April 17, 2020

At a time when the news is full of speculation about what will happen when we take the first “baby steps” towards opening the American economy, an intriguing article appeared about a study on infection rates around the world that our epidemiologists might want to take into account.

Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University did a study of new coronavirus infection rates in the US, UK, Sweden, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany and Spain. What he found is is very...well, it’s hard to know what to make of it.

When he compared a quarantined nation such as Israel with a business-pretty-much-as-usual nation such as Sweden, the coronavirus peaked and subsided in exactly the same way. And ALL the graphs looked the same.

"His graphs show that all countries experienced seemingly identical coronavirus infection patterns,” reports Marina Medvin in her piece for TOWNHALL, “with the number of infections peaking in the sixth week and rapidly subsiding by the eighth week.” The Wuhan virus follows its own fixed infection pattern, the professor suggested, that is not dependent on freedom or quarantine. In other words, even if people are having contact with each other, there is a natural decline in the number of infections.

"Expansion begins exponentially but fades quickly after about eight weeks,” he said. He doesn’t know why this happens, but speculates that it’s climate-related or is just the life cycle of the virus. (I would add that if it's climate-related, we would likely have a "second wave" in the fall and winter. But maybe by then we'd have a much better idea of how to treat it.)

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The professor even has a possible explanation for Italy’s staggering 12 percent mortality rate: the health care system there. “The health care system in Italy has its own problems,” he said. “It has nothing to do with coronavirus. In 2017 it also collapsed because of the flu.” And Italy does have high flu mortality rates as well, especially compared with a country such as Germany, which has low coronavirus infections and mortality rates and also low flu rates. (I'm no epidemiologist, but I would add that Italy also has a population that skews very old.)

Although he does recommend moderate social distancing, Prof. Ben Israel says his data from the past 50 days do not support the quarantine or the economic shut-down. He calls the reaction in Israel “mass hysteria,” saying, “I have no other way to describe it...4,500 people die each year from the flu in Israel because of complications, so, close a country because of that? No. I don’t see a reason to do that because of a lower-risk epidemic.”

Of course, he has the benefit of hindsight, as well as the data he’s collected over the past 50 days. At the start of this, there was no way to plot the “life cycle” of the virus on a graph. For all we knew, the infection rate would increase exponentially and then just continue...exponentially. The British computer model used by Dr. Fauci was developed by a researcher named Professor Neil Ferguson, who reportedly has a history of wildly overestimating mortality rates. It was his model that predicted we’d have 2.2 million deaths in the United States and 500,000 deaths in the U.K. Both those figures have been revised very dramatically downward.

Certainly we had to err on the side of caution rather than risk millions of deaths. But this professor's research should be weighed now in any decision on when and how to start living our lives.

Here is his original interview with the Israeli news outlet Mako.

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Comments 1-7 of 7

  • Marshall Peterson

    04/23/2020 05:35 PM

    Very good!

  • Rexford O Ames

    04/21/2020 01:14 PM

    I appreciate your honest incite and conveying information that shows common sense. Something is happening here, what it is isn't exactly clear. That piece keeps cropping up its head,a lot.
    Having said that.
    A video with some interesting information was submitted on You Tube, April 9, 2020. ( Economist Danielle DiMartino Booth Exposes China & World Health Organization in a sit-down with Patrick Bet-David).
    Added to what Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University had to inform. It is fast becoming one of the biggest scams the World has bought into. Am inferring that this Virus isn't harmful and to the elderly, very dangerous. Not at all. I am one of Many within that group. However, I still have common sense and the ability to due diligence and research for myself, the Facts, Sir. Just Facts!

  • Cheryl Crum

    04/19/2020 02:31 PM

    I don't believe the lock down and stay at home was designed to save lives but to get all the people of the world use to being controlled and follow as directed. Getting us use to unfree societies so we are easier to control in the future. It was just another flu. Deadly by design but the flu(s) kill every year and there were never any controls on the people like this one. I think President was duped into the process actually believing everything he was told and believing he was doing the right thing but he lost track of the USA, the constitution and our freedoms.

  • William Cronquist

    04/18/2020 06:44 PM

    With all of the numbers floating around about the virus, why are we not seeing the number of those dying by ages?

  • Sherree Waldeck

    04/18/2020 06:53 AM

    Thank you, As always, well done!

  • Lisa Ford

    04/17/2020 02:43 PM

    I also saw in figures last night in my state. Over 4400 diagnosed, around 150 died. Though I hate the fact that 150 died, isn't that a far stretch between numbers. And the way the experts talk, actual cases are higher. So that would stretch the distance even further between the numbers. And with the information in this article, it is time to go back to work. People will feel better working, taking care of their own business, instead of on the dole. Immunity in individuals will go up being happy. Instead of this black cloud of fear.

  • Mike Grayson

    04/17/2020 12:38 PM

    Governor, I am interested in your opinion of this article that takes you inside the ICU at Samaritan's Purse. The writer deserves a Pulitzer Prize because you feel like you are there. It is both heartbreaking and uplifting. A quote from a nurse "this is not the flu".