Coronavirus: Doctor claims 9.8 million people dying could be ‘worthwhile payoff’ if schools are reopened

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Fox News
Fox News

Dr Mehmet Oz had called reopening schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak a very “appetising opportunity,” accepting there would be a two to three per-cent increase in deaths as a result.

“I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing that the opening of schools may only cost us two to three per-cent, in terms of total mortality,” Dr Oz said in an interview on Fox News.

The doctor did not make it explicitly clear whether he thought the increased rates of mortality would apply directly to school children or the entire general population.

Three per-cent mortality of all schoolchildren in America would mean the deaths of approximately 1.7 million children, based on calculations from the government statistics of the number of children attending elementary, middle, and high schools in America

The approximate mortality of three per-cent of the total population, not specific to schoolchildren, would mean the deaths of around 9.9 million Americans, based on statistics from the United States Census Buerau.

Dr oz said the loss of two to three per-cent of life in the process of reopening schools might be considered a “worthwhile payoff.”

“I tell you, schools are a very appetizing opportunity,” he said.

Talking to host Sean Hannity about how the US could go about restarting its economy, Dr Oz said the country should begin by re-opening things that would not get the nation “into a lot of trouble.”

“We need our mojo back,” the doctor said. “Let’s start with things that are really critical to the nation where we think we might be able to open without getting into a lot of trouble.”

He went on to say that “any life is a life lost, but to get every child back into a school where they’re safely being educated, being fed and making the most out of their lives, with a theoretical risk on the backside, that might be a tradeoff some folks would consider.”

A paper published in The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, stated: “Recent modelling studies of Covid-19 predict that school closures alone would prevent only two to four per-cent of deaths, much less than other social distancing interventions.”

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