Doctor Fact-Checks Media On Coronavirus

by birtanpublished on June 30, 2020

– Maybe we'd be just better off

if we gave it to everybody

and then in a month it would be over!

– Oh, my God

There is so much misinformation going on

with this novel coronavirus,
it boggles my mind

And it's causing people to
panic, make bad decisions

My patients are confused

So, I decided to make this video

and take on misinformation

By watching some clips,
reading some articles with you,

and really understanding where

the misinformation comes from

– We have contained this,

I won't say airtight, but
pretty close to airtight

We've done a good job
in the United States

– No, we did not contain it

No, it's not even remotely
close to airtight

Yes, we've made some steps
in the right direction

of trying to quarantine people

and we should applaud out
public health professionals

But to say on national television
that this is contained?

No!

Especially February 25th, my God

The numbers are still gonna
go up tremendously in the US

as more testing kits become available

So, no

Not airtight, but also
still no reason to panic

– [Reporter] Are you taking this

too seriously wearing a mask right now?

– Look, members of Congress
are human Petri dishes

We fly through the dirtiest airports,

we touch everyone we meet

So if anyone's gonna get coronavirus,

it's totally gonna be Congress

(stuttering)

– I'm at a loss for words here

He's wearing a gas mask

This isn't even what we
wear in the medical setting

when we're dealing with someone
who has the coronavirus

This has to be for some
kind of shock value

and clearly I'm watching it on TMZ,

so he got the nation's attention

You're a lawmaker, you're
the person we look to

to give us accurate
information to protect us

Take off the gas mask, act like a human

Get educated on the subject,

stop with the misinformation

– Think about how the
world would be if you tried

to quarantine everybody because
of the generic-type flu

Now, I'm not saying this
is the generic-type flu,

but maybe we'd be just better off

if we gave it to everybody

and then in a month it would be over

because the mortality
rate of this probably

isn't gonna be any different
if we did it that way

– This is what happens when you have

a politician or economist,

I don't even know what his position is,

speak on a subject that
they're not experts in

This is horribly wrong

No, we shouldn't just gather everyone up

and give them the novel coronavirus

That is a horrible idea
and a horrible sentiment

Not only because it's cruel
because people are going to die,

but it's not scientifically warranted

Let me explain

Yes, we don't quarantine
everybody to prevent

to spread of the flu
because we have things

to prevent the flu, to treat the flu

We have medicines that if you get the flu,

we can reduce complication rates

We can shorten the course,
it's called oseltamivir

We also have the flu
shot that if you get it,

it prevents the spread of the flu

or if you still get the flu,

you'll have a milder case

For the novel coronavirus,
we have no such thing

So we absolutely need
to slow this thing down

by quarantining individuals

so that we can get these
medications made, approved,

safety tested, do the same
thing with the vaccine

so that unnecessarily we
don't cost people their lives

The whole purpose of herd
immunity or community protection

is to make sure everyone gets vaccinated

so we can protect those
who can't get vaccinated

Now, in this case, we
don't have a vaccine,

but we can still provide herd immunity

or community protection

by quarantining those who are sick

Because, yes, while me
as a healthy 30-year-old

if I get this novel coronavirus,

it looks like my lethality
rate is gonna be quite low

But for someone like my
father, who's age 65,

that's not the same story

– What I don't like in life
is that a very serious thing,

a football manager's opinion is important

I don't understand it, I
really don't understand it

They can ask you, you're
exactly the same role that I am

and it's not important
what famous people say

No, we have to speak about the
things in the right manner

(clapping)

– Why did it take a
football manager to come on

and make the most rational statement

about this novel coronavirus

Oh, my goodness

All it takes is if you don't
know and you're not an expert,

allow the experts to speak on it

The last thing I wanna
see is one more picture

of Gwyneth Paltrow wearing
a fancy, $200 face mask

claiming that that's how
she stays safe because

she was in the movie "Contagion"
and she knows what's up

No, that's goop

And when I say goop, I meant poop

I'm really disappointed
at written media as well

It used to mean something
to be a journalist

where you really took on that oath

to deliver the truth to the public

so they can make the best
decisions for themselves

And lately what I've been seeing,

especially on digital media,

is websites and websites specifically that

have a really good reputation

create click worthy, buzzy articles

that really are inciting panic

and scaring people more than anything

Here I'm holding an article from Nat Geo,

which was my favorite
magazine growing up as a kid

The science in it really fueled my passion

for learning about the human body

This article's called

Here's what coronavirus does to the body

Already very clicky

Okay, I'm with it

Let's see what the subheadline is

"From blood storms to honeycomb lungs,

here's an organ-by-organ look
at how COVID-19 harms humans"

