President Donald Trump was speaking to millions of Americans this week when he mentioned the possibility of life and the economy going 'back to normal' by Easter. However, the staggering numbers of unemployment claims are now suggesting otherwise... But were the figures predicted in the beginning of the pandemic even accurate?
Neil Ferguson is a scientist at the Imperial College of London, and it was his forecast figures that predicted the high number of cases and deaths to be expected in the U.K. and U.S. Even just last week, he co-authored a report that described the coronavirus as "a virus with comparable lethality to H1N1 influenza in 1918." But now, Ferguson may be thinking otherwise.
Just days after his report, Ferguson gave an update to some members of the British parliament.
David Adam reports in the New Scientist:
"The UK should now be able to cope with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, according to one of the epidemiologists advising the government. Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London gave evidence today to the UK’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an inquiry into the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak."
Chris Smyth also elaborated on the latest Ferguson pronouncements in The Times of London:
The virus death toll could end up being “substantially lower” than 20,000, with most of the fatalities in people who would have died later this year anyway, a government adviser has said.
According to Smyth, Ferguson told MPs last week that "the [deaths of hose who would have died anyway] might be as much as half or two thirds of the deaths we see, because these are people at the end of their lives who have underlying conditions."
Read the full opinion piece by James Freeman on The Wall Street Journal.