is not our intention to cause a panic, but it does benefit everyone to have as much information as is possible on the situation so that effective prayers can be offered up.
That is why this interview is so important to address.
Dr. Drew’s Video can be found here:
There are several things that Dr. Drew said at the time of the video that has been very misleading about the severity of the virus and it is important to clarify.
Firstly, at the time of this video, the panel reported that there were 362 deaths. Just over two weeks later, there are now 2,800 deaths, an increase of more than seven times.
“The press is over reacting….It’s fatality rate is lower [than SARS],” Dr. Drew said while on the panel.
SARS Fatality rate is at 9.6%. The case fatality rate (CFR) is more difficult to rate for the Coronavirus because it is ongoing. You cannot calculate the total number of cases and compare the number of deaths, because the outcome of all the cases is unknown.
While the epidemic is ongoing, the CFR is calculated by the outcomes of the cases. As of February 20, the Coronavirus had a Fatality rate of 11%. With a total of 19,047 cases, the CFR was 11% mortality and 89% discharged/recovery rate.
This can change, but at the moment, the fatality rate is not lower.
“It’s a mild illness,” Dr. Drew demanded as he strongly corrected one of the hosts of the show.
The calculated mortality rate of influenza is less than a fraction of a percent or less than 0.1%. The coronavirus is just as contagious but with a mortality rate about 100 times higher.
A disease that is highly contagious where 1 out of 10 people likely die is not considered to be a mild disease.
Dr. Drew continues by saying, “Always there are immune compromised people who are at risk for these sort of things…” Dr. Drew is trying to tell the audience that, like the common flu – infants, elderly, and immune deficient individuals are the ones that are more prone to fall victim to this disease.
Though it is true that infants, elderly, and immune deficient people are more likely to fall victim to this disease, his insinuation that healthy adults are not likely to be bothered by this disease is simply false.
First, the medical doctor from Wuhan who sounded the alarm about the coronavirus, Peng Yinhua, was only 29 years old. He was a healthy young adult.
Second, the Director of Wuhan hospital, Liu Zhiming was a healthy middle aged man at 51 and recently died from the virus.
These are young, healthy medical professionals dying from the coronavirus – not just infants and the elderly with immune deficiencies.
Dr. Drew gives advice of how to keep from getting the virus when he says, “the rest of us need to wash our hands, get our influenza vaccines…” To the audience, it sounds as if one can stay safe by simply washing our hands and getting our influenza vaccines.
While washing your hands and getting vaccines can help, the coronavirus is known to be contagious as an airborne disease. Washing your hands is simply not enough to adequately protect from getting the virus.
Dr. Drew advises the audience, “Listen to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), if there’s a problem, they will let us know.”
The CDC and the WHO (World Health Organization) is terrified of being locked out by China. These health organizations know that if they say the wrong thing or make China upset, they can be easily kicked out of the country with no information at all. The only thing worse than a pandemic, is a pandemic originating from a nation that does not let you know what is happening at all.
This is not the fault of the CDC/WHO. Their predicament is an understandable one. They have warn the public about the situation, but do it in a way that China accepts. This is not easy.
Because of this, their reliability is compromised.
Back to Jerusalem continues to send in emergency aid to China because this is a very serious issue for the entire world.
Our hope is to provide the most up-to-date information on the situation from the epicenter of the disease.