Before COVID-19 was even detected in the United States, Dan Erickson, a former emergency room physician who now co-owns Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, bought as many tests for the virus as he could. He knew it would be here eventually and wanted to be ready to test those who needed and wanted it.

Now, after testing thousands of people, he and his business partner, physician Artin Massihi, say they have enough data to draw some conclusions about COVID-19.

Their message: COVID-19 is more ubiquitous and less deadly than we think. It's similar to influenza and we should therefore reopen society and stop treating the situation like the lethal menace it was initially thought to be.

"Two months ago we didn't know this so I'm bringing it to light now," Erickson said Wednesday at a news conference held at his Coffee Road urgent care.

Kern County Public Health Services Spokeswoman Michelle Corson and an epidemiologist contacted by The Californian said they didn't agree with the doctors' recommendation to end social distancing and immediately start reopening society. 

"This is a many-headed hydra. It’s really unfortunate to boil this all down to it’s just flu," said Andrew Noymer, associate professor of public health at UC Irvine. "There’s no flu season that looks anything like New York does right now."

'Similar to flu'

Accelerated urgent care has done 5,213 COVID-19 tests at its five Bakersfield locations, Erickson said — which is more than half the 9,197 tests done so far in Kern County. Of those, 340 were positive, according to Erickson.

If that percentage of positive cases were assumed to represent the entire population of Kern County, which is roughly 900,000, it would mean about 58,000 people in Kern have had the virus, far more than the nearly 700 official confirmed, Erickson said.

That many cases would "indicate there is a widespread (COVID-19) infection, similar to flu," Erickson said. 

And if we don't shutdown the country for flu, should we keep doing it for coronavirus?

"It’s about looking at trends and saying we’re not seeing what they've been talking about for the past six to eight weeks," said Massihi, referring to predictions that up to 100,000 Americans could die of the virus and hospitals would become swamped with patients. "We’ve crippled the economy. There’s a lot of domestic issues going on. Is social isolation warranted for the healthy?"

Using the same calculation, Erickson estimates 12 percent of the population statewide, or some 4.7 million Californians, have already had COVID-19. With about 1,400 deaths so far in California, that puts the statewide death rate at about .03 percent, he said.

"Does that (low death rate) necessitate sheltering in place? Does that necessitate shutting down medical systems? Does that necessitate being out of work?" Erickson asked.

Nationwide, about 42,000 people have died of coronavirus as of Wednesday.  Between 30,000 and 60,000 die of flu annually, Erickson said, citing CDC data.

The secondary effects of the shutdown are considerable, too, he said. They include a dramatic decrease in volumes at hospitals and even Erickson's urgent care practice, where staff are mostly testing patients for COVID-19 these days.

The Californian has reported that hospital volumes are significantly decreased in recent weeks as elective surgeries have been canceled and many people are staying home for fear of contracting COVID-19, which is in turn causing financial strain for healthcare facilities. Erickson wondered what could happen when the economy reopens and people begin flooding into hospitals that have reduced their staffs.

He said local leaders and colleagues of his here and across the country are reporting increased incidents of child molestation and domestic violence while people are at home, and suicides are also spiking. He also noted a contradiction between allowing people to shop at Costco and Home Depot but not allowing them to go to church.

"If you're going to dance on someone's constitutional rights you better have a good reason, you better have a really good reason, not just a theory," he said. "The data is showing us it's time to lift (the stay-at-home orders) so if we don't lift, what is the reason?"

Noymer of UC Irvine disagreed with the doctors' premise that COVID-19 is as widespread as Erickson and Massihi think, saying the idea that nearly 5 million Californians have had the virus is a gross overestimate. The people tested in California were not a random sample; they were mostly people who were symptomatic, Noymer said. Therefore, extrapolating the positive test rate across the entire population of the state is not an accurate way to arrive at how widespread the virus is. 

And even if 12 percent of the state has had the virus, that still leaves 88 percent vulnerable to it, Noymer said.

"They’re advancing factual inaccuracies and playing off the esoteric nature of the mortality stats to make a case that the economy should be reopened," Noymer said. "I agree it should be reopened, but it should be opened deliberately, bit by bit, and informed by science. Not informed by a misreading of the mortality."

But people will have different ideas on how to balance the economic costs of trying to stem the pandemic.

"Like many other things in society, we’re going to have to come to a consensus about how we allocate resources," Noymer said. 

Corson said she disagreed with any assertion that we should abandon social distancing and stay-at-home orders. The county continues to adhere to Gov. Gavin Newsom's orders in order to mitigate illness and deaths from the virus and the impact it could have on the local healthcare systems, she said. 

"We completely understand how eager everyone is to get back to our lives, but right now protecting our health is our number one priority and this is not the time to let up," Corson said. "I want to strongly reiterate this is the time to stay vigilant and stay at home and practice social distancing."

(113) comments

gr8scott

If I were a pig farmer, I would suggest people eat more bacon. If I had a financial interest in sick people, I would suggest (sick) people to come to my clinic.

