The doctor behind a U.K. college study that painted a chilling scenario over the coronavirus pandemic now says he holds a more optimistic view about the spread in the U.K.
Renowned epidemiologist Neil Ferguson of the Imperial College suggested in his model last week the U.S. and the U.K. would have to continue to shut down for as many as 18 months to avoid catastrophic death, but testified in front of the U.K’s Parliamentary select committee on science and technology earlier this week that he expects the country to be able to flatten the curve within 2-3 weeks.
The Imperial College predicted that over 500,000 people could die in the U.K., and over two million could die in the U.S., but Ferguson said he now expects the death toll in Britain to be under 20,000, according to NewScientist. The original Imperial College study found that the death toll could be limited if extreme measures were taken for a significant period of time. (RELATED: Trump Claims Media Is Trying To Keep Country Closed ‘As Long As Possible’)
The article states:
New data from the rest of Europe suggests that the outbreak is running faster than expected, said Ferguson. As a result, epidemiologists have revised their estimate of the reproduction number (R0) of the virus
Former New York Times reporter Alex Borenson called Ferguson’s revised predictions a “remarkable turn,” and noted that Ferguson himself has tested positive for the virus.
“The UK only began its lockdown 2 days ago, and the theory is that lockdowns take 2 weeks or more to work,” Borenson said. “Not surprisingly, this testimony has received no attention in the US – I found it only in UK papers. Team Apocalypse is not interested.”
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 26, 2020
Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House’s coronavirus response team, disputed the darkest predictions, involving American hospitals being overrun and being forced to ration critical medical care, including ICUs.
“To wake up this morning and look at people talking people talking about creating DNR do not recussitate situations with patients,” Birx said. “There is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion.
Video: Dr. Deborah Birx calmly but brutally tears apart the liberal media hysteria about a future in which hospitals will be faced with such a shortage at ventilators that they’ll have to decide who gets resuscitated and who is left to die #coronaviruspandemic pic.twitter.com/jXqXMpsdml
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 26, 2020
Ferguson has been advising U.K. leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on their coronavirus response, and the Imperial College study is believed to have played a significant role in the strategy of both the U.S. and the U.K. Both nations have largely shut down their economy, and the results have already been devastating for millions of people.
More than 3 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, shattering the previous record of 695,000. President Donald Trump has expressed a desire to re-open the American economy by Easter, saying he would “would love to have the country opened up” by then.