‘Told You So’ Says Israeli Profesor Who Predicted Pandemic Would Play Itself Out in 70 Days Regardless of Measures

Dude nailed it

Dude is not a medical expert but a mathematician (a much less nebulous science) who said at the time the numbers were clear and you didn’t even need particularly complicated mathematics to see it

Editor’s note: Guy has a point. The virus is on the way out in places that remain in lockdown. But it continues to decline just as much in places that are easing and have come out of the lockdown. As well as in places that never went into lockdown. Everywhere it is behaving the same — in exactly the manner of other widespread coronaviruses which are A) sharply seasonal, B) come on the tail end of the flu season and C) enter into a sharp decline after infecting 20% of the population at the very most.

An Israeli professor who made waves in early April for insisting that the coronavirus will play itself out after 70 days regardless of intervention levels says that he has been proved right, and that claims the virus will return in force for a second wave are just speculation.

“It’s very amusing that people talk about a second wave,” Isaac Ben-Israel, a prominent mathematician, chairman of Israel’s Space Agency, and a former general, told The Times of Israel. “How do they know there will be a second wave? And how do they know that it will come in the winter?”

However, a public health expert disputed Ben-Israel’s claims and said he “has no clue about epidemiology and public health.” [A “public health expert” who got demolished by a mathematician.]

Ben-Israel said that since he crunched figures on the pandemic some six weeks ago and publicized his theory that COVID-19 peaks after about 40 days and declines to almost zero after 70 days, he has been vindicated — and concluded that the “hysteria” he sees around him is “as contagious as biological diseases.”

What is more, he is now arguing that surprise over the radically different mortality rates among infected people in different countries is misplaced, and is putting forward a counterintuitive claim.

“There is a natural assumption that fewer infections means fewer deaths but it’s not correct,” he said, arguing: “There is no explainable relationship between the number of people infected and the number of people who die. The ratio between deaths and infections differs sometimes by a factor of 100 or more between different countries.”

He asserted that mortality rates are unfathomable by any understood logic.

In a study published in Hebrew on April 8 and in English on April 16, Ben-Israel, head of the Security Studies program at Tel Aviv University and chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, claimed that the duration of a country’s COVID-19 outbreak is set and won’t vary based on what actions it takes.

On April 19 he wrote of Israel: “It turns out that the peak of the virus’s spread has been behind us for about two weeks now, and will probably fade within two more weeks.”

On May 2, just under two weeks later, the number of newly infected people per day dropped to under 100 for the first time since late March, and has remained below that figure.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proclaimed that Israel’s coronavirus stats reflect a “major success,” but Ben-Israel disagrees, claiming that they just reflect the virus running its natural course.

He said: “This isn’t because Israel did anything special; the same thing happened in Taiwan where they had no lockdown.”

Many medical professionals have raised their eyebrows over Ben-Israel’s claims. The public health expert Nadav Davidovitch, asked to comment for this article, said he agrees with Ben-Israel’s sentiment that “hysteria” must be avoided but added: “He is an excellent scientist, yet he has no clue about epidemiology and public health.”

Ben-Israel doesn’t have a medical background, but claimed that simple mathematics can yield an understanding of the virus’s pattern. He argued that this pattern proves that lockdowns are “unnecessary no matter what,” and have been a needless disruption to life and a waste of money.

Ben-Israel has supported social distancing and hygiene measures but said that they only have a limited impact on infection rates. He argued that this is now shown to be true because he can’t draw a clear correlation between a country’s hygiene level and a significant change in the pattern of infection rates.

To prepare his theory early last month, he examined figures from countries that experienced coronavirus early, and concluded that it follows the same 40-day-to-peak and 70-day-to-resolution pattern no matter where it strikes, and no matter what measures governments impose to try to thwart it.

Ben-Israel told The Times of Israel it is now clear that “it follows the pattern everywhere.” He added: “I don’t have an explanation for this data but I think it’s very clear. It’s a universal pattern.”

But Davidovitch, director of the School of Public Health at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, said that Ben-Israel is mistaken, and referred to Sweden, a country famous for shunning a mandatory lockdown, and commented: “He’s not correct. In Sweden there is still an outbreak.”

Ben-Israel didn’t specify a particular start date that he uses for his calculations, and said that initially, with regard to Israel, he counted from the first case. For other countries, however, he began counting when cases were “significant,” though he didn’t offer a clear quantification of what this means. He said it is reasonable to begin counting when a country passes 100 cases to assess his theory.

