COVID-19: An Updated List of Actual Professional Opinions

Statements made by professionals with real knowledge of the situation.

Apr. 3, 2020

Dr. Craig Spencer, Director of Global Health and Medicine at Columbia Med/New York Presbyterian Hosptial in NYC, describes the scene at the hospital:

"There's really no way to describe what we're seeing. Our new reality is unreal. The people and places we've known so long & so well have been transformed. Our ERs are ICUs. Everything looks, sounds and feels different. Just one week and it's a whole different world."

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Apr. 1, 2020

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, says:

“There are still outbreaks connected to a number of high-risk settings in Canada, particularly in long-term care facilities. So there’s still an urgent need to double-down on precautions,”

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Mar. 29, 2020

Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, warns:

“...the idea that this is purely a disease that causes death in older people we need to be very, very careful with.”

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Mar. 26, 2020

Dr. Michael Gardam, Humber River Hospital's Chief of Staff and infectious disease physician, describes what it's like leading up to their expected surge:

"It feels like you're trying to gather up water with your hands,...For those of us in health care it's hell. We haven't hit our surge yet. People are already tired and it hasn't started."

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Mar. 22, 2020

Health Minister Patty Hajdu sternly warns Canadians:

"Let me be perfectly clear: We will use every measure in our toolbox at the federal level to ensure compliance,...The advice is getting stronger and stronger, and with that advice will be coming more and more penalties if people don't listen."

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Mar. 22, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explains the difficulties of testing everyone:

"Not every single person in the US needs to get tested,...When you go in and get tested, you are consuming personal protective equipment, masks and gowns -- those are high priority for the health care workers who are taking care of people who have coronavirus disease."

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Mar. 22, 2020

Dr. James Phillips, a CNN medical analyst and assistant professor of emergency medicine at The George Washington University, shares his concerns:

"We've actually been concerned about that on a countrywide level for months,...We've discussed this, we've seen the modeling, we know how these diseases spread and a lot of it depends on our own responsibility and social distancing."

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Mar. 20, 2020

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the younger generation taking this COVID- lightly:

"I have a message for young people: You are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you. Even if you don't get sick the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else."

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Mar. 19, 2020

Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, predicts more cases:

“Everything is changing so quickly and yet, we still need to have the long view of what this trend actually is. I am anticipating more cases, full stop. The fact that we had none (Thursday) doesn’t mean that we have to change our actions. Now is the time to emphasize to people we need to physically distance ourselves from one another, but keep that social connection so we can be in this together.”

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Mar. 18, 2020

Assistant Professor Jeremy C. Young at Dixie State University and Director at DSU Institute of Politics predicts:

"Here's what would happen: 80% of Americans would get the disease. 0.9% of them would die. Between 4 and 8 percent of all Americans over the age of 70 would die. 2.2 million Americans would die from the virus itself."

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Mar. 15, 2020

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Medical Officer of Health, says this about COVID-19 in Canada:

“...Our window to flatten the [growth] curve of the epidemic is narrow...This is our chance right here, right now. We need to act now and act together.”

Source

Mar. 11, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases since 1984 and has advised six presidents on a variety of domestic and global health issues, says this about the lethality of COVID-19:

“Coronavirus is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu"

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Mar. 8, 2020

Professor Gabriel Leung, chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, expert on coronavirus epidemics and key player during the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003, speaks about the ratio of deaths to cases:

“Everybody is susceptible. If you assume that everybody randomly mix with each other, then eventually you will see 40, 50, 60 per cent of the population get infected...For every death you would expect to see 80 to 100 cases...So if you start seeing deaths first before you start picking up large numbers of cases the only conclusion that one can reasonably and scientifically draw is that you hadn’t been testing nearly early enough or extensively enough. Unless you go and test, you’re not going to find.”

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Mar. 7, 2020

Jenny Mikakos, Victorian health minister, gives this advice for those returning from overseas with flu-like symptoms :

“Our advice to the community is that if you have returned from overseas and are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms than please stay home, do not go to work, you should self isolate until such time as you are able to be presenting to a doctor, getting medical advice about whether you potentially have COVID-19.”

Source

Mar. 7, 2020

Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, describes why COVID-19 is frightening:

"[COVID-19] is the most frightening disease I've ever encountered in my career...because of the combination of infectiousness & a lethality that appears to be many-fold higher than flu.”

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Mar. 6, 2020

News sources obtain the slide deck from The American Hospital Association's webinar for hospitals that reveals their "Best Guess" for the coming flu season:

US: 96,000,000 infections US: 4,800,000 hospitalizations US: 1,900,000 ICU admissions US: 480,000 deaths
PREPARE FOR DISEASE BURDEN ROUGHLY 10X SEVERE FLU SEASON

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Mar. 6, 2020

Dr. John Torres, medical correspondent for NBC News who practices emergency medicine, and Dr. Joseph Fair, a virologist, epidemiologist and global outbreak responder, make their prediction about how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last:

"At least 1 year. We're optimistically at least 1 year from a vaccine. We will presumably see a drop in cases in the summer. And even if there is a dip in cases in the summer, the southern hemisphere will be entering its cold and flu season."

