- About Health
By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is back to making false comparisons between COVID-19 and the flu, contradicting science and even himself.
TRUMP: “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!!!” — tweet Tuesday.
THE FACTS: First, he’s overstating the U.S. death toll from the seasonal flu. The flu has killed 12,000 to 61,000 Americans annually since 2010, not 100,000, a benchmark rarely reached in U.S. history.
Second, health officials widely agree that the coronavirus seems to be at least several times more lethal than seasonal flu. At one point, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told Congress it
Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of COVID-19 is its startling range of severity: from completely asymptomatic to deadly. Starting early in the pandemic, researchers identified factors that put people at risk of a serious case of the disease, such as advanced age, having certain chronic diseases and being male. But these demographic trends do not get at the biological mechanisms that actually cause a life-threatening infection. Nor do they explain why some young, fit, healthy people become mortally ill from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Two related papers published in Science onSeptember 24 begin to address these mysteries. They may also partially account for men’s greater vulnerability to the virus and point the way to possible treatments and protective measures. Both studies highlight the critical role of a class of immune system proteins called interferons, so named because they interfere with the replication of viruses.
The new papers were produced by the
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