Okay, okay

You're trying to grab attention

Okay, I'm with it

Let's see where we go from here

"The disease can cast a storm
over the whole human body"

That sounds really scary

"COVID-19 epidemic has killed
more than 1,800 people,

surpassing the SARS death
toll in a matter of weeks"

But then they explain that the death rate

for COVID-19 appears
to be a fifth of SARS

Scary sentence, followed by legitimate

scientific quote that's not so scary

"Last Thursday was nearly a 50% jump

relative to the prior day,

and a tally has since
increased by another 13,000"

Scary

Oh, but "this leap reflects
a change in the way

Chinese authorities are
diagnosing infections instead of

a massive shift in the
scope of the outbreak

If this outbreak continues to spread,

there's no telling how
harmful it could become"

There's so many unknowns with this virus,

but to theorize that everything could be

the worst form of itself
doesn't help anybody

It fuels fear, panic

It's the reason why toilet paper is

off the shelves in so many countries

Why hand sanitizer's $80 for
a little container on Amazon

This is why!

Then they get to the meat of the article

where they actually talk
about each organ system

and how it's affected

The lungs, ground zero

"Even if death doesn't occur,

some patients survive with
permanent lung damage

SARS punchee holes in the lungs,

giving them a honeycomb-like appearance

And these lesions are present in those

afflicted by novel coronavirus, too"

82% of these cases are mild

As we learn more, for example,

where there have been 150,000 or so

cases tested in South Korea,

they found that the
fatality rate is 06% there

Not the 34% that the WHO
talked about in China,

which is to say that we
need to learn more about it

But to talk about it as if
it's creating honeycomb lungs,

or blood storms, or affecting the stomach

because SARS and MERS
affected the stomach

Why write this article?

I don't know what purpose this serves

outside of getting clicks and
trying to get people scared

This is not useful Nat Geo,

you're not helping anyone with this

There's a reason why I keep saying

"alert, not anxious" in my videos

and it's because we need
people to not panic

We need them to be prepared,

we need them to be ready
for when the numbers go up

'cause they most certainly will go up

In fact, here in the United States,

the numbers are gonna
skyrocket in the next few days

But that's simply because
we're testing people,

not 'cause there's this
new giant outbreak

There's also something to be said about

the media's obsession
with changing numbers

– 100,000 confirmed cases

3,300 deaths

230 known cases

21 US states

12 people have died

– Yes, numbers are gonna go up

This is a virus that spreads

No matter how much we try and quarantine,

there's still gonna be
spread of this virus

The idea is that we try and control it

to the best of our abilities,

but know there'll be fluctuations
in the daily numbers

That's why I recommend not
looking every single day

and not being scared by
headlines that we see on Twitter

that are like, "Oh, my God

Governor Wolf says there are now

two confirmed cases in Pennsylvania"

There's gonna be a lot of confirmed cases

in Pennsylvania, in the US

Especially as we get more
testing kits available

to the doctors and nurses
on the front lines

But that's okay

We should know how many
cases are out there,

we wanna know so we can properly calculate

the lethality rate to
get more information,

to study these people, to maybe
put them in clinical trials

But the more the media shows

breaking news, alert, outbreak warning

the more we're gonna panic

and the more we're gonna make

bad decisions with bad information

And I urge the media,

please be responsible in your reporting

Get a doctor on board,
get a researcher on board

to talk about what's going on
with this novel coronavirus

Because when we have
unqualified individuals

talk on this subject, it creates panic

Patients come in and take appointments

from those who are truly sick
because they wanna get tested

for a condition they
shouldn't be tested for

So, let's ease the misinformation
out of our headlines

Let's talk about the facts
and let trusted sources

like the CDC and WHO guide us properly

as we move forward
throughout this pandemic

I put together a playlist of all my

coronavirus videos right here

and I put together a playlist of my

Reddit thread videos where
doctors discuss some of

their most difficult
cases, embarrassing cases

and I think they're both worth a watch

Which one are you clicking on

to stay happy and healthy?

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