Moardeeb

Analysis by Oliver Darcy | CNN Business

At the top of his prime time show Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson hyped a video featuring two California doctors who downplayed the threat of the coronavirus. The doctors, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, are the co-owners of an urgent care clinic in Bakersfield. They went viral in the last few days for delivering a presentation last week in which they suggested the mortality rate of Covid-19 is similar to the flu.

The arguments the doctors put forward have been widely criticized. The American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine said in a joint statement that they “emphatically condemn the recent opinions released” by Erickson and Massihi. And YouTube removed the video for violating its community guidelines, which have been strengthened to prevent coronavirus misinformation from spreading rampantly on the platform.

Stillanon

You people over here putting fauci on a pedestal. Dude is in the pocket of Bill gates, rockefellers and the rest of the globalists trying to inject you with a vaccine that will kill 10s of thousands of people while saving the others 😂😂😂😂

uhdisr

Telling the truth today is a revolutionary act. Not enough doctors and scientists are stepping up because they either 1) fearful of losing their job 2) actually believe all of the COVID-19 garbage 3) sold their soul to the devil by keeping their mouth shut. Here are credible facts that the mainstream does not like to share. https://thehighwire.com/did-america-get-it-wrong/

Wim Laven

Telling the truth should be a normal feature of society. These doctors have been condemned in strong terms. https://www.acep.org/corona/COVID-19/covid-19-articles/acep-aaem-joint-statement-on-physician-misinformation/?fbclid=IwAR2QJ_mugqqGQ14NQ4TImoU_RBbMxHCAwpWQatRCfzWNPMW4oFp1AbmvwjE

Pupster

Even if you don't believe Fauci, then look to the other countries and what they have had to do to mitigate deaths from COVID. Every country has had to lockdown due to spiking deaths. Are you ignoring the death rates in Italy and Spain? The widespread testing in South Korea and Germany? Every country's top public health doctors have the same opinion as Fauci. In fact, it's because of doubters like you, Trump and the Fox News brigade that the US is leading in deaths from this virus.

For every idiot comparing this virus to car accidents (not contagious -- Duh!) or the flu (not deadly enough to overwhelm our hospitals and have bodies pile up), that idiot has been listening to some talking head who don't know anything about medicine. If the flu kills 40,000 in a year, then this virus has killed 60,000 in TWO months. Do the math (if you can) and that's 360,000 annual rate, and that's WITH the lockdown. Without a lockdown, that number would multiply several-fold, which is exactly what the modeling predictions said.

The conclusion: you are too stupid to make public policy, and so are Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the Fox News set. And sadly, so is Trump.

Comment deleted.
rwoodin3

NY state numbers as of 4/26 3:30AM EST are total cases = 276,711, deaths = 21,283 and total tested = 730,656.

So, that is 276,711/730,656*100 = 37.87%. Lets say 38%.

With NYS population of 20,000,000 * 38% = 7,600,000 infected.

But we cant do that. NYS cases and deaths are all highly concentrated in a relatively small area of the state - NYC, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties account for over 15,000 of the 21,283 deaths and over 250,000 of the 276,711 confirmed cases.

Most importantly, the number of deaths is a known quantity, that does not scale, it just is what it is. That fact allows for calculating a more accurate number of deaths per population and number of deaths per number of (scaled) cases. Remember, the official count of confirmed cases is based on the number of tests done and does not translate to the number of actual cases there are.

All that being said, the infection rate in NYS and everywhere is very likely, almost certainly, much higher than the official confirmed cases count. As you said, actual number of infections are somewhere around 7.8 million. Far, far higher than the official confirmed count. But deaths have not changed. They are what they are. So that allows for calculating the actual death rate of the scaled number of cases and of the entire population.

That calculation is number of deaths/actual (scaled) number of cases.

So, 21,283/7,800,000*100 = 0.273% deaths per total cases and ...

21,283/20,000,000 = 0.106% deaths per total population of NYS.

That is why these and other studies are starting to show just what the article stated.

1.) Infections are far more widespread than previously thought. In New York State, actual cases are likely over 28 times as high as reported cases.

2.) Being that the actual infections are so much higher than reported, that requires, by simple arithmetic, that the death rate is far, far lower than previously thought. In New York's case, the actual death rate per actual cases is over 75 times less than previously thought.

This is one study. I have seen one other study, in LA county CA that draws a very similar conclusion. That doesn't mean that CV is not a horrible plight on the world, it is. It just makes it more closely resemble the infection and death rate of the flu. I say the flu, because it is the closest example to COVID-19 that there currently is.

I agree that, with the level of human suffering caused by the economic destruction caused by stay at home regulations, being as much or more of a burden upon society than CV itself, we should reopen all areas of the country - except NYC and it's surroundings, as soon as possible.

sources - https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Los-Angeles-County-antibody-study-coronavirus-rate-15213966.php

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

Comment deleted.
JCherry

You can actually find many many medical professionals that are coming to very similar conclusions, but they are not on the TV, you have to do your own research to the sources to find out the truth.

