Virologist On MSNBC Says Its ‘Irresponsible For Us To Create Panic,’ Then Predicts 20% Of People Will Die If Coronavirus Becomes Widespread

Screen Shot/MSNBC

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
Font Size:

A virologist on told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt that it would be irresponsible to “create panic” — and then proceeded to predict a 15-20% mortality rate in older patients if Coronavirus remained unchecked.

Joseph Fair, a science contributor for MSNBC, addressed the topic Monday:


Hunt began the segment by asking Fair whether or not he felt comfortable with the way the federal government had been handling the issue thus far. “We heard Dr. Fauci on Sunday talking about moving into a mitigation phase. Where do we stand in terms of the response?” Hunt asked. (RELATED: Doug Collins Announces Quarantine Following Contact With CPAC Coronavirus Patient)

“I would say we’re — we’re honestly behind the curve,” Fair replied, noting that he had complete faith in the expertise and abilities of those who, like Fauci, had been through situations like this one before.

“This is not to fear monger,” Fair continued, noting that increasing testing availability nationwide was key to getting things under control.

Fair then warned against creating panic, only to follow that warning with a prediction that “80% of the population is going to survive.” Only after making that prediction did he clarify that the possible 15-20% mortality rate only actually applied to very specific demographics: ” individuals who are elderly or have underlying conditions.”

The overall mortality rate of the Covid-19 strain is estimated to be around 3.4%, but experts expect that number to go down as more mild cases of the virus are recorded.

“I can say pretty much with certainty that each one of us, everyone in this country knows someone with those underlying conditions. So this is not a political thing. It’s going to affect voters on the left, right, and people that don’t even vote,” Fair concluded. “We need to take it seriously and even if you yourself are going to be okay, you still have the potential and are — infecting others that are not going to be okay.”