Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday that the coronavirus “may be getting weaker” as it continues to spread through the population.
Responding to a question from guest-host Brian Kilmeade about the survival rate “getting better” and whether that had to do with the virus “getting weaker” or people contracting it being younger, Siegel agreed that it could be a mix of both.
“Both of those is true,” Siegel said. “I think the virus may be getting weaker, I think we are seeing it in younger people. I think we are diagnosing it earlier and I think we are offering treatments like never before. All is great, but we have to keep it so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed so we can also do our surgeries and procedures.”
Several states, including Texas and Arizona, have seen a significant surge in coronavirus cases over the past week, but most of those catching it are younger and much less likely to die or experience severe complications from the disease.
Though viruses do tend to mutate over time, there is still uncertainty as to whether enough time has passed for COVID-19 to weaken to the point that it results in milder symptoms for most of those infected.
Dr. Matteo Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic at the San Martino Hospital in Genoa, Italy, has noted a significant difference in recent patients versus those who came to his emergency room “very sick” in March and April.
“In March and April, patients reached the emergency room very sick,” Basetti said, according to WebMD. “They had acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure. They needed immediate oxygen, ventilation, and in two to three days, we had patients that died. But now, in the past four to five weeks, it’s been totally different. Patients of a similar age as the ones before, even very elderly patients, are not as sick as patients were just four to six weeks before.”
Dr. Scott Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, explained that the sharp rise in COVID hospitalizations among younger people in Texas and other states could at least partially be because hospitals are testing everyone admitted, regardless of the reason. (RELATED: Dr. Siegel Tells Tucker: Lockdowns Producing ‘More Deaths From Despair’ Than Coronavirus)
“I think that what is happening in Texas, I know that this is true, they are testing every person that gets hospitalized for Covid-19,” Atlas told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum earlier this week. “We know that the vast majority of people with COVID-19 who are young, particularly, are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. I question if those people who are positive for COVID-19 and being hospitalized for something else are classified as COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s a big difference.”