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Mar.5, 2020

Beth Cameron, who currently works on global biological policy for the Nuclear Threat Initiative and served as senior director for Global Health, Security and Biodefense on the White House's National Security Council, says this about trust:

"If people don't trust that the government is telling them the truth about the risk to themselves and their families, people start to make decisions that are not rational, and that puts our medical system at greater risk,"

Source

Mar.5, 2020

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization's Director-General, firmly speaks up:

"This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops,"

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Mar. 5, 2020

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has this advice to give:

“The moment you get sick you should isolate yourself and call ahead to the health line.”

Source

Mar. 2, 2020

Professor Jonathan Shewhuk of UC Berkeley has this to say about COVID-19 in a lengthy, informative, and concerned email to his students:

"An estimated 20% of cases require hospitalization (allegedly 50% in Italy), with a mean hospital stay of 10 days, usually with pneumonia symptoms. And although the virus is deadliest among the old and sick, some young, healthy people have died. Your odds of survival are very high, but if you have a severe case, it might be the worst experience of your life. Many patients need to be intubated and kept on ventilators. Moreover, if there are too many cases at once, then like in Wuhan, there won't be enough ventilators."

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Feb. 28, 2020

Karen Fleming, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, has this piece of advice to give:

"PSA for non-science folks: Wonder why everyone is emphasizing hand washing? Sounds banal, but soap really IS an amazing weapon that we all have in our homes. This is because coronavirus is an "enveloped" virus, which means that it has an outer lipid membrane layer. Basically, it's surrounded by a fat layer. Washing your hands with soap and water has the ability to "dissolve" this greasy fatty layer and kill the virus. I'm told singing "Happy Birthday" twice is approximately how long we should all be scrubbing our hands with soap."

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Feb. 28, 2020

Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said this about the detection of COVID-19:

“There’s a desperate need to do more testing ... The point is to find out if, like many other countries, we have undetected chains of transmission that we’re just not detecting....This is a very different experience from any outbreak that I’ve been a part of.”

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Feb. 28, 2020

Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says this about the declining importance of travel history:

“It’s long overdue that [testing criteria] be broadened ... travel history will become less important as we have community spread in countries around the world, as well as perhaps in the United States.”

Source

Feb. 24, 2020

WHO-CHINA releases their report on the confirmed cases of COVID-19 victims and details the symptoms below:

As of 20 February 2020 and 12 based on 55924 laboratory confirmed cases, typical signs and symptoms include: fever (87.9%), dry cough (67.7%), fatigue (38.1%), sputum production (33.4%), shortness of breath (18.6%), sore throat (13.9%), headache (13.6%), myalgia or arthralgia (14.8%), chills (11.4%), nausea or vomiting (5.0%), nasal congestion (4.8%), diarrhea (3.7%), and hemoptysis (0.9%), and conjunctival congestion (0.8%). People with COVID-19 generally develop signs and symptoms, including mild respiratory symptoms and fever, on an average of 5-6 days after infection (mean incubation period 5-6 days, range 1-14 days).

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Feb. 24, 2020

Fang Chi-tai (方啟泰), a professor at NTU's College of Public Health, addresses the theories around the origins of COVID-19:

"...from an academic point of view, it is indeed possible that the amino acids were added to COVID-19 in the lab by humans."

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Feb. 23, 2020

Dr. Jody Lanard and Professor Peter M. Sandman, members of the WHO SARS Scientific Research Advisory Committee, describe guidelines for risk communication for COVID-19:

"A fair number of health care workers and communication officers tell us their hospitals and healthcare systems are just barely communicating about COVID-19. They want to be involved in how to prepare for “business not as usual.” We’re guessing that many hospital managements are in fact preparing for COVID-19, but we worry that they’re doing it too quietly, without enough effort to prepare their staff."

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Feb. 18, 2020

French health minister Olivier Veran says this about COVID-19:

“This is both a working assumption and a credible risk [that COVID-19 can become a pandemic].”

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Feb. 18, 2020

Dr. Syra Madad says this about the status of the COVID-19 outbreak:

"I think we're really close to a tipping point of this potentially being declared a pandemic event."

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Feb. 15, 2020

Professor Neil Ferguson, an infectious disease modeller/epidemiologist, Director of J-IDEA, and the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, has this to say about COVID-19:

“Conceivably [that COVID-19 could kill 400,000 Brits] ... I would underscore that right now, putting numbers like 400,000 isn’t fundamentally supportive in light of the fact that we have so little data.”