Comment deleted.
JCherry

If you look here https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page

Youll see their are Confirmed Deaths and Probable Deaths, a large number that are listed as deaths for covid did not test positive, but they still listed as COVID death, again this doesn't even get into the fact of Comorbidity they were discussing, with the confirmed deaths, they could have died from heart disease, but also tested positive for COVID, so its listed as COVID death. This is being done everywhere, piling all probable and confirmed deaths up in one heap, and the confirmed are just confirmed to have COVID not confirmed that they died from COVID. Because of pre-existing conditions etc. etc.

Hanz9999

Man I hope they are right! but a question. Is there good consensus about the sensitivity and specificity of the antibody testing that is used in these Cali urgent cares? (or in California in general)? I was under the impression that we are still in the very early stages. There was a good discussion on the Bret Weinstein podcast about 1 week ago about specificity (number of true positives) and how positive predicitve value (PPV) is still fairly weak when population prevalance of a disease is low. (Everyone remember your MS1 epidimiology?) The Stanford paper was promising, but Im not sure we're even close to knowing population prev here in AZ, Thanks all!

SheldonHelms

Why do the people of Bakersfield INSIST upon being so openly and glaringly wrong about EVERYTHING? Can't you rest on the laurels of being the most illiterate city in America? How about your high teen pregnancy rates, or your opiod addiction?

Now you have to laud two CLEARLY misguided doctors because they speak the same insane rhetoric your illustrious Moron in Chief says? THEY! ARE! WRONG! This virus is extremely deadly, there's no comparing it to the flu, and you need to shelter in place and let the scientists do their jobs!

RubySue

I guess you missed the part where states are having to reduce their number of reported Covid-19 deaths. Kinda sheds a whole new light on this, doesn't it?

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Young Sheldon, where do you live?

Obviously, it's not here, so let me know where I can go for such enlightenment- please!

Maybe it can be found in the charter of the Psi Chi International Honor Society??

Lamonster

Such animosity toward all things Bakersfield. Go ahead and let it out.

JR

Your comments about Bakersfield are partially vindicated in this AlterNet article on these two doctors tortured statistics. https://www.alternet.org/2020/04/a-pair-of-doctors-just-proved-that-medical-training-doesnt-keep-you-from-being-amazingly-ignorant/#.Xqcc-JeAeZI

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@JR Not exactly a down-the-middle news source, but hey, confirmation bias is a hard thing to get rid of...

Frank1414

I'm truly surprised the Californian and the courage to print something that doesn't fit The Narrative. Good for you.

Newba

The fallacy that you can extrapolate to the general population based on a non-random sample is so obvious, it's amazing people aren't calling them out on it. This is statistics 101....selection bias. The people who are tested are those who have symptoms or significant reason to believe they were exposed. There are some studies that based on the number of people who have antibodies to the disease, the death rate may be significantly lower than the death rate calculated from confirmed cases. But what this doctor is proposing, that you can extrapolate the rate of infection from the sample of people tested, is clearly wrong.

Vico17

"So shines a good deed in a weary world."

Finally we have a person who sees it, 100% true. Thank you Newba. I can finally rest.

Giambattista Vico

JCherry

Still the death rates are very low no matter how you look at it, and at least they have some compiled data to work with not guesses or computer models. Lets remember this all started with false elaborate computer models that are now proven 100% wrong.

BetterSA

It is utterly amazing how many negative people are on here making idiotic comments about these doctors.

Until you post your credentials as an accredited epidemiologist, you should probably not comment.

I guarantee they know more about this than you do.

Additionally, since we are not seeing this zombie apocalypse, or the end of days because of this virus, I think I will take their opinion over yours any day.

I doesn't take a genius to crunch these numbers, but it does take someone with some brains to understand that they are not far off.

Nevermind

So, you're saying these two "Doc in the Box' physicians are epidemiologists too? How many deaths do you need? Because by the end of the year there will be 150,000 dead Americans, regardless of any self serving "experts" who lie about Public Health Director statememts. THEY have the epidemiologist.

Alanwelch

10 trillion is a lot to spend on any problem and not that we don't love the 85 year olds in nursing homes but if we threw 10 trillion at automobile technology we might be able to reduce automobile related deaths in the US in half--from the current 38,000 deaths a year.

sal1970

Current fatality rate in the USA for COVID-19 is 5.5% Since studies show that 50% of those with the virus are asymptomatic, the actual fatality rate is 2.75%. Dr. Erickson's rate of .03% is off by a factor of nearly 100. The coronavirus is 25-30 times more deadly than the seasonal flu which has a fatality rate of 0.1% and is more easily spread. His idea of acquiring herd immunity by letting the disease run its course is irresponsible as 1000's will die. In Sweden and Italy , the fatality rate is over 10% because they did not self quarantine. Dr. Erickson may not care about his friends and relatives over 60 but I do.

