6 October, the World Health Organisation disclosed its estimate that 10% of the global population may have already been infected by the novel coronavirus.
That amounts to more than 760 million people.
This new official estimate is more than 20 times greater than the number of confirmed cases as tallied by both the WHO and Johns Hopkins University – which is little more than 35 million worldwide.
This bombshell announcement reveals that Covid-19 is not, after all, the “very deadly disease” that we have been assuming during eight long months. Its case fatality rate (CFR) is a huge 96% lower than we previously thought.
The obvious benchmark for assessing the Covid-19 threat is the seasonal ‘Flu. It has been harassing the human population for centuries and every nation has well-evolved protocols on how to live with it. Individuals everywhere have a practical understanding of ‘Flu risks and they make their own decisions as to how they respond.
It is now clear that Government advisers have been grossly exaggerating the mortality rate of Covid. Comparing statistics with the familiar yardstick of seasonal ‘Flu, they declared Covid to be much more lethal. In the early stages (March-April), the common narrative was that Covid was up to 10 times worse than ‘Flu. On the basis of more recent (July-September) statistics, ‘experts’ have considered Covid to be 2-4 times more deadly than ‘Flu.
The new WHO figures explode all those comparisons. If Covid is less than 5% as deadly as we thought, it is nowhere near as dangerous as ‘Flu in a bad year.
Within hours of release of the WHO estimates, President Trump had tweeted:
Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!
Despite the instant defensive response by mainstream media, every word of this tweet is true. Many people do die from ‘Flu, despite the many vaccines. In particular, there is no doubt that ‘Flu is more lethal “in most populations”.
Right from the beginning, or at least since May, we have known that Covid was much less deadly than seasonal ‘flu in a number of very important populations, including:
• the working-age population (18-65) everywhere
• those undertaking work training/tertiary education
• all school children
• babies/toddlers and their parents
• rural populations (all ages)
• African countries
Even in the global population of ‘aged persons’ (70+), the difference in the CFRs for Covid and ‘Flu has always been one of degree rather than kind. The survival rate was 94-out-of-100 for Covid while it was over 98-out-of-100 for ‘Flu.
Taking account of the new WHO 20-fold multiplier, there will be very few populations in which Covid retains a higher mortality rate than ‘Flu.
Even before the devastating WHO figures were released, a consensus between three scholars in the field of infectious diseases gave rise to the Great Barrington Declaration – which concludes:
“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.
Professors Kulldorf, Gupta and Bhattacharya are world-leading authorities, who have long taught graduate epidemiologists at three of the world’s most prestigious universities. They claim to represent the conventional wisdom shared amongst public health professionals worldwide. In just days, thousands of specialists have publicly endorsed their views – and many thousands more will no doubt follow in coming weeks.
In a YouTube interview the ‘Three Professors’ say their orthodox policy (which they describe as “Public Health 101”) would break the back of the pandemic in about three months. If adopted now, Professor Gupta says we could expect “a nice normal Christmas”.
On Monday, the professors met with the US Health Secretary, Alex Azar; and top White House health aide, Scott Atlas says their Declaration matches the advice he is giving the President. A Presidential-level push-back against the populist media narrative will not be easily suppressed or censored away.
With the world’s ‘expert advisers’ undeniably divided, politicians can no longer duck responsibility by claiming to “follow the science”. They must openly apply their own minds to quantifying the human costs and benefits of each of their endless decisions to intervene in the normal lives of their electors.
 This is not as bad as it first sounds. Out of every 1,000 patients, while 999 ‘Flu victims would expect to survive, there might be only 996 Covid survivors.
Barry Brill OBE JP LL.M(Hons) M.ComLaw is a former MP and Minister of Energy, Petrocorp director, and chair of the Gas Council, Power NZ, ESANZ, and EMCO. He is presently the Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.