Prominent scientist dares to ask: Has the COVID-19 response gone too far? – by Kelly Crowe (CBC News Health – March 19, 2020)

Leading epidemiologists publish duelling commentaries, igniting debate on social media

It’s a clash of titans — an epic battle between two famous scientists over the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In one corner, influential Stanford University epidemiologist John Ioannidis, who wrote a commentary asking whether taking such drastic action to combat the pandemic without evidence it will work is a “fiasco in the making.”

Across the mat, prominent Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch punched back with a defiant response titled: “We know enough now to act decisively against COVID-19.” Watching from the sidelines? Everybody else. The people who worry the world has gone too far too fast.

“Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact,” Ioannidis wrote. “In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work.”

Ioannidis told CBC News he worries about the consequences of those measures. And those afraid the response hasn’t come fast enough. The debate comes down to questions about data. What is the true fatality rate of COVID-19? How many people are already infected?

For the rest of this article and links to the two commentaries:

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