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"Don’t Think You Need a Coronavirus Test? What if I Paid You?"

The New York Times interviewed Dr. Marc Suchard, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, on the need to sample a wide population, even those who don’t have symptoms, to be able to make valid judgments about how far the pandemic has spread. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

In March, Andrew Atkeson, an economics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, tried to assess the mortality rate from the new coronavirus based on what is known about its spread.

Does it kill 1 percent of those infected, roughly the case fatality rate on the Diamond Princess cruise ship? Or might it be closer to 0.1 percent, the mortality rate in the United States from the common flu?

If two-thirds of the population becomes infected, as would be needed to achieve what is known as “herd immunity,” the difference between those mortality rates would amount to two million deaths nationwide.