Source

Feb. 13, 2020

Harvard Business School’s Professor Willy Shih, an expert on Asian industrial competitiveness, gives his thoughts on COVID-19's impact on the US economy:

"It was reported in the Nikkei Asian Review yesterday that Foxconn could not reopen its Longhua complex. Foxconn is a supplier to Apple, so I think supplies are going to be tight for things like phones, not only iPhones, but Android phones. Over the last year, there has been some movement to diversify supply chains out of China, but there’s still a lot of notebook computers and TVs — the Chinese are now the dominant manufacturers of the flat panels used for those displays — made there. There are a significant number of factories in Wuhan."

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Feb. 13, 2020

Tsinghua University's Professor Xu Zhangrun writes this about China's response to the sudden outbreak:

"Overnight, the country found itself in the grip of a devastating crisis and fear stalked the land. The authorities proved themselves to be at a loss as to how to respond effectively, and the high cost of their impotence was soon visited upon the common people. Before long, the coronavirus was reaching around the globe and the People’s Republic found itself rapidly isolated from the rest of the world. It was as though the China famed for its “Reform and Opening-Up” policies for more than three decades was being undone in front of our very eyes. In one fell swoop, it seemed as though the People’s Republic, and in particular its vaunted system of governance, had been cast back to pre-modern times. As word spread about blockades being thrown up by towns and cities in an attempt to seal themselves against contagion, as doors were slammed shut everywhere, it actually felt as though we were being overwhelmed by the kind of primitive panic more readily associated with the Middle Ages."

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Feb. 13 ,2020

Paul Slovic, a University of Oregon psychologist who helped pioneer modern risk psychology, says this about our reaction to COVID-19:

“This hits all the hot buttons that lead to heightened risk perception...We’re hearing about the fatalities. We’re not hearing about the 98 or so percent of people who are recovering from it and may have had mild cases.”

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Feb. 12, 2020

John Oxford, an emeritus professor of virology at Queen Mary University of London, has this to say about the transmission of COVID-19:

"I'm not looking to a vaccine because that will be months and months away, I'm not even looking to an antiviral drug - one could be pulled out of what we've already got but I think we have to govern ourselves in our social actions - how we interact with people. I think that is extremely important, more so than wearing a mask, I think that is a total diversion - wearing a mask - but what we need to do is less of the handshaking, hugging, kissing and all that sort of thing because it looks as though this virus is spread through tidal breathing, ordinary tidal breathing, not necessarily colds, coughs, sneezing."

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Feb. 8, 2020

Dr.Robert David Siegel, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University, says this about COVID-19's trajectory:

"The most encouraging news comes from looking at the rate of increase in the epidemic – the shape of the epidemic curve. It appears that a turning point (the so-called “inflection point”) has already been reached. This is the place where the curve starts to flatten out, signaling that control may be in sight. But like the battle against a fire on its way to containment, it is critical to keep the epidemic from gaining a stronghold in a new continent."

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Feb. 1, 2020

Ching Lin, renowned Taiwanese-American professor, refutes rumors that COVID-19 is a bioweapon:

[Lin] refuted the bioweapon allegation, saying the aforementioned "four critical spike proteins" are actually four amino acids and that their replacement is not as critical as the Xilu had claimed.

Source

Jan. 30, 2020Thomas Bryant Cotton, an American attorney, military veteran, and politician serving as the junior United States senator for Arkansas since January 3, 2015, has this to say about COVID-19:

"This coronavirus is a catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl for China... but actually it's probably worse than Chernobyl which was localized in it's effect. The coronavirus could result in a global pandemic. While you are all sleeping over night, the number of diagnosed cases in China increased by 30%.... that is just newly admitted cases. It is probably several orders of magnitude higher than that. "

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Jan. 28, 2020

Dr. Albert Ko, Yale School of Public Health Professor of Epidemiology, gives his thoughts on the actual number of cases:

"We're in the exponential phase of this outbreak and the numbers were up to 4,500 cases that have been reported today. These numbers are rapidly and these numbers reflect infections that occurred weeks ago, so the actual number of people infected are likely much higher than indicated and you know there have been estimates from mathematical models that there may be up to 100,000 at present."

Source

Jan. 25, 2020

Professor Neil Ferguson, an infectious disease modeller/epidemiologist, Director of J-IDEA, and the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, has this to say about the R0 of COVID-19:

"R0 estimates for flu pandemics lie in the 1.5-2.5 range. Yes, Measles is much higher (10-15). An epidemic with an R0 of 2.5 could still infect between 60% and 90% of the population, depending on contact patterns and assuming no prior immunity. Not all might be symptomatic though."

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Jan. 23, 2020

Guan Yi, a virologist who helped identify severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 has this to say about the COVID-19 outbreak:

“A bigger outbreak is certain...We have passed through the ‘golden period’ for prevention and control"

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