Dr. Drew Pinsky Played Down COVID-19, Then Tries To DMCA Away The Evidence

from the copyright-as-censorship dept

Update: The full video is now back up and it's even worse than the original clip we posted. It's unclear if it went back up thanks to YouTube deciding it was fair use, or Pinsky removing the bogus takedown. Either way, watch it here:

Copyright system supporters keep insisting to me that copyright is never used for censorship, and yet over and over again we keep seeing examples that prove that wrong. The latest is Dr. Drew Pinsky, the somewhat infamous doctor and media personality, who has been one of the more vocal people in the media playing down the impact of the coronavirus. In a video that had gone viral on Twitter and YouTube, it showed many, many, many clips of Dr. Drew insisting that COVID-19 was similar to the flu, and that it wouldn't be that bad. Assuming it hasn't been taken down due to a bogus copyright claim, you can hopefully see it below:

As you can see, for well over a month, deep into March when it was blatantly obvious how serious COVID-19 was, he was playing down the threat. Beyond incorrectly comparing it to the flu (saying that it's "way less virulent than the flu" on February 4th -- by which time it was clearly way more virulent than the flu in China), he said the headlines should say "way less serious than influenza," he insisted that the lethality rate was probably around "0.02%" rather than the 2% being reported. On February 7th, he said your probability of "dying from coronavirus -- much higher being hit by an asteroid." He also mocked government officials for telling people to stay home, even at one point in March saying he was "angry" about a "press-induced panic." On March 16th, the same day that the Bay Area in California shut down, he insisted that if you're under 65 you have nothing to worry about, saying "it's just like the flu." This was not in the distant past. At one point, a caller to his show, again on March 16th, said that because it's called COVID-19 that means there were at least 18 others of them, and that's why no one should worry -- and Drew appeared to agree, making it appear he didn't even know that the 19 refers to the year not the number of coronaviruses, and even though there are other coronaviruses out there, this one was way more infectious and deadly, so it doesn't matter.

To give him a tiny bit of credit, on Saturday, Pinsky posted a series of choppy videos on Twitter in which he flat out said that he was wrong and he was sorry for his earlier statements, and said that he regretted his earlier statements. He also claimed that he signed up to help in California and NY if he was needed. But, even that apology seems weak in the face of what else he said in those videos... and, more importantly, his actions. In terms of what he said, he kept saying that he always said to listen to Dr. Fauci and to listen to your public health officials. Amazingly, at one point in his apology video, he insists that he thinks the real reason why New York got hit so bad is because of hallways and trains. Yet, in the video above, at one point he literally mocks NYC Mayor de Blasio for telling people to avoid crowded trains, saying: "de Blasio told them not to ride the trains! So they're not riding the trains! So I am! [guffaw] I mean, it's ridiculous."

Given that, it's a bit difficult to take him seriously when he claims that all along he always said to listen to your public officials, when just a few weeks ago he was mocking them. Indeed, as multiple people have pointed out, the issue here isn't so much that Pinsky was wrong -- in the early days, when there wasn't as much info, lots of people got things wrong about COVID-19 (though Pinsky kept it up way way after most others recognized how serious it was), but that he acted so totally sure about his opinions that this was nothing to worry about. It was the certainty with which he said what he said that was so much of the problem, including deep into it already being a pandemic with local officials warning people to stay home.

But, even worse, just as he was doing the right thing and mostly apologizing... he was trying to hide those earlier clips that made him look so, so, so bad. His organization began sending out DMCA notices. If you went to the original YouTube upload you got this:

That says: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Drew Pinsky Inc." Now, some might argue that it was just some clueless staffer working for Dr. Drew sending off bogus DMCAs, or maybe an automated bot... but nope. Drew himself started tweeting nonsense about copyright law at people. I originally linked to that tweet, but sometime on Sunday, after thousands of people -- including some of the most famous lawyers in the country -- explained to him why it was nonsense, he deleted it. But I kept a screenshot:

That says, amazingly:

Infringing copywrite laws is a crime. Hang onto your retweets. Or erase to be safe.

The wrongness-to-words ratio in that tweet is pretty fucking astounding. First of all, the layup: it's copyright, Drew, not copywrite. Make sure you know the name of the fucking law you're abusing to censor someone before tossing it out there. Second, no, infringing copyright is not a crime. Yes, there is such a thing as criminal copyright infringement, but this ain't it. Someone posting a video of you would be, at best, civil infringement. For it to be criminal, someone would have to be making copies for profit -- like running a bootleg DVD factory or something. Someone posting a 2 minute clip of your nonsense is not that.

