‘There is still too much unknown about this virus…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A World Health Organization official said Monday that the asymptomatic transmission of the Wuhan virus is “very rare,” and governments should focus their efforts on quarantining people with active illnesses, CNBC reported.
The unscientific conspiracy theory of widespread asymptomatic transmission served as the justification for the mandatory house arrest of healthy citizens.
“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging disease and zoonosis unit.
“We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing,” she said. “They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”
After Van Kerkhove said asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus is very rare and the media’s narrative began to collapse, she was forced to recant her position, the Washington Post reported.
She called the entire episode “a misunderstanding” and assured the public that healthy people still pose a biological threat to other healthy people.
“I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that,” she said, without offering any rebuttal of the data. “We do know that some people who are asymptomatic, or some people who do not have symptoms, can transmit the virus.”
Mike Ryan, head of emergency programs for WHO, likewise did not dispute the evidence that shows asymptomatic transmission is “very rare,” but he informed the public that healthy people must continue to socially isolate themselves and wear masks.
“There is still too much unknown about this virus and still too much unknown about its transmission dynamics,” Ryan said, adding that the WHO did not “say there is a new or different policy.”
Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, lamented the WHO’s flip-flopping, which has been a trend throughout the coronavirus panic.
“It’s a mess. I don’t know why they would say asymptomatic transmission is very rare when the truth is we simply don’t know how frequent it is,” he said.