Sweden reached 100 cases on March 6, and 40 days later, on April 15, there were 482 new daily cases. This wasn’t the peak, and the level of new cases there rose and fell. The peak was 812 new cases on April 24, but on several days between April 8 and May 7 new daily cases exceeded 700, punctuated by several days with fewer than 350 new cases. On May 15, the 70-day mark, it still had 625 new daily cases. [Daily test positives are irrelevant, and a stupid and useless argument. They are largely a function of testing capacity and by now the majority positives are in institutions. The only thing that matters are deaths, and those are a fraction of what they were at the peak. That even goes for Britain, and doubly so for Sweden which is back to non-excess mortality levels.]

By contrast, other countries appeared to closely follow Ben-Israel’s pattern. Belgium, which was hit hard by the virus, passed 100 cases on March 6. Day 40 was April 15, and was the peak in terms of daily new cases, with 2,454. Day 70 was May 3, when new cases were down to 1,389.

Israel peaked in terms of new cases on April 2. Ben-Israel said that initially, he treated the first case as day one in his calculations. This would mean that the peak came after 41 days. But if counting begins when the country saw 100 cases, just 21 days had elapsed by April 2.

Ben-Israel said that his preferred statistics are more technical and claimed they would show that his theory holds, even in the case of Sweden, but declined to share them.

Davidovitch said that even if Ben-Israel had been correct, it wouldn’t justify any critique of state policy, which was never aimed at speeding up the end of the outbreak, but rather about avoiding a sharp curve and limiting the number of cases. “Nobody thought that the lockdown measures were being taken to get rid of the virus,” he said. “They were about reducing infection rates and not overwhelming healthcare. If he thinks these measures were to get rid of the virus he’s mistaken.” [In that case they were also unjustified as healthcare wasn’t overwhelmed in Sweden or any other non-lockdown place.]

Regarding Ben-Israel’s claim that there is no explainable relationship between the number of people infected and the number of people who die, Davidovitch said this is “very simplistic” and that some aspects of the correlation are understood while others aren’t. “Nobody said it’s only about infection rates,” he said.

Davidovitch said that contrary to Ben-Israel’s claim, there is sound logic to the idea of a second wave, “as it happened in the past [with other viruses] and we’re very far from herd immunity.”

He added: “I’m not a prophet and I’ll be happy if there’s no second wave, but it’s not right to disregard this possibility.”

Source: The Times of Israel

  1. pogohere says

    Just because Ben-Israel is right doesn’t mean he’s right.

    The public health expert Nadav Davidovitch is right: the fact that Ben-Israel has no clue about epidemiology and public health means that being right is irrelevant compared to the experts who have had every thing wrong. Being wrong entitles the experts to be deemed right. Look how France treats
    Didier Raoult:

    The world’s leading expert in communicable diseases is Didier Raoult. He is French, looks like the choice of a Gaul from Asterix or a ZZ top who would have put his guitar on the side of the road. He heads the Institut hospitalier universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée-Infection in Marseille , with more than 800 employees. This institution has the most terrifying collection of bacteria and “killer” viruses in the world and is one of the best centers of competence in infectiology and microbiology in the world. Professor Raoult is also ranked among the top ten French researchers by the journal Nature, both for the number of its publications (more than two thousand) and for the number of citations by other researchers. Since the start of the millennium, he has followed the various viral epidemics that have struck people and established close scientific contacts with his best Chinese colleagues. Among his achievements, he discovered treatments (notably with chloroquine…) which are now found in all infectious disease textbooks in the world.

    On February 26, he published a resounding video on an online channel (including the word “tube”) to affirm: “Coronavirus, end of game! ”

    The reason for his enthusiasm? The publication of a Chinese clinical trial on the prescription of chloroquine, showing the suppression of viral carriage in a few days in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Studies have already shown the effectiveness of this molecule against the virus in the laboratory ( in vitro ). The Chinese study confirmed this effectiveness in a group of affected patients ( in vivo ). Following this study, the prescription of chloroquine was incorporated into the recommendations for the treatment of coronavirus in China and Korea, the two countries which have succeeded in controlling the epidemic…
    . . .
    So what ?!

