Will You Share These Numbers?


Science-Based Medicine

Jonathan Howard on February 13, 2022

Doctor who value evidence should be willing to share basic facts.

I’ve previously proposed that COVID-19 is more dangerous than the flu for children. Yet many smart doctors disagree. They believe that “For the unvaccinated child, COVID presents a health risk to children that is on par with the flu,” and that “While children do get infected, their risk for COVID death is minuscule, lower than their already low risk of dying from the flu.”

Though we don’t see eye to eye on this topic, I am certain we all agree that doctors who communicate with the general public about COVID-19 have an obligation to to share essential, accurate facts with their readers. Here are two such facts.

  1. According to the CDC, since the pandemic started, 6 children have died of the flu.
  2. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 21 children died of COVID-19 last week.

Whether in articles or on social media, I expect pro-vaccine doctors who opine about the relative severity of COVID-19 and the flu will have no reservations about simply sharing these two basic numbers, presented without any editorializing. To provide a bit more detail, I expect some people may want to note the AAP’s COVID-19 death tally, which does not collect data from every state, jumped from 807 to 828 last week.

Regardless of our opinions, doctors who value evidence and nuance should be willing to share basic facts about the two viruses since the start of the pandemic.


Dr. Jonathan Howard is a neurologist and psychiatrist based in New York City who has been interested in vaccines since long before COVID-19.