Covid-19 Public Health Policy Implications Commentary and Analysis

Below is the extracted article published on the 6th of October 2020 by the highly respected Stanford Professor John Ioannidis –  Global Perspective of Covid-19 Epidemiology for a Full-Cycle Pandemic. The argument he presents is one that public health policy needs to be far more sophisticated in its approach to Covid-19.

The blanket lockdown of whole communities, he argues, ignores the very stratified risks that communities run. Extremely low risk in the working age population against higher risk for those above 70. He notes that the data is most probably bad and questions what he sees as a lack of constant distinction between deaths from Covid-19 and deaths with Covid-19.

He estimates that the extent of infection is of the order of 10% in populations and most are either asymptomatic or mild. The corollary is that as testing ramps up the apparent number of cases also ramps up. A totally misleading interpretation of the data.

He foresees that there may be an extended period when the virus is active, but that with more nuanced and focussed public health policy the proportion of total deaths would be reduced to a small number. He also points to the extensive collateral damage to public health that has occurred as a result of the clumsy implementation of policy. The treatment may have been worse than the disease!

The data released by governments and health authorities does not really point to the nature of the disease so this analysis of the data by an eminent medical and public health professional is a valuable contribution. Could it be that massive and unnecessary damage has been done to economies?


John P. A. Ioannidis is a Greek-American physician-scientist, writer and Stanford University professor who has made contributions to evidence-based medicineepidemiology, and clinical research. Ioannidis studies scientific research itself, meta-research primarily in clinical medicine and the social sciences.