    Why talk to you about this? Well because Professor Raoult and his teams are the best specialists in the world today in the use of chloroquine. In particular, he had the brilliant idea of ​​trying it against intracellular bacteria (which penetrate cells like viruses), in particular Ricksettia. The Marseille IHU therefore has unparalleled clinical and pharmacological experience in the use of this molecule.

    Chloroquine has also demonstrated potent therapeutic efficacy against most coronaviruses , including the dreaded memory loss SARS . Raoult therefore found in the Chinese clinical trial confirmation that chloroquine was also indicated against Covid-19.

    However, he was welcomed like a hair on the soup, his colleagues denigrating his proposal from the start. Le Monde newspapers even went so far as to qualify his communication as “fake news”, an accusation taken up on the website of the Ministry of Health for a few hours before being withdrawn.

    France has since banned the use of hydroxychloroquine outside clinical studies.

    Brilliant. Must be the experts again.

    1. pogohere says

      And BTW:


      Version 1 du 27 Mai 2020
      Early diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients: a real-life cohort study of 3,737 patients, Marseille, France


      In our institute in Marseille, France, we proposed early and massive screening for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Hospitalization and early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (HCQ-AZ) was proposed for the positive cases.


      We retrospectively report the clinical management of 3,737 patients, including 3,054 (81.7%) treated with HCQ-AZ for at least three days and 683 (18.3%) patients treated with other methods (“others”). Outcomes were death, transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU), ≥ 10 days of hospitalization and viral shedding.

      By testing 101,522 samples by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from 65,993 individuals, we diagnosed 6,836 patients (10.4%), including 3,737 included in our cohort. The mean age was 45 (sd 17) years, 45% were male, and the fatality rate was 0.9%. We performed 2,065 low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans highlighting lung lesions in 581 of the 933 (62%) patients with minimal clinical symptoms (NEWS score = 0). A discrepancy between spontaneous dyspnoea, hypoxemia and lung lesions was observed. Clinical factors (age, comorbidities, NEWS-2 score), biological factors (lymphopenia; eosinopenia; decrease in blood zinc; and increase in D-dimers, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatinine phosphokinase (CPK), and c-reactive protein (CRP)) and moderate and severe lesions detected in low-dose CT scans were associated with poor clinical outcome. Treatment with HCQ-AZ was associated with a decreased risk of transfer to the ICU or death (HR 0.19 0.12-0.29), decreased risk of hospitalization ≥10 days (odds ratios 95% CI 0.37 0.26-0.51) and shorter duration of viral shedding (time to negative PCR: HR 1.27 1.16-1.39). QTc prolongation (>60 ms) was observed in 25 patients (0.67%) leading to the cessation of treatment in 3 cases. No cases of torsade de pointe or sudden death were observed.

      Early diagnosis, early isolation and early treatment with at least 3 days of HCQ-AZ result in a significantly better clinical outcome and contagiosity in patients with COVID-19 than other treatments. Long-term follow-up to screen for fibrosis will be the next challenge in the management of COVID-19.

  2. XRGRSF says

    I ran the numbers this morning, and the U$, even with whats laughingly described as the best medical care in the world, has 30% of the world’s CV-19 cases, and 28% of the world’s CV-19 deaths. Since the U$ only has about 6% of the world’s population either the U$ is very unhealthy or someone is cooking the books.

  3. Undecider says

    I didn’t use math. I looked at the tilting of the Earth. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, we’re moving in to summer time. “The cold” tends to disappear. I don’t think COVID-19 can hold its breath that long to last until the next winter.

    1. Canosin says

      I watched into the tealeaves….they were telling me its all a huge pile of bovine manure they were selling to us……

  4. Aurum Cimex says

    A professor that knows how to use maths unlike Ferguson and Fauci.

    1. Canosin says

      the two village idiots in charge of our lifestyle…….give them power and you can see the scary outcome…
      they won`t stop at nothing in justifying their absurd decisions….if necessary they will release a new infectious virus or bacteria upon us….

  5. voza0db says

    I bet today a Glass of Fine Spring Unleaded Fresh Water that THEY are going to label the next INFLUENZA SEASON as the “SECOND WAVE of nonexistent COVID”!

    1. Canosin says

      correct…….I hold …and increase with two toilet paper rolls…….plus a sweeper…..it will be a consistent excuse for the next 25 years to come…corona is the new flu …..social conditioning is full steam ahead…..

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.