Article Image
IPFS News Link • Pandemic

Apprehension Over Coming Out of Lockdown Far Exceeds Any Imagined Risk

• - By Bill Sardi

Americans don't need to wait to learn how safe and effective a newly licensed COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine will be.  The risk/benefit odds for vaccination cannot exceed the odds that a person will become infected or die of COVID-19 coronavirus.

According to university researchers, your odds of acquiring COVID-19 coronavirus infection from contact with an infected person is 1 in 3868 (ranges from  in 626 to 1 in 31,800) and the odds of dying from COVID-19 is 1 in 19.1 million (ranges from 1 in 3.1 million to 1 in 159 million).  These estimates are without citizens taking precautions such as face-masks and social distancing.  So says a study conducted by Stanford University and University of California, Los Angeles researchers who analyzed data from the top 100 populous counties in the U.S. (study awaits peer review and publication).

The effectiveness of any vaccine that may be licensed in the future cannot exceed the existing risk in the community.   If these figures are accurate, Americans have a remote chance of ever benefiting from vaccination and will not know the side effect safety ratio of a vaccine until millions of Americans have been immunized.

Half of the population fears getting a haircut

The fear and apprehension of infection and possible death far exceeds any known risk, say these university researchers.  Over half of the U.S. population fears getting a haircut, going shopping or visiting a friend according to a May 2020 Associated Press survey.  Around 68% of Americans want to see an approved vaccine before they come out of lockdown.

Furthermore, the sole emphasis of avoidance of a single pathogen in the community that poses a miniscule risk to life will distract from real risks Americans face from other respiratory infections, the primary one being tuberculosis.  There are 13 million Americans with latent (dormant) tuberculosis whose lung infection could erupt into active disease that can spread to others.  Recent reports kibosh any idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is of viral origin.  Invariably, those countries that vaccinate against TB with the BCG vaccine have very low rates of lung disease that is misdiagnosed as a coronavirus infection.  Adults confined indoors (nursing homes, quarantine) are deprived of sunshine vitamin D (produced in the skin) and develop low vitamin D blood levels that is associated with latent TB eruptions.

The number of cases and deaths attributed to COVID-19 may be a result of misdirection.  If, for example, 2% of the population have antibodies against COVID-19 and they are tested with an assay that has 95% specificity, this will result in a positive predictive value of just 26.9%, "meaning there will be more false positive than true negatives."

Even with the most reliable testing (minimal false positives), a false positive blood test is likely to represent 16% of positive results.  As of June 23, 2020, over 29 million COVID-19 tests have been performed and ~10% or 2.84 million have tested positive.  If 16% of these were false positives that would amount to 454,400 falsely reported positive cases.

As of May 30, the CDC estimates 1,761,503 cases (infections) and 103,700 COVID-19 coronavirus deaths that have been laboratory positive.   Or 5.8% of those infected ended up with a mortal outcome.  That means that some of these patients were dying, but of something else other than COVID-19 (tuberculosis?).