Coronavirus Is Similar to the Flu and Quarantine Should End

Coronavirus Is Similar to the Flu and Quarantine Should End

by Tim Hains
April 26, 2020

Bakersfield, California ABC affiliate 23ABC reports — Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, co-owners of a chain of Accelerated Urgent Care facilities, say that after conducting more than 5,000 coronavirus tests they have come to the conclusion that COVID-19 is no more dangerous than a normal seasonal flu and quarantines are not making any difference in preventing its spread.

Erickson said at a press conference last week that businesses should begin to re-open and people should begin to go back to work.

He said coronavirus and the seasonal flu are “similar in their prevalence and death rates,” and “now that we have the facts, it’s time to get back to work.”

“Do we need to still shelter in place? Our answer is emphatically no,” he said. “Do we need businesses to be shut down? Emphatically no. Do we need to test them and get them back to work? Absolutely.”

Watch: controversial press conference held by two Bakersfield doctors that was pulled down by YouTube

On April 24th, two Bakersfield doctors, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, held a press conference questioning the California’s stay-at-home order.

Erickson and Massihi said their facilities have tested over 5,200 patients for the coronavirus throughout the county, making up for over half of all testing in Kern. According to their data, the death rate of the coronavirus is similar in prevalence to the flu.

“Now that we have the facts,” said Dr. Erickson. “It’s time to get back to work.”

Erickson said he believes businesses could reopen and as testing continues, people could starting going back to work. In fact, Erickson suggests that staying at home too long could be even worse for people’s health.

Then on April 27th 23ABC received an email from YouTube giving the station notification the video had been taken down, citing YouTube’s “community guidelines.” 23ABC has appealed the ruling through YouTube.

23ABC News also reached out to YouTube regarding the notification and a company spokesperson issued a statement saying the video was pulled because the content contradicted the guidance of the local health authority.

“We quickly remove flagged content that violate our Community Guidelines, including content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of local healthy authority recommended guidance on social distancing that may lead others to act against that guidance,” said the statement. “However, content that provides sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic (EDSA) context is allowed — for example, news coverage of this interview with additional context. From the very beginning of the pandemic, we’ve had clear policies against COVID-19 misinformation and are committed to continue providing timely and helpful information at this critical time.”

The video went viral, reaching over 5.46 million views, and sparked debate over recommendations to lift the shelter-in-place order. Even catching the attention of of SPaceX CEO Elon Musk.

You can still watch the entire press conference below.