Most important, however, this isn't even civil infringement, thanks to fair use. Putting up a 2 minute video showing a dozen or so clips of Drew making an ass of himself is not infringing. It's classic fair use -- especially given the topic at hand.

So it's really difficult to believe that Drew is really owning up to his mistakes when at the same time he says he's sorry, he's actively working to abuse the law to try to silence people from highlighting his previous comments. Also, someone should point him to Lenz v. Universal in which a court said that before sending a takedown, you need to take fair use into consideration. It certainly appears that Drew hasn't the foggiest idea how copyright law works, so it seems unlikely he considered fair use at all.

I certainly understand that he likely regrets his earlier comments. And I appreciate his willingness to admit that he was wrong. But to really take ownership of your previous errors, you shouldn't then be working doubletime to try to delete them from the internet and hide them from view. That's not taking ownership of your mistakes, that's trying to sweep them under the rug.

Filed Under: copyright, copyright as censorship, covid-19, drew pinsky, fair use, takedowns


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 2:35am

    'As the (remaining) videos show I have always taken it serious.'

    Trying to bury his past statements like that makes it pretty clear that the only thing he's sorry about is that he got caught giving terrible advice and making stupid statements.

    If he had truly changed his mind and admitted that he was wrong in the past the best way to prove that is by actions and words going forward. Trying to hide what he said just sends the message that he isn't interested in owning up to his past actions and words and would much rather pretend that none if it actually happened.

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    • identicon
      David, 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:45am

      Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always taken it serio

      Trying to hide what he said just sends the message that he isn't interested in owning up to his past actions and words and would much rather pretend that none if it actually happened.

      Well, that's pure amateur hour. President Trump shows that it's completely unnecessary to hide evidence in order to pretend that none of it actually happened. Hiding evidence is for people who think facts trump their opinions. Losers.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:32am

        Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always taken it s

        People like Dr. Drew can but dream to be as good at gaslighting people, or at least have an equally gullible audience as Trump does...

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:39am

          Re: Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always taken

          What's impressive about Trump is that he can not only state things that are categorically untrue, but also contradict himself completely on the last time he spoke about the same subject, yet still have millions accepting what he just said as fact. It's just a damn shame that his kind always use their talents for evil.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always ta

            Deep Fake News, that is what those videos are. Obviously, because donny would never do any of those things.

            /s

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have alway

              Sadly, you're probably not far off. Anything they agree with is gospel, anything they don't is fake news. It's a damn cult.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            David, 6 Apr 2020 @ 12:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always ta

            It's just a damn shame that his kind always use their talents for evil.

            It would be a waste of their talents to use it for good since good has no use for constantly changing history.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always ta

            "What's impressive about Trump is that he can not only state things that are categorically untrue, but also contradict himself completely on the last time he spoke about the same subject, yet still have millions accepting what he just said as fact."

            In no few cases he contradicts himself blatantly in his speeches. Go look at a few of his campaign speeches in favor of the mexican wall, for instance. He's doing a few 180 degree turns within the span of five minutes.

            I'm going with the hypothesis that all his adherents are cultists who hang to his every word in the belief he's actually on an indefinite call with the holy ghost, as a result of which they think he's speaking in tongues.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:52am

          Re: Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always taken

          "People like Dr. Drew can but dream to be as good at gaslighting people, or at least have an equally gullible audience as Trump does..."

          It's the audience. If P.T. Barnum had marks as gullible as Trump's voter base he would have been able to fool everyone, all the time.

          Consider that the average trump supporter is proud of never taking in facts other than those fitting his narrative of The Great Leader and defends that narrative to the point where everyone else including every actual expert and scientist on the globe must be an outright liar for his narrative to still fit...

          Trump supporters are one small whisker's breadth away from launching their own theory of the Global Conspiracy, joining the flat-earthers and the neo-nazis with their "But ze jews!" in their echo chambers.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 8:41am

          Re: Re: Re: 'As the (remaining) videos show I have always taken

          You kidding? The snake-oil business is strong; people like Dr. Drew and Dr. Oz and Gwyneth Paltrow may not be president, but they're immensely successful bullshit salesmen.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:13am

    You might be a bad person if you're more willing to forgive someone who never apologizes than someone who actually does apologize.