Independent Voter

Wrong, Sal. The information from Governor Cuomo raises questions about actual infection rates and, consequently, mortality rate. Questioning the credibility of the Stanford study and the USC study is fine, but when similar information from a pair of local doctors, and now directly from Governor Cuomo pops up, it bears further investigation. Some people are outright rejecting any information that contradicts the narrative they wish to follow. I understand that it might be difficult to accept that this lockdown and the actions taken to restrict our freedoms were unnecessary, but perhaps they are.

Thomas Murphy

You're dead wrong (pun intended).

1) Stanford's antibody study shows 50 - 85 times more COVID-19 cases exist in Santa Clara; fatality rate would be 50 - 85 times LESS.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/antibody-surveys-suggesting-vast-undercount-coronavirus-infections-may-be-unreliable

2) USC & LA County Public health antibody study shows nearly 50 times the amount of cases than "official cases"; 50 times LESS deadly.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-20/coronavirus-serology-testing-la-county

Dr. Erikson's data of 6% infection rate of the population is right in-line with the above California studies.

3) New York City shows 21% of the population already has COVID-19 antibodies or 13 times the amount of cases; 13 time LESS deadly.

https://www.livescience.com/covid-antibody-test-results-new-york-test.html

Similar studies in Massachusetts, Germany, Italy and showing the same thing.

IzzMann

Thank you for citing references.

JCherry

Even with your numbers they probably are still correct, because the way they code the deaths as COVID deaths, even though they may die of pneumonia for instance and also tested positive for COVID, they are heaped in the same pile as COVID death. So COVID didn't actually kill them even though they are listed.

Pupster

"...even though they may die of pneumonia" Clearly, you have no idea what COVID is. The pneumonia comes from the virus. Dying from pneumonia comes from what COVID does to the lungs. It's a respiratory disease!!

BakoGuy805

These Doctor’s should be celebrated for putting their reputation on the line to end this isolation! The sheep on here should stay under their rocks and let the rest of us live.

Tony117

I guess these fine doctors would like us to believe that they did all the testing in Kern County for people with symptoms who had insurance and cash for the co-payment, and the County did the rest of the testing, so they have proven where it is, and it's not here. If people who didn't show symptoms were also tested that would be a different story,but that's not evident here. Nobody wanst to go to Urgent Care and be around sick people and these doctors don't make house calls but hey BakoGuy805 you you know everything.

Dog

You ok Tony? The doctors gave numbers, if you want to come up with some crazy idea of what you think the doctors intentions are with the numbers...well I guess... that makes no sense.

RubySue

Amen!

csp

They just flushed their reputation. My guess is that they are motivated by increasing the number of their COVID-19 urgent care patients by a loosening of restrictions.

Dog

Did you actually watch the video csp? No normal person could come up with that guess.

Dog

I agree BakoGuy805.

lc

I have seen dr. Erickson many times when he was at Kaiser. He is the BEST doctor I have ever seen. He saved my life and would trust anything he has to say.

RubySue

My son saw Dr. Massihi for a Valley Fever test. It came back negative. Dr. Massihi called him at home and told him he didn't trust the test. He thought it was a false negative. My son went back in for another test, and it was positive. We were very grateful to Dr. Massihi for being right on top of things.

Dog

Come on lc, the loonies here still never believe you. 😁 I'd not heard of him before watching the vid, and I thought he was outstanding. I'm glad he helped you out.

321Zero

Not that I'm at all comparing Covid-19 to the likeness of the seasonal flu, but since these doctors have I will just say that THERE IS A VACCINE for the seasonal flu. Millions of people are vaccinated each year so that if they come in contact with someone who has the flu, they are much less likely to come down with the flu themselves and if by chance they still get the flu there are medications that have been successful in treating it. Neither a vaccine, nor a treatment exist for Covid-19. THIS is why we are in a stay at home order. It should also be noted that these doctors own five urgent cares in Bakersfield and only one of these is east of the 99. I wonder how many Bakersfield residents hopped on the GET bus and traveled to 212 Coffee Road and got tested? (this is even assuming that said resident has insurance that AUC accepts)

Tony117

Well said. I've been twice in the past year to Accelerated Urgent Care, but I'll be damned I'll never go there again.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

I'm sure you'll be missed... [wink]

Churchillis1

The flu vaccine you take every year is for the last season's flu. Because the flu virus mutates every year, this is why so many people who take the vaccine still come down with the flu. That is why tens of thousands of people die of the flu every year.

Pupster

Not exactly. Yes, the flu mutates and sometimes the vaccine does not cover the strain of the current season. However, it will still make the current strain less severe for the vaccinated. For the most part the tens of thousands who die from the flu did not get vaccinated.

IzzMann

Valid points.

Just to think Heart disease, Cancer,

Accidents (unintentional injuries), Chronic lower respiratory diseases, Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases), Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes, etc. does not move the Gov (Fed, Stae or local) as much as the currently labeled pandemic. I realize none are contagious, but all have more deaths annually as the actual cause and not as cormobidity. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Bewildering how the flu WITH A VACCINE rivals the mortality rate of the Wuhan China Corona CCP virus which DOES NOT HAVE A VACCINE. And yet the flu does not shutdown anything, repurpose medical facilities, or mandate physical separation from anyone. Interesting?

