Carl Heneghan, a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, says governments have failed in accurately communicating the actual threat posed by coronavirus, leading people to become “overly frightened” due to misplaced fear.
Heneghan was responsible for the UK government significantly lowering its official COVID-19 death toll after he revealed that health authorities were counting coronavirus deaths even if someone had subsequently died of other causes.
Urging people to “get on with your lives!” Heneghan said that exaggerated fears over the pandemic had led to “people going about their daily lives misunderstanding and overestimating their risk.”
“We reset how we calculate the death rates. We now need to reset how we communicate the risks of the virus,” said Heneghan.
“I am concerned people have become overly frightened and throughout this pandemic, the fear instilled in people has been a real problem,” he added.
“Many people misunderstand and overestimate their risk of Covid. This uncertainty is leaving them highly anxious and affecting schools, offices and how we go about our daily lives. The government needs to intervene to explain to people their true risks,” concluded Heneghan.
As we previously highlighted, a survey last month found that across the western world, populations drastically overestimated the number of people who had been killed by coronavirus.
In the UK, respondents thought that an average of 7 per cent of the population, around 5 million people, had died from coronavirus, 100 times the actual figure which is 41,429.