    You might also be a bad person if you condition your forgiveness on whether or not they share they same political leanings as you.

    Then again, this is TechDirt, so I look forward to my inevitable roasting in the comments. That is all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Strawb (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:26am

      Re:

      You might also be a bad person if you condition your forgiveness on whether or not they share they same political leanings as you.

      What are you talking about? Politics didn't even come up in the article.

      Also, why should he be forgiven when he's basically going "I'm sorry for being wrong, but also, remove the video evidence that I was wrong."?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:28am

      Re:

      "You might be a bad person if you're more willing to forgive someone who never apologizes than someone who actually does apologize."

      If you were intellectually honest, you'd notice the criticism is mainly about him trying to hide the evidence of what he was apologising for, not for the apology itself.

      "You might also be a bad person if you condition your forgiveness on whether or not they share they same political leanings as you."

      Good news - the political leanings of this asshole are not any part of the reason he is being criticised, and most people here would be saying the same thing if he was a democrat. In fact, unless I missed something I don't think that the political leaning of the guy was mentioned in the article at all.

      If you find the responses are disproportionate across the political spectrum, did you ever think that the reason might be because a certain group are more likely to be dangerous anti-science con-artists and not a fault on the part of the people criticising such people?

      "Then again, this is TechDirt, so I look forward to my inevitable roasting in the comments. That is all."

      Did you ever consider not spraying bullshit over the thread? That usually helps prevent negative responses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        the political leanings of this asshole are not any part of the reason he is being criticised, and most people here would be saying the same thing if he was a democrat. In fact, unless I missed something I don't think that the political leaning of the guy was mentioned in the article at all.

        The very fact that the anonymous coward to which you are responding automagically assumed that Dr. Drew was a right-wing Republican because he downplayed the harms of COVID-19 says all you need to know about what said anon thinks about conservatives (actually reactionaries) and republicans: that they are synonymous with snake-oil salesmen.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Gotta love those own-goals...

          'Of course you're against him, he's clearly on the right as shown by his repeated attempts to downplay COVID-19! ... wait, which side was I defending again?'

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:28am

      An apology without change is manipulation. Dr. Drew can say “I’m sorry” all he wants. Unless he follows up with an actual change in his behavior, the apology is only an attempt to make you forget the things he said and did.

      I can forgive Dr. Drew for his fuck-ups. But my forgiveness requires that he must now say things to help save, not endanger, the lives of his listeners. In that regard, his political leanings don’t matter.

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      • identicon
        David, 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:18am

        Re:

        I can forgive Dr. Drew for his fuck-ups. But my forgiveness requires that he must now say things to help save, not endanger, the lives of his listeners.

        Wouldn't removing his dangerously wrong utterings from dissemination achieve that?

        In fact, he is so concerned with his listeners' lives that he makes wrong statements under penalty of perjury just to stop their dissemination, at considerable potential legal and personal costs to him.

        Isn't that rather heroic?

        You don't need to answer that.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:36am

          Re: Re:

          "Isn't that rather heroic?"

          No, and in this case might be the opposite. He's clearly in damage limitation mode, not for his listeners but for himself.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:40am

          Wouldn't removing his dangerously wrong utterings from dissemination achieve that?

          No. If anything, all that does is make harder the ability to compare what he said in the past with what he says in the future — to know whether he has truly changed. Beyond that, the use of copyright to memory-hole those statements helps him look less like someone who is trying to change and more like someone who is trying to hide a past embarassment.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:52am

      Re:

      What does forgiveness have to do with this? If you do stupid shit and apologize most people might forgive you. If you do stupid shit, then use law to cover up that stupid shit - irrelevant law, at that - then no surprise, nobody's going to be feeling particularly magnanimous towards you.

      Also that "if you insult me you prove me right and therefore I win" statement at the end is just icing on top of the nothing you had to contribute.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:35am

      Re:

      You might also be a bad person if you condition your forgiveness on whether or not they share they same political leanings as you.

      If people die as a result of him being a fucking moron instead of a doctor, he should be worried about getting sued into fucking oblivion or no longer being trusted to be anything other than a receptionist in a doctor's office, rather than forgiven.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      "You might be a bad person if you're more willing to forgive someone who never apologizes than someone who actually does apologize."