I am concerned that when restrictions are lifted:

• a second wave may surface

• DUIs will spike and the strain that will have law enforcement and emergency services (probability of when bars reopen...)

• the unsustainment of the PPP checks (when will that stop)

• Medical facilities being overwhelmed and strained from the "non-essential cases" seeking rightly overdue treatment/care

• etc

Are these points being considered and address as they "open up" the Nation?

pjsalvatori

Very important differences you point out. No vacine therefore nobody has immunity the new Covid-19 virus. Nearly 50% of adults get the seasonal flu plus another percentage are immune from previous exposures.

Inconvenient Truth

Well, look I’d here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/23/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html

It appears that the Darling of the Left-Wing Trump-Haters, Governor Cuomo himself says their antibody testing in New York reveals that 21% OF NEW YORKERS HAVE HAD COVID-19.

I guess that makes the 6.4% claimed Dr. Erickson and Dr. Massihi look pretty conservative.

It won’t matter though to the whackos who refuse to accept science...

Vico17

Thank you IV. Small sample, yes. Different concentration of people in NY City than Bako, yes--different adjustments and different ranges from place to place needed, yes. But you are right, among the few.

Without a truly random antibody test the rest is useless. For example. You take a Covid-19 test to see if you are infected. It comes back negative. You walk out of the clinic, hospital or doc's office. By the time you get home and talked to 2-3 people on your way, THAT Covid-19 negative test is now meaningless because by the time you get home you may NOW be infected. You would have to take another, and another, and another every other day for status. Take an immunity test better, as soon as available. Many, many more than KC numbers have already been infected and didn't even noticed. Test 10% of 900k for antibodies in KC to truly know. And even then, you still have to extrapolate to the rest of the population.

RubySue

Apples and Oranges. Have you looked at Kern County's stats? Isn't that science too?

carolair

These guys are dangerous. Why would I listen to them instead of actual experts?

Inconvenient Truth

Maybe because they (like Stanford, USC and now NY Democrat Governor Cuomo) are relying on actual scientific testing instead of relying on theoretical computer models.

Veritas

Pandemic modeling is designed to give the best and worst case outcome using the factual stats and information on hand at the time, with other variables factored in. These type of models are designed to help medical providers and government entities prepare for possible outcomes including the absolute worst. The worst, which is highly unlikely to occur, is what the news media and the Chicken Littles want you to focus on, because that’s what draws people in.

RubySue

"These Guys" are medical doctors, and here you are, calling THEM dangerous. But the most absurd part of this is, you fail to see the irony.

Independent Voter

Perhaps Mayor Cuomo would. An antibody study in New York seems to point to a likely .05% mortality rate. This study in New York lends credence to the Stanford and USC studies, and certainly puts the observations of the two doctors profiled in this story back into the realm of reason. But I didn't doubt them. I think they are more right than, for some strange reasons, lefties want to believe. Why? Because it takes the teeth out of the "lockdown is necessary" argument.

pjsalvatori

The NY results were 0.5% without the at home deaths. The at home deaths have been added and the mortality rate is 0.78%.

RubySue

If you have a Massive Heart Attack or Stroke, but have Covid-19, they report your cause of death as Covid-19. Isn't that skewing the statistics toward Covid-19? Why are you OK with that, but unable to accept what these doctors are saying as fact. Since the advent of Anti-Bacterial soaps, Hand Sanitizers and the like, we have bred generations of much sicker children. Does anyone in my age group, (50-65) recall a classmate dying of Cancer? We played in the dirt, built up our immunities. Hands were washed after the bathroom and before meals. We never wiped down shopping cart before use. My good friend and I would go to her parents house to clean the pasture. Afterward, her dad would bring us a beer and peanuts. (this was fewer than 10 years ago) we would drink our beer and eat our peanuts without washing our hands, and here I am alive to tell you about it. THIS is OVERKILL!

THISandTHAT

You are just regurgitating FB memes. These doctors are not specialists, their business has dropped because of the quarantines, and I always try to look at both sides -- the OTHER side of this equation (specialists, statisticians) refute them at almost every turn.

Tony117

Ruby I'm 65 years old. When my son had a friend from high school die from cancer years ago I reminded him that when I was in 9th grade we had a kid Raul I forget his last name who also perished from cancer. Anybody can get it and people with compromised immune systems are at an especially high risk for COVID-19. Wear a mask if you ned to go out in public so that just in case you're a healthy person who has it you don't infect someone who may be worse off in terms of their risk.

Moardeeb

Associated Press poll came out today. 80% of people want to shelter in place for now.

Go ahead, re-open. Nobody's coming. Stop listening to the 20%.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Yeah, and the scariest thing is that 33% of Democrats in the same survey think our current measures "Don't go far enough"...

