'So, it was a hoax?': Reporters say COVID-19 is statistically like the flu, already been vaccinated

Visualization of the COVID-19 virus (Photo: Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash)

On Monday before President Donald Trump's coronavirus briefing, Fox News reporter John Roberts walked into the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room to talk to other reporters about a new study that was released, also on Monday, that showed that COVID-19 was statistically like the flu.

"Everybody here has been vaccinated anyway," said one reporter, while Roberts was about to begin to explain the study. As of right now, there is no official coronavirus vaccine available to the general public.

The study, done by USC and L.A. County Department of Public Health, shows that the 7,994 cases in Los Angeles County is actually much higher than what's being reported, which brings the fatality rate of the virus much lower -- lining it up, statistically, with the flu.

From the study done by USC and L.A. County Department of Public Health:

The results are from the first round of an ongoing study by USC researchers and county health officials. They will be conducting antibody testing over time on a series of representative samples of adults to determine the scope and spread of the pandemic across the county.
Based on the results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for the statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus — which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have been infected. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county at the time of the study in early April. The number of COVID-related deaths in the county has now surpassed 600.
“We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,” said lead investigator Neeraj Sood, professor of public policy at the USC Price School for Public Policy and senior fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. “The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.”

"It puts it right into line with the flu," said Roberts.

"Yeah, exactly, yeah, that's what it is," said another reporter.

"So, it was a hoax?," questioned another media member.