      Last I checked an "apology" does not mean "Pretend you never said or did that, then suppress the clear evidence that you did, getting upset over people who won't forget".

      "You might also be a bad person if you condition your forgiveness on whether or not they share they same political leanings as you."

      You know how we can tell you're an alt-righter eager to pull the victim card and blame people refusing to forget factual reality on "politics", bro?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      You might also be a bad person if you condition your forgiveness on whether or not they share they same political leanings as you.

      I have no fucking clue what Drew's political leanings are, and nothing about his politics was mentioned in this story. Why even bring it up?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:42am

      Re:

      Funny, that you just knew his political leaning is to right, huh?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      "You might be a bad person if you're more willing to forgive someone who never apologizes than someone who actually does apologize."
      But big daddy T don't ever apologize. What side of the fence did you fall down on?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    anon, 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:24am

    its not

    Its not 'way more deadly' its only a few percent more deadly, the problem is that there's currently no vaccine for it. There are currently vaccines for several other strains of the flu.

    On the other hand, with a population of 7.5+ billion, even 1/10th of 1 percent is still more than 7.5 million people so those 'few percent' are in NO WAY insignificant numbers of people.

    What has yet to be conclusively proven is the origin of the virus. Was it the 'wet market' or was it a bio-lab.

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    • icon
      Strawb (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:30am

      Re: its not

      What has yet to be conclusively proven is the origin of the virus. Was it the 'wet market' or was it a bio-lab.

      The bio-lab idea has been disproven(fortunately).
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/03/17/covid-19-coronavirus-did-no t-come-from-a-lab-study-shows-natural-origins/#3aff4a363728

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:39am

        Re: Re: its not

        Call me childish or a bad person, but I couldn't help giggling at the fact that the article was written by Bruce Lee.

        That aside, nice find, thank you!

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      • icon
        raptorcorn (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re: its not

        What even is that article trying to prove? Are people even saying that the virus is bioengineered? All I've heard about the lab theory is that they use horseshoe bats in their research at one of the labs in Wuhan and that one of the workers could have been unknowingly been infected that way and unintentionally spread it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: its not

          Yes, i have heard callers on moron-flavored radio bring up the "bioweapon theory" endlessly. I have no clue how much traction this has with the general public, and generally don't hear people discussing origin much.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 7:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: its not

            "...generally don't hear people discussing origin much."

            Because this is what is known;

            1) Bats carrying covid-19. And precursors of covid-19.
            2) Intermediary X carrying covid-19.
            3) Human carrying Covid-19.

            Covid has been known to infect cats. dogs, bats, pangolins and tigers, making it a fairly wide-range zoonosis.

            With all evidence poiting at covid-19's origin being natural the exact origin is only of academic interest, really.

            My own hypothesis is a Wuhan wet market, a Wuhan closed-ecology chinese small farmhold, or any similar condition where multiple species spend extensive time in close quarters.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 7:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: its not

            "Yes, i have heard callers on moron-flavored radio bring up the "bioweapon theory" endlessly. I have no clue how much traction this has with the general public..."

            "Moron-flavored" is right. Anyone smart and educated enough to engineer a bioweapon either isn't dumb enough to use it or WILL be part of a bona fide doomsday cult. And doomsday cults have in common that "subtle" isn't their strong suit. A cult like that would be bragging to high heaven by now, screaming about judgment and perdition.

            Unfortunately to the conspiracy nuts the inconvenient fact that the hypothetical Hidden Masters would have to be outright suicidal to use uncontrollable bioweapons in their goal of culling mankind/manipulate the market/calling the lizard people...is easily dismissed by the tacit assumption that of course the Hidden Masters themselves are somehow in control of said bioweapon. Which would require for them to have actual magic at their disposal...

            And there are more nutjobs willing to believe that song and dance out there than you'd think. To Alex Jones it may just be another opportunity to sell colloidal silver and snake oil but the ones listening to him actually believe the fairy tale.

            In some way you almost have to accord Jones the respect due a very loudmouthed Barnum. One day he's screaming about the government turning frogs gay, next day he goes to one-up that by turning his customers into smurfs by way of silver-laced toothpaste...

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 11:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: its not

          "Are people even saying that the virus is bioengineered?"

          Sadly, yes. For example Alex Jones has been saying that for a couple of months now (though his story tends to change depending on which snake oil he's selling on that day). He's run the gamut from it being a mutant strain combined with HIV to allow for easy spread, to it being a race-specific virus for the Chinese to kill their own people . Yes, really.