Very.Scary.Indeed.

csp

These physicians are not epidemiologists or data analysts, so are driving outside their lane of expertise ... and it shows. The initial IHME death estimations were based on no social or business restrictions and have, naturally, been reduced as state lock-downs have been implemented. Even with these severe restrictions we have seen ~50,000 deaths in 4-5 weeks. That is the yearly total for seasonal flu without ANY restrictions. So no ... there is no comparison of this virus with seasonal flu. COVID-19 is much more contagious AND lethal. They need to stick with treating urgent care patients and stop making forecasts and recommendations for which they are neither knowledgeable or trained.

RubySue

Are you a physician? Are you in the medical field? If not, how do you contend to no more about any area of the medical field then they?

THISandTHAT

Perhaps they read information from epidemiologists and data analysts? It's OK to learn, Rube. I mean Ruby.

RubySue

And just what are your qualifications to refute their findings? They are, after all Medical Doctors. What is your medical experience, aside from being an armchair MD.

csp

It's obvious they don't read epidemiological reports like those from the IHME otherwise they wouldn't be stating the exact opposite of these highly regarded analysts.

csp

RubySue .. I am a healthcare data analyst, so am more than qualified to refute their findings or those of osteopaths and emergency room physicians.

Unionpacific

The corona is like the flu and the media has hyped it to look like the plague. At this stage we do not know if 60 thousand died of the Corona or some other underlying reasons such as the flu, heart attacks, strokes, but have been ruled as a death due to Corona because the virus was found in that person when he died.

This pandemic includes media hype, politics and basic greed as a few make profits from the misfortune of many so the data on the number of deaths is skewed. But reasoned minds know that over 98% who catch corona have symptoms similar to the flu and recover. Most who die from this virus have major health problems including obesity, diabetes, severe allergies, to being infirm from old age.

THISandTHAT

Thank you, doctor. Your opinion is duly noted.

Veritas

And the opinion from the peanut gallery is noted as well.

Dog

Bingo! We have a winner! Thanks Unionpacific!

Tony117

This is junk science andI wouldn't trust these doctors to treat my dog. They are citing results from the people they tested at their clinic. They didn't go out and randomly test 5,213 people at random. They are only reporting the results from peopel who have the means to get tested. The California should know better. Newspapers in 1948 predicted that President Truman would lose re-election to Thomas Dewey, but they were wrong. They made phone calls and got their data from predominantly well to do folks who could afford telephone service in '48, they didn't dampl;e everyone eligible to vote.

RubySue

For what reason wouldn't you trust your dog with "these doctors"? Have you had personal experience with them? They say up front they are using data from their own testing. What is wrong with that? It follow the Kern County trend. After all, we have only had 4 deaths from Covid-19. An extremely low number for a County as large as ours.

Tony117

They didn't do a ranom sample. they only tested people who came to their clinic. If they went out and at random tested 6,000 people for FREE and found only 374 positives that would be science. I think these guys sound like a couple of Quacks.

Vico17

More than half of posted Kern County numbers came from these Doctors. You call their work junk science, quacks etc. Yet you don't call the other have the numbers posted by KC junk science? Why? Do you see the flaw of your statements and logic Tony? Please.

RubySue

Even Jesus Christ was denied in his home town.

muciom

It would appear that they've added the number of pending cases into the number of negative cases, distorting the numbers.

To apply the completed tests to the pending tests there would be about 438 more positive cases pending. So there are likely 1121 cases in Kern. Their number of applying the infection rate to the whole population would only work if we had 100% exposure, which we have not. If we were to apply only the completed tests in the same way the doctors have here we would be looking at 109,675 cases in Kern, and 46,733 in Bakersfield. Looking at the daily numbers released from yesterday daily infectivity increased from 12.84% to 15.58%. Overall infectivity only climbed from 12.14% to 12.18%

muciom

These numbers are interesting.

According to this, Accelerated Urgent Care has done 56.68% of total testing done. They have tested about 49.78% of the positive cases. They have tested 98.98% of the negative cases. That puts the infectivity at accelerated at 6.52%.

For all remaining tests in the county however, 7.01% tests were done by other facilities. The infection rates of those other tests was 87.28%. With 50.22% of the positive cases from other tests. The surprising part is only 1.02% of the tests done by other facilities results in a negative reading.

Something doesn't add up.

muciom

That's with 39.05% of tests still pending

Take action Now

I wonder how bad it would be if no “shelter in place” had been in effect. Let’s talk about your numbers , Doc. The 30,000 to 60,000 from the flu is based over a years time and the corona virus is just about 3 mo old and deaths is 42,000. BIG Difference. At this rate corona deaths would top 160,000 annually. I wonder what the numbers would be if NO shelter in place had been put into effect. And people are taking social distancing and face covers more than what any “flu” ever saw.

Quack,quack

Independent Voter

Actually, flu season is early fall through spring. It officially comprises many months. But don't take my word for it. Ask the CDC.

IzzMann

I would be interested in knowing of the 42K deaths how many where diagnosed with CV19 symptoms (not with the actual strand) and thus labeled as cause of death?

