Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE.
An infectious disease expert in Italy claims that the severity of COVID-19 at this point is more like a wild cat than a tiger and could dissipate on its own as it mutates and without the intervention of a Big Pharma vaccine.
In the meantime, President Trump’s economic guru insists no second wave of the virus is around the corner either.
Professor Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the Policlinico San Martino hospital in Italy, provided this optimistic clinical assessment to the London Telegraph:
“In March and early April the patterns were completely different. People were coming to the emergency department with a very difficult to manage illness and they needed oxygen and ventilation, some developed pneumonia.
“Now, in the past four weeks, the picture has completely changed in terms of patterns. There could be a lower viral load in the respiratory tract, probably due to a genetic mutation in the virus which has not yet been demonstrated scientifically. Also we are now more aware of the disease and able to manage it.
The professor went on to employ animal imagery to describe the improving health scenario.
“It was like an aggressive tiger in March and April but now it’s like a wild cat. Even elderly patients, aged 80 or 90, are now sitting up in bed and they are breathing without help. The same patients would have died in two or three days before.
“I think the virus has mutated because our immune system reacts to the virus and we have a lower viral load now due to the lockdown, mask-wearing, social distancing. We still have to demonstrate why it’s different now.”
Bassetti added that the coronavirus could even disappear without the necessity of a vaccine.
“Yes, probably it could go away completely without a vaccine. We have fewer and fewer people infected and it could end up with the virus dying out.”
Many observers believe that herd immunity has also contributed to improving conditions.
And without getting into the pro or con vaccine debate, vaccines are far from foolproof.
In appearance today on CNBC’s Squawk Box, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow asserted that no second wave of the coronavirus is on the horizon (despite the fear-mongering mainstream media that is cheerleading for any developments that will prevent an economic recovery).
Although there are increased positives owing to widespread testing (500,000 per day) in the U.S., Kudlow explained that the overall rate for testing positive for the virus is less than 10 percent.
While there are some isolated hot spots within Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, among others, the infection rate is way down in some prior problematic areas such as Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan.
When it comes to hot spots when they emerge, Kudlow expressed confidence that the Trump administration can address such outbreaks efficiently.
“We know how to deal with this stuff now. it’s come a long way since last winter, and there is no second wave coming. it’s just, you know, hot spots — they send in CDC teams, we’ve got the testing procedures, we’ve got the diagnostics. We’ve got the PPE. I really think it’s a pretty good situation; incidentally, fatality rates continue to decline looking at the one day and seven day fatality rates, less than 1/2 of 1% even while…cases have gone up in some places. So, all in all, I think it’s a pretty good situation. And of course, reopening the economy is the key to economic growth. We’ve got a lot of economic chutes coming on faster than a lot of people thought.”
Anchor Becky Quick implied that younger people (rather than those in the high-risk groups) who apparently are now testing positive are mainly asymptomatic but asked Kudlow if an additional shutdown of bars, for example, might be necessary in those areas.
Kudlow replied that social distancing should be continued, and that any follow-up shutdowns are decisions for state and local officials.
He added, however, that the cost of another shutdown in both economic and public health terms would be massive.
According to the CDC , the combined national fatality rate from the coronavirus, pneumonia, and influenza has dropped to 7.1 percent, the eighth consecutive week in which the death tally has declined.
Parenthetically, comedian and SNL alum Dennis Miller quipped on his podcast that if COVID actually evaporates in the hot weather, maybe global warming will confound the liberals and turn out to be our salvation.