          Disclaimer: I get my Jones news from a safe distance via the Knowledge Fight podcast so there's a chance he's slightly less ridiculous than the clip on the show illustrate (though, not really).

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:33am

      Re: its not

      "Its not 'way more deadly' its only a few percent more deadly, the problem is that there's currently no vaccine for it. There are currently vaccines for several other strains of the flu."

      That "few percent" is a killer. Literally.

      Also, the lack of a vaccine is not the only problem. It's more contagious than the flu, has a much longer incubation period during which time asymptomatic people are still contagious, and its status as a novel coronavirus means that nobody has any natural immunity until they catch it.

      "What has yet to be conclusively proven is the origin of the virus."

      That's irrelevant to the current situation, though I dare say that no matter what the evidence says there will be conspiracy theorists spreading their evidence-free take on the story. The Infowars crowd will be screaming about secret labs no matter what evidence is found, and even if that is discovered to be the actual cause they'll find some way to spin it in order to sell supplements and food crates to the gullible.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: its not

        It's not even just a few percent difference. Seasonal flu has a mortality rate of 0.1%. COVID-19 has a mortality rate of 21% even if you include China's obviously bogus numbers. That is at least 200 times as deadly.

        What we can't really say about it is that it spreads faster than the flu. It's seems very likely due to the long incubation period and the fact that victims are contagious the whole time but there is insufficient data to say which spreads faster.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re: its not

          "COVID-19 has a mortality rate of 21% even if you include China's obviously bogus numbers."

          That's very unlikely, and no serious examination I've seen goes that high. Current estimates seem to be around 1-3% overall. There's several reasons for this, ranging from testing (most people who don't end up in a hospital are not tested for the virus) to deliberate misreporting from some less trustworthy nations. The figures from South Korea - a nation that has been testing widely since early on and is relatively trustworthy with reporting - seems to support the above estimate.

          "What we can't really say about it is that it spreads faster than the flu."

          No, we can say that. The R0 (average number of people infected by a single person) seems to be ranging between 2.5 - 3.5, while the flu is generally more between 1.5 - 2.0 from what I've read. Just apply a little exponential maths work to understand what a major difference that is a few patients down the line.

          The entire point of the current lockdowns is to reduce the R0 as far as possible to avoid the medical system from being overwhelmed before proper testing and treatment is widely available - and it appears to be working in countries that took sensible action early on.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: its not

            That's very unlikely, and no serious examination I've seen goes that high. Current estimates seem to be around 1-3% overall.

            Those estimates are based on total confirmed cases versus deaths. Given that we don't yet know the outcomes of those total known cases it's a pretty disingenuous comparison though I understand those figures being used to avoid panicking the public.

            For calculating the disease's morbidity the only numbers that matter are the resolved cases: How many recovered and how many died. Those numbers put the morbidity rate of COVID-19 at 21% globally. If you accept that China's numbers are garbage along with those from other dictatorial nations then the rate is closer to 40%. This is a seriously scary disease, not at all in the same league as the seasonal flu.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: its not

              "Those estimates are based on total confirmed cases versus deaths. Given that we don't yet know the outcomes of those total known cases it's a pretty disingenuous comparison though I understand those figures being used to avoid panicking the public."

              There's nothing to indicate the disease is anything like the higher figures, though. You also have to remember that the total known infected is way lower than the real number in reality. We won't know the correct figures until there's widespread antibody testing, but it's way more likely that mild cases are being undercounted than a spike in the number of deaths significantly over the current estimates.

              "Those numbers put the morbidity rate of COVID-19 at 21% globally"

              ...and again is missing anyone who hasn't been tested, which in many countries is only people who have died or been admitted to hospital, and in some places even then they've not been testing everyone at hospitals.

              Also, there are way, way more unresolved confirmed cases than resolved ones, over 1 million by a quick glance at the current figures, which is more than 4 times those resolved. With data that incomplete, it's foolish to make firm statements about the disease, but every medical expert I've seen talk on the subject is going way more toward the figures I mentioned than the one you're estimating.

              "This is a seriously scary disease, not at all in the same league as the seasonal flu."