I would be interested in knowing of the 42K deaths how many where diagnosed with heart disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes, etc.?

I would be interested in knowing of the 42K deaths how many with cv19 symptoms if those symptoms mirrored those of the flue or pneumonia? And if the symptoms were a like then why not say C.O.D. the flu or pneumonia?

Not being sarcastic, truly. But your post generates honest questions. I am in search to know the breakdown of such numbers which maybe bring some much needed relief. I am in different whether that breakdowns darkens clouds or parts them.

Vico17

Many sources in NYC were asking that same question last week:

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-problem-with-new-york-citys-covid-19-death-rate-estimates/

Some 3700 deaths in NY City alone, as of last week, were listed Covid-19 "probable". 5,120 "probables" in one report I read yesterday. Meaning these deaths were added to Covid-19 but were "NEVER TESTED". The tests were being saved, resourced for the living.

I also read 85% of NYC deaths were 60 years of age and older. 38% 80 years and older. Bottom line it hits the elderly very hard. But you knew that. By all means, and i can't stress this enough, if you are older or have other immune deficiency issue, or other underlying condition such as diabetes, emphysema, cancer treatments going on, STAY in place, ISOLATE. Percentage wise, Comorbidity numbers are much higher. The actual numbers won't be finalized for years.

ISpy

They look much more like business men than (formerly practicing) doctors.

jayinbaker

The facts are clear. The 1918 Spanish flu was so devastating because in 1918 we did not have the scientific knowledge, experience, and technology we have today. Had they practice social distance at that time, the devastation could have been drastically reduced. They didn’t, and the results occurred. Covid19 is a new virus that we still don’t have a proven treatment for or an adequate vaccine for prevention. It is also a proven fact that every body is different and reacts differently to any ailment, weather it be allergies, cold, flu, cancer or whatever. Many people could be infected with covid19 and their body adequately resists it or does little damage. Yet, many people with less immunity will get infected, violently sick, and die. It is those people that we must continue to protect. It is also a proven fact that there are thousands of infected people, who show no symptoms, walking the streets that will infect the more vulnerable who will in turn get violently sick and die. Going out in the streets today without a cure, treatment, of preventive vaccine is like walking through a mine field. Take your chances if you want. But, remember, if you in fact, have a virus and infect a less vulnerable person who gets sick and dies because you are so attached to the almighty “dollar,” their death is your fault and you forever will be responsible in the eyes of God.

SardonicWisdom

Just curious......did they report all 340 to the County Health Department? WHAT, nobody asked that question? Did they backtrack all of those folks and see who they came into contact with? They could make some more money testing...and they bought the tests EVEN before COVID-19 reached our shores...just how reliable are the tests they are giving....those people dying in Italy, Spain, Great Britain, New York, various nursing homes in the US and overwhelming the hospitals are an outlier?? I call BS on these boys, sorry.

yzzacki

Sure, as many say we can open up the economy now and businesses even though we don't have a more rigorous testing protocol and more importantly a contact tracing system in place in order to save the economy and save jobs. But what happens when we do this, and then infections and deaths go back up again significantly, which causes the stay at home orders to be reintroduced again, and shuts down the economy again. See I have followed all of this discussion and here is what I see- we have now come to a point in our society where the all mighty dollar is more important that human life. How totally sad.

Heather Picket

These docs are right on the money. Covid-19 is no more than dangerous than the seasonal flu. The numbers don't lie.

aspidites

Amen. The ridiculous rabble making comments are the entire reason we are in this predicament. Overreaction did not benefit anyone. Now we are in more debt with more people eager to suck on the government teat.

Tony117

With all due respect do you think Dr. Erickson and Dr. Massihi at their private clinic tested Joe the homless guy for free or some unfortunate single mom and her 5 kids who are on welfare for free... or did he test the worried well who have money and insurance? No disrespect here to people who are on welfare or homeless, but if you think the good doctors tested a random sample of people in Bakersfield I happen to own the bridge that crosses the Kern River north of Stockdale Highway and I'm selling it today for $50.

My thoughts

agree 100%

Vico17

Even worse, without even knowing it, Tony ,you are proving the Dr's point. That's why they extrapolate. They know there are homeless Joes and unfortunate single moms already infected out there exposing everyone without knowing.

I mentioned days and days ago the numbers posted by KC are not RONDOM, but I was ignored. Now these two docs (whose numbers were included in those reported in KC) post some numbers and you now say: "BUT THEIR NUMBERS ARE NOT RANDOM". D@mn if you do, d@mn if don't. Sigh.

Victor the Great and Powerful

Perhaps I don't understand the issues. These two local doctors, who run a clinic, disagree with the vast majority of doctors who specialize in infectious diseases and have extensively studied the current pandemic? I'm a "doctor" but I am unqualified to give an opinion about Covid-19. Do these "doctors" have the proper qualifications that I lack, and are they unbiased?

