Dr. Nicole Saphier, a board certified physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and author of Make America Healthy Again: How Bad Behavior and Big Government Caused a Trillion-Dollar Crisis, predicted a leveling off and subsequent decline of coronavirus infection rates within one or two months, offering her analysis on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
Marlow asked about possible U.S. coordination with China to address the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“Coronavirus vaccines have already been in research for decades,” replied Saphier. “There’s heightened awareness, right now. … But the truth is, by this time next year, this will again be a thing of the past, similar to what SARS was, is my guess. So to put a bunch of time and resources and effort to finding a vaccine for this one strain of a virus — although it sounds heroic, and that’s what we want everyone to be doing, right now — but the truth is, we need to contain the virus. The virus will die out, and then we’ll be onto the next virus, next year.
“You have to see a drastic incline of cases, because people are exposing during that [incubation period] where they are asymptomatic, “Saphier added. “Now that we have some awareness, I think we will peak and they will start leveling off and then you’ll see a decline. I think it’s still going to go up, because again, the asymptomatic [phase] of a couple of weeks. We’re still in that window, but I do think we’re going to start seeing it level off within the next month or two.”
“The risk to the general public — essentially who has not traveled to China recently — is very low,” Saphier explained. “This person-to-person spread that was declared in the United States was the husband of a woman who just came back from Wuhan and had coronavirus, so that this spread was between two very close contacts. It’s not as though she went to a grocery store and now the check-out clerk has coronavirus.”
The novel coronavirus has a mortality rate of less than two percent, according to the United Kingdom’s chief medical officer, Prof. Chris Whitty.
“Americans, please do not be overly concerned about the coronavirus, right now,” said Saphier. “I want to remind everyone that about one in ten Americans will get the flu, and about 35,000 Americans die every year from the flu.”
Saphier added, “The same thing I would say [about] the flu: good hand hygiene, avoid sick contacts, and at this time you can’t travel to China so you’re not going to travel to China.”
“If you you’ve been to China or in contact with people who’ve recently traveled to China, get tested,” advised Saphier.
“[Chinese authorities] were not very forthcoming with information when it came to SARS, which is why that became such a bigger outbreak than it needed to be,” Saphier said. “The communist-run government was trying to hide a lot of the information and keep it hidden from the world. Luckily, they’re not doing that with the coronavirus, right now. They are choosing what goes into their media, as they do, but it does seem that they’re being more forthcoming with information, and now that the World Health Organization has declared an emergency, they are going to have to be even more forthcoming in the future to make sure that it does get under control.”
“The way [China] handled SARS was very inappropriate, [but] they are handling coronavirus,” Saphier added. “The fact that the first reported case was December 31st, and they’ve already sequenced the virus in less than a month, that is infinitely better than what happened with SARS.”
“[Chinese authorities] want to maintain a positive light in public opinion,” Saphier continued. “Their government-run media concerns me in the sense that they are posting pictures of nurses helping patients, but the Chinese healthcare system is in shambles. They are low on doctors, there is over-utilization of emergency rooms, [and] there’s violence against healthcare workers. They’re putting out this picture of harmony, but the truth is I know that the healthcare system there is terrible and they are lacking stuff for contact precautions.”
“This virus is in droplets, so when you sneeze [or] cough, that’s how it can get contracted. They need gloves, they need masks, and they didn’t have a lot of that,” remarked Saphier.
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