              This is still true with a 2% mortality rate. No need to push around numbers that are extremely unlikely to be true to make that point.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 11:01am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: its not

                I genuinely hope you're right. The current numbers don't bear that out but I do hope you turn out to be correct and I am horribly wrong on this.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:20am

      Re: its not

      its only a few percent more deadly,

      When dealing with single digit, or fractional percentages, a small change in percentage is a large multiplier. Flu typically kill less than 1%, while Covid-19 is killing several percent, making it about 10 to 40 times more deadly, and that is a big jump in fatality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:29am

      Re: its not

      "its only a few percent more deadly"

      Funny how you people get yer panties in twist when it is a few percent taxation - cause that is HUGE BABY!!!!

      How would there be a vaccine for a previously unknown virus? Is this more of that donny snake oil I hear about?

      Do you think a vaccine for one strain of "the flu" works on other strains of "the flu"? If so, how do you rationalize the existence of "currently vaccines for several other strains of the flu"?

      Why does the origin matter? The blame game is juvenile at best.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 8:12am

        Re: Re: its not

        Why does the origin matter? The blame game is juvenile at best.

        If COVID-19's origin was, in fact, a bio-weapons research lab in Wuhan that's pretty significant information. If the origin was natural then it is less significant. In the latter case it could have originated anywhere so where it came from isn't important (the "how" is more important). In the former case we could have serious international relations problems.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:50am

          Re: Re: Re: its not

          "we could have serious international relations problems"

          How many wars is the us presently engaged in?
          You think there is/was no problem(s)?

          I do not think starting another friggin war will solve anything other than low stock valuation. The profit before people strategy has been laid bare for all to see. Some refuse to look.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 11:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: its not

            Going from "serious international relations problems" directly to "war" is quite the jump. There is still such a thing as diplomacy (though it's in short supply in DC).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: its not

          In the former case we could have serious international relations problems.

          If the concern is 'international relations problems' then accusing or even implying that another country deliberately created a pandemic is probably not helping there.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:00am

      Re: its not

      "Its not 'way more deadly' its only a few percent more deadly, the problem is that there's currently no vaccine for it. There are currently vaccines for several other strains of the flu."

      As PaulIT states it, and you yourself noted, those "few percent" alone can push the fatality rate of Covid all the way into worse death rates, pure number-wise, than all of WW2.

      Also, given the contagiousness...it is expected that everyone will eventually get covid. That means compared to the flu we're looking at the pandemic continuing to burn for a long time to come.

      "What has yet to be conclusively proven is the origin of the virus."

      All evidence so far points towards it being a zoonosis which leapt the species barrier between bats, fowl, pork and human. Which, naturally, once again points at the tens of thousands of chinese closed-ecology smallholder farmsteads being ground zero...just as they are for every flu strain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ben (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:13am

      Re: its not

      From the article, it was stated that the good doctor stated the mortality rate as 0.02%, not 2% as in 'the media'. Whilst arithmetically you might be right to state that this is only 'a few percent more deadly', it's also 100 times as deadline. (See what you can achieve with numbers!)
      Let's say just 10% of the world's population encounters Covid-19 (which seems to be an extraordinarily low percentage, but let's just run with it for now). That means 750 million people suffer from the disease.Now let's kill 0.02% of them ... that's 150,000. That's a lot of corpses by any measure.
      Now make it 2% ... suddenly you've killed off 15 MILLION people.
      'a few percent' is an awful lot of dead folks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:26am

      Re: its not

      Its not 'way more deadly' its only a few percent more deadly

      A few percent? You should learn how math works.

      If the percentage goes from 0.1% to 3%, that means it's 2900% more deadly.

      Even if it's 0.1 to 0.5 that's 400% more deadly.

      So, yeah, it's way more deadly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:09am

      Re: its not

      "Its not 'way more deadly' its only a few percent more deadly, the problem is that there's currently no vaccine for it."
      flu: 0.1% fatality rate
      covid-19: 2.0% fatality rate apx.
      that's an order of magnitude times two there sonny jim

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      wereisjessicahyde (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:03pm

      Re: its not

      A few percent more than influenza's 0.1% most definitely is "way more deadly" - at least 10 times "way more deadly" because that's how numbers work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:31am

    Dear Dr. Drew Pinsky,

    Nobody likes people who try to memory-hole their mistakes.