Independent Voter

Finally, someone is telling the truth. Thank you, doctors! Of course, they will be promptly discredited just as those at Stanford and USC that conducted studies that go against the established narrative on COVID-19. I have zero faith in Matt Constantine and Michelle Corson; continue to play your part and be proud you tow the line as people lose their livelihoods, savings and jobs for what appears to be no good reason at all.

pgillet

The theory that the tested people represented the population at large is flawed. The people tested have symptoms, exposure to positive COVID-19 people or are first responders. It is not a randomized sample of the population. This is a concept in an entry level statistics class. Maybe that’s why Ph.D.’s do research and M.D.’s practice medicine? A professional doctorate does not require a dissertation based upon statistical analysis.

JR

Flu has never been this contagious, or deadly when it was. And if most of the country, and other countries as well, didn't quarantine, the death toll would be much much higher and that's one of the few things that has been proven to be true. I hate to think these two doctors are Trump supporters. It would almost be unethical, if they were.

Veritas

You are wrong. The “Spanish Flu” that started in 1918 was far more contagious and deadly. Estimates were that over 500 million people world wide became infected and an estimated 50 million people died. Many were in the 20-40 year old range which made this flu unique, even to this day.

You and others like you need to stop bringing politics into every response you make to someone’s comment that you don’t agree with. It makes you look unintelligent and childish. I won’t even comment on the “unethical” part of your comment because mine will get deleted.

Thomas Murphy

What's the confusion about? They cited publicly available data and literally the same data I'm looking at on your website. They have a simple but compelling argument. It's really sad that there are so many here confused by this.

It's time to reactive the economy. End of discussion. If you're afraid, that's fine. Stay home. However your fears don't outweigh another persons livelihood, ability to provide food and shelter for their family, and constitutional rights.

Independent Voter

What is really "rich" about this, Thomas, are the number of "unqualified" Chicken Littles sheltering in place, judging the research and conclusions of two doctors clearly in a position to assess the situation. Fair enough to question their findings given the established narrative on COVID-19, but rather than becoming personally offended these guys disagree, perhaps the truly unqualified here should start asking QUESTIONS why these findings, and the findings of the Stanford and USC researchers are different. Why is THEIR science more flawed than the science used to get us into this mess to begin with. Note that not all states and/or communities reflect what is happening in New York. Why not? Social distancing all implemented around the same time but with varying effects. There is something else going on here and so many don't wish to discuss it because it goes against the established narrative they, for some ridiculous reason, refuse to explore.

Tony117

I read that they cited the results of the data they collected from the people who walked into their clinic? They did 5,213 tests and 340 wer positive and they say if you extrapolate the numbers for the 900,000 people in Kern county then 58,000 would have it. They didn't test a random sample of all the folks who live in the county.

Bushwikker

Some legitimate questions regardless of political allegiance: is the collateral damage from the shutdown greater than its benefits? It’s increasingly clear nobody has that answer, but to dismiss that as a legitimate question is blindly stubborn.

äänestys sininen 2020

Hydroxychloroquine... tee-hee.... swear to goodness...... rabbithole folks..... for the love of god.....change channels

luvmateo

The numbers don’t add up. 340 (number of positive test results from their clinics) is not 12% of 5,213 (total number of tests given), but 6.5%.

Lilyrose

Luvmateo:

Good point. Ya, the percentage doesn't seem right. .065.

Truth is, it's all about money. Both men are in a business that is locally being affected with low patients due to people staying away from medical facilities.

We need to stop feeling bad if we over react to this covid thing. It's new and different. It's ok to be nervous. I'm glad we acted. Maybe we will become a cleaner society. Because frankly it's been getting pretty dirty.

Sorry docs.

Inconvenient Truth

Sorry guys, you’re too late. The Supervisors have already given $2,000,000.00 to Matt Constantine to open a Field Hospital in October.

Please don’t try to confuse anyone with things like hard facts and testing data.

Let the panic and lock-downs continue...

Tony117

If you want "hard facts" youhave to do random testing of everyone, not the worried well with the money and insurance needed for testing at a private clinic. You learned that in school right?

IzzMann

This will not satisfy the "everyone" clause but, the DOD (Civilians and Military - active, reserve and guard), GOV (Fed, State, Local), and Civil Service can be mandated to take the test.

This would make for a sample base for it covers the spectrum of age, financial position, ethnicity, gender, and health condition.

Moardeeb

They sound like Trump cultists to me. Thanks, but I'll stick to the CDC and other world renowned epidemiologists over these two Tea Party Docs.

Independent Voter

Yes, the CDC that botched testing. As always, Dweeb, you can pick that diamond in the rough...

Gene Pool Chlorinator

"Tea Party Docs"? And you know this how?? I wasn't aware that was an option when going through medical school.

And honestly, don't you ever tire of blaming Trump for EVERY problem in the world?

I know you're still smarting from your boy Bernie rolling over yet again to the corrupt DNC, but don't take it out on the world dude. Roll a nice one and relax...

TJ9

I just decided I'm done with Accelerated Urgent Care forever. The facts presented here in no way support ANY of the conclusions.

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