Tuesday, April 7, 2020

"Qualifications"

The Tweet of the Year....

And, speaking of "experts"...
A PhD in social science, while not a hard science, is a major accomplishment. As to challenging Dr. Fauci, it does appear many physicians, foreign national health services, and public health officials find value in the drug. And, there is nothing 'unproven' about hydroxychloroquine's safety and effectiveness treating malaria and lupus. 

The unfortunate fact is Dr. Fauci has been wrong many times throughout this mess:
He was wrong about masks. He seems to be wrong* about the value of treating COVID-19 patients with the combination of hydroxychloroquine, a Z-Pak and, possibly, zinc (H+Z+Z). And, it appears nearly certain that the forecast of one million deaths in the U.S., in which Dr. Fauci participated, will (thankfully!) be WAY off base. 
This item was added to this essay as of
2:45pm Tuesday
Given Dr. Fauci's track record over the last two months, second-guessing is completely appropriate. As I have previously mentioned, it will be important as soon as this mess is finished that public health officials do a thorough review to figure out why their models were so wrong. 
The fact is that the public health models have consistently "overforecast" (as meteorologists put it) the number of cases and the number of beds needed and 'experts' are often wrong (see, here and here).

The economic and human toll (Have you seen the news stories about suicides?) mounts by the day. Many of the decisions leading to the shutting down the economy have been based on these, so far, highly inaccurate models. We must do better. 

It is time to find a way to partially re-open the economy in rural and suburban areas as early as next week. High risk patients stay home. Masks should be worn in public. Distancing should be put in place. But, the economic toll is too great to continue the total lockdown indefinitely. 


* On the topic of hydroxychloroquine, I read the 'study' that got so much media coverage Sunday. I read the English translation of the paper which was published in a French medical journal. The study said that H+Z+Z was not an effective treatment.
I suspect there were so many news stories because President Trump has been touting H+Z+Z. What the news stories I read didn't tell you was, 1) the 'study' was of just eleven (11) French patients.  2) That hydroxychloroquine did improve lung function even if, in these patients, it did not clear out the virus itself.

Addition, 1:30p Tuesday, 
So much for "expert advice." The details of the above story are here.

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