    Sincerely,
    Everyone who wasn’t suckered in by a shitty apology

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:38am

    He is probably just trying to suck up to donny - he wants to be on the daily donny just like that pillow topper porno mustache dude.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 4:48am

    Escaped from Lab - Need apology

    https://tspsmart.com/page-1859642

    ...a scientist who’s been prolifically involved with studying the molecular interaction of coronaviruses and humanity, spending decades and millions of dollars, and having even helped build a hyper-virulent coronavirus from scratch at UNC – just so happens to be working at the only BSL-4 virology lab in China that also just so happens to be at the epicenter of an outbreak involved a coronavirus that’s escaping zoological classification and whose novel spike-protein region shares more in common with a commercial genetic vector than any of its wild relatives...

    .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:04am

      Re: Escaped from Lab - Need apology

      Your shitty blog is not a reputable source...

      "also just so happens"

      ...and unless you have any actual evidence that's not circumstantial that's not evidence of anything.

      But, hey, at least you're spreading rumours that aren't going to get people killed as a result, unlike some muppets in power, so there's that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:42am

      I’ve seen QAnon believers with better evidence of their bullshit than you, and they’re insane.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:21am

      Re: Escaped from Lab - Need apology

      https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

      ...we built a chimeric virus encoding a novel, zoonotic CoV spike protein...

      .

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:05am

      The only thing more dangerous than a handful of facts taken out of context is for those facts to be wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 5:58am

    wow. Nobody
    should need your help now

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:55am

    Conspiracy theory - Vaccine gone rogue?

    http://www.osivax.com/about-us.html

    Osivax

    universal influenza vaccine INFLUENZA - OVX836

    breakthrough approach to induce CD8 T-cell immunity

    http://www.osivax.com/science.html

    A virus-like-particle (VLP) approach

    A positively charged tail facilitating entry in dendritic cells to stimulate CD8 T-cell responses

    https://www.jimmunol.org/content/197/5/1809

    Immediate Dysfunction of Vaccine-Elicited CD8+ T Cells Primed in the Absence of CD4+ T Cells

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.18.20024364v1

    The number of total T cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were dramatically reduced in COVID-19 patients

    .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:08am

      Re: Conspiracy theory - Vaccine gone rogue?

      What has that got to do with corona viruses, as the flu viruses belong to a different family of viruses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 6:16pm

        Re: Re: Conspiracy theory - Vaccine gone rogue?

        Also, not how vaccines work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Apr 2020 @ 8:59pm

        Re: flu viruses belong to a different family of viruses.

        I should point out that viruses do not respect family trees. They are basically frankencritters‡, happily exchanging genetic material with each other, totally promiscuously.

        ‡Insofar as they can be described as “critters” at all.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 3:00am

          Re: Re: flu viruses belong to a different family of viruses.

          "I should point out that viruses do not respect family trees. They are basically frankencritters‡, happily exchanging genetic material with each other, totally promiscuously."

          That's...not exactly true, but you need to get into virology a bit deeper before the explanation becomes understandable.

          Suffice to say that there are good reasons as to why influenza strains haven't picked up the traits of ebola or HIV, and why the common rhinovirus family won't make your pecker burn just because some unfortunate ass got hit with the common cold and a case of herpes in one go.

          So no, the family a given virus is in most definitely impacts the traits it can assimilate and express.

          If you want to talk about frankencritters you need to refer to bacteria - the "anything goes" hippie liberals of the microbial world. Those little shits will cheerfully hand each other rings of random DNA, incorporate whatever junk sequences some passing phage brought along...or all else failing, simply pick random strings of DNA upp straight from the substrate they're sitting in.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:09am

      Re: Conspiracy theory - Vaccine gone rogue?

      So... are you going to explain why the random bullshit you've just linked to means anything, or is your point that a random term was found in each article?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:02am

    Analogy Time

    Dr. Drew Pinsky's way of going about correcting his earlier errors is like one of those police departments who put multiple holes in the walls of a house looking for someone who isn't there, and then telling the home owners a little paint will fix it.

    Also, Dr. Pinsky should check to make sure his malpractice payments are up to date.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:09am

    With that level of lawyering at hand, we can expect to see Pinsky trying to invoking the GDPR in the States to memory hole this article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ben (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:16am

    I do recall that Mike coined a term for idiots like this quite some time ago... bringing even more attention upon oneself when trying to eliminate the evidence of previous idiocy!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dirtyworm (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:52am

    Some "doctor"

    Greed kills.

