The Imperial College Study That's Formed the Basis of So Much Panic Just Got Revised Down Significantly

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Men in protective gear arrive to disinfect a construction site on 42nd St., Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. “Only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job,” Cuomo said of an executive order he will sign Friday. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)


This is big news, as the Imperial College Study has formed the basis for nearly all the panic in the Western world over the Wuhan virus.

Today, the leading researcher on that study has revised his numbers to show dramatic drops in his estimates of deaths and the number of ICU beds needed to tackle the crisis. This comes after he had previously shown up to 2 million dead in the United States and 500,000 dead in the United Kingdom.

Now, I’m gonna try to be fair here, because there are two ways to look at this.


One, you can say the situation simply changed. His original range was based on countries essentially doing nothing to combat the Wuhan virus. No quarantines for the sick, no increase in hospital capacity, and no restrictions on public gatherings. When taken that way, perhaps you can’t blame Ferguson for being so wrong?

Yet, I also think we can’t ignore the responsibility he and his team held in releasing such a doomsday number in the first place. When his report was first put out, countries were already taking dramatic measures to stop the spread and gather the resources to treat the sick. What was the point of throwing crazy death totals out in the open when they were never really possible outside of some alternate reality where no one does anything? This is especially true when you consider that Ferguson had no idea what the actual infection or death rates were at the time of his first study.

And we know exactly what happened in response to those claims. The mainstream media went absolutely nuts with the high end of the range released, to this day still bandying about the “millions will die” claim without a thought as to whether the original data put into the model wasn’t viable. While Ferguson may have simply been making worst case scenario predictions, there are serious questions on whether it was responsible to release that into the wild without doing the necessary legwork to correct the misconceptions of what the study meant. Further, he was saying just last week that an 18 month quarantine would be necessary. Mitigation efforts have not changed dramatically in the last week. National lock downs started, in some cases, months ago.


Meanwhile, measures taken based on that flawed study have now put 3.3 million Americans out of work.

It’s time to have a serious discussion about whether the cure is worse than the disease right now. Unemployment numbers like this are going to spike deaths by suicide and drug abuse. They will also lead to deaths via lack of care, housing, and necessities. These are real lives being affected. It’s not enough to just say “stay home or grandma will die.”

The solution is likely somewhere in the middle between what we are doing now and doing nothing. It’s possible to social distance and slow the spread without shutting the entire economy down. Places like New York may need to stay locked down, but other localities may be able to get back to normal much faster. The President is on the right track, despite objections from some, in wanting to get Americans back to work. Let’s come up with a real plan to do that and do it soon. Sitting paralyzed is not going to help more people than it hurts in the long term.





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