Stanford University epidemiologist calls out media for panicking the public over COVID-19

Epidemiologist and professor of medicine John Ionnadis relies on data to challenge misconceptions about the novel coronavirus. STANFORD UNIVERSITY
(Warning: this article is longer than what you usually see on a media website.)

John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine, epidemiology, and population health at Stanford University, says he’s “perfectly happy” to be under virtual lockdown in California due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And he readily acknowledges the importance of sensitizing the public to following instructions to shelter in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In addition, Ioannidis recognizes that a large number of people may die from COVID-19.

But in a video posted on YouTube, the codirector of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford said he worries that media outlets are “falling into a trap of sensationalism”.

And he suggested that this is making the situation worse for people.

“We don’t want to get them into panic,” Ioannidis said. “This doesn’t really help.”

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