Aesop at Raconteur Report is an anesthetist currently dealing with covid-19 patients. He has been commenting on the pandemic for weeks now and has become increasingly fed up with people’s ability to believe only what they want to in regards to the virus. In Remember These —Clowns? Aesop once again tackles the ridiculously incompetent viral interview by Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi from California who foolishly estimated a fatality rate of 0.03% for the virus based on their own inability to understand statistics. As previously noted, Aesop has been fed up for a few weeks, so his articles are liberally sprinkled with colorful epithets which may well be offensive to some.
…I asked four doctors at work this week about the (now banned) video; they’d all seen it, and I got three facepalms, and one double facepalm, by way of their thoughts on the content. The latter from someone who went to medical school with them. Emergency medicine is a very small pond, as it turns out.
But it also turns out I wasn’t the only one to see through their bullsh#t in about a minute.
Besides about a hundred YouTube and Twitter takedowns of their ascientific horsesh…er, rose fertilizer, everyone not wowed by their name-imprinted scrub tops has pretty much debunked every bit of malarkey they pimped last week. To the point that even the MSM has taken official notice of what legendary internet idiots they were:
(KQED) Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, co-owners of Accelerated Urgent Care, which offers Bakersfield’s only private walk-in COVID-19 testing site, held a press conference on April 22 to report their conclusions about COVID-19 test results. During the conference, broadcast on YouTube, the doctors said that 12% of Californians tested so far have been infected. Extrapolating that to the general population, they estimated that as many as 5 million Californians have likely contracted the virus. They then used the total number of COVID-19 deaths statewide (roughly 1,200, as of last week) to calculate a death rate of just 0.03% — similar to the average death rate from seasonal flu.
“Millions of cases, small amount of death,” Erickson stressed repeatedly during the press conference, saying fears about the virus were overblown and questioning the need for widespread quarantine measures.
But public health experts were quick to point out the major flaws in the doctors’ methodology – namely that only a tiny percentage of Californians have actually been tested, a group that is more likely to test positive and is not representative of the larger population.
They were also quick to debunk the doctors’ findings as misguided and riddled with statistical errors — and an example of the kind of misleading information they are forced to waste precious time disputing.
The doctors should never have assumed that the patients they tested — who came for walk-in COVID-19 tests or who sought urgent care for symptoms they experienced in the middle of a pandemic — are representative of the general population, said Dr. Carl Bergstrom, a University of Washington biologist who specializes in infectious disease modeling. He likened their extrapolations to “estimating the average height of Americans from the players on an NBA court.” And most credible studies of COVID-19 death rates are far higher than the ones the doctors presented.
“They’ve used methods that are ludicrous to get results that are completely implausible,” Bergstrom said.
In a rare statement late Monday, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine declared they “emphatically condemn the recent opinions released by Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Messihi. These reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19. As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health.”
Those who support continuing to shelter in place described the doctors as self-promoters whose chain of urgent care centers would benefit from reopening. Non-COVID medical visits have plummeted during the pandemic, they note, endangering the practices of many doctors.
“As struggling business owners, their economic frustration is understandable. But it can’t be mistaken for science. People trust doctors,” Michigan emergency room doctor Rob Davidson wrote on Twitter. “When they tell Fox viewers to ignore recommendations from real experts, many will believe them. … The impact of rejecting science-proven recommendations in exchange for these erroneous ideas would overwhelm health systems and cost lives. While re-opening the economy might be good for their Urgent Care Centers (sic), it would kill medical personnel on the actual front lines.”
Word to your mother: ACEP and AAME aren’t political organs, they’re professional organizations, representing not two urgent care doctors, but 31,000 and 37,000 (respectively) board-certified emergency room physicians, and they tend to stay apolitical. So when they tell you you’re full of sh#t, jointly, in public, in front of everyone, and make a special web page to make an example out of you and call you out as poster children for how not to do your job, it’s the equivalent of the Pope telling a priest he’d better re-think his doctrine, as the archbishops start pilling up bundles of kindling, straw, and wood around the priest’s feet.
The inside-baseball word is that these two wingnuts may have their board certifications challenged with BCEM, and have it pulled as a result of being this egregiously and publicly stupid. They’re concerned, based on video views before it was pulled, that the average person can’t tell the difference between these two jackasses, and any other ER doctor.
There are limits, it seems, to how big a jackass ACEP /AAEM will tolerate, and still allow someone to practice as a certified emergency doctor.
Which means business at those two idiots’ urgent care center is about to take an even bigger turn for the worse.
I’ve told you before, half of all doctors (nurses, veterinarians, and everyone else) graduated in the bottom half of their class. There’s no crime per se in that, but it also means their degree or license doesn’t trump everyone with more IQ points than they have, who subsequently points out their shortcomings. With a flamethrower.
But those of you desperate for anything to bolster a weak position probably shouldn’t so quickly latch onto guys willing to set themselves on fire, personally and professionally, just to tout conclusions based on something they mined from deep up their own hindquarters.
It never ends well, for anyone.
But it’s always fun to watch from the third-person perspective.