“Drosten-study of infectious children grossly