    Professional ethic "Do no harm."
    The ethic an MD is supposedly bound by, right Drew?

    Fail

    The love of money over human life is the root of all evil.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:35am

    kinda dissapointed

    I put up a copy on youtube yesterday (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQKmtxdkXGQ), few hundred hits, no DMCAs yet (and I was hoping for one)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:36am

    Update: The original YouTube upload is no longer under a copyright claim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:44am

    You do know that CHINA was lying to everyone!!!! Why even now people believe what they have to say? They were downplaying it at the same time back in Jan/Feb Buying tons of Medical supplies.

    Things could have been much different if China was truthful with what is going on. They haven't been. The Number of Deaths is far, far great there, then they have been letting on. When someone dies, and you don't test them and see why, even though it could have been to COVID-19, no test saying they were, natural death!!! It doesn't count. This is Something China has long done. Yet we have idiots here that say there have been more deaths in the U.S. than China? Are you insane??? The population of China alone just makes that Impossible.

    Many of you really need to wake up. Estimated deaths from this in China have ranged around 40,000 or so. Far, Far more than what they have published. When all you get are LIES from the source. You assume they would be telling the truth, or close enough to the truth, you would base what you said to people on that. As more data comes in, which doesn't happen overnight, and you see what China has been telling you doesn't make sense from what you're seeing in other countries, you will have to adjust and change what you are saying.

    China was lying, so was W.H.O. as a matter of fact!!! (World Health Organization).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      You were close, but no cigar.

      Things could have been much different if everyone were truthful with what is going on.

      . ftfy

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      "The population of China alone just makes that Impossible."

      Not if you take into account things like population density and the way the Chinese government dealt with lockdown early on. Meanwhile orange boy was on TV telling everyone it was a hoax while letting people pour into the country from know outbreak areas untested for weeks.

      "Estimated deaths from this in China have ranged around 40,000 or so."

      According to whom? Source, please.

      "China was lying, so was W.H.O. as a matter of fact!!! (World Health Organization)."

      Neither of these excuse the pitiful response from Trump and other "leaders", certainly not when you look at countries that took decisive action - whose cases are now dropping while the US and UK see their exponentially climbing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Here, let me feed your conspiracy-oriented mind:

      <tinfoil>
      Maybe China's numbers are the truth and they're low because they had a vaccine for it all along. The virus was engineered to wipe out everyone else's economy and leave China the dominant player on the planet.
      </tinfoil>

      Go nuts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 2:46pm

      You gonna tell us about QAnon next, champ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 3:08am

      Re:

      "Yet we have idiots here that say there have been more deaths in the U.S. than China? Are you insane???"

      All of that hysterical wordwall to back your assertion that somehow, please god no, the US can't be a total shit-show in how it handles the pandemic?

      No, China has fewer deaths as can be verified by hundreds of on-site non-chinese doctors presenting the statistics.
      The reason is simple. When China says "lockdown" they mean it. In the US people are still free to do whatever the fsck they like - which means that in some places covid sceptics hold parties and make sure to demonstratively snuggle up to as many people as they can, in spite over the "democrat hoax".

      THAT is why China's infection - and subsequent death numbers - is less than that of the US today. They CAN and DO lock their entire citizenry indoors.

      "China was lying..."

      So they were, but in order to call their death toll BS we'd have to say every doctor who went to china as part of the investigation is blindly obeying China. Including no few members of the US CDC.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 12:03pm

    'That's not taking ownership of your mistakes, that's trying to sweep them under the rug'

    it's being a gutless fucking coward, that's what it's being!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 12:48pm

    A doctor that dont know...

    Spit.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_virus_taxa

    Here is the long list of Virus.
    NOW the understanding, is that Virus can Adapt/change to Infect other species.
    Ask this doctor how many Shot it would take to protect a person handling Cattle, sheep, pigs, Chickens, Lizards, Snakes, Fish...and all the rest.
    Then ask him which i=on this list will KILL the creature infected.

    also,
    Virus can affect plants. And coffee, Ask him HOW we Augment Plants WITH DNA..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 11:18am

    Dr. Drew can apologize to the Medical Board of California.

    https://search.dca.ca.gov/details/8002/G/55092/ad642a3c48ba208480dd06e0677f960b

    If you live in Calilfornia and you or a family member contracted coronavirus you can complain here:

    https://www.mbc.ca.gov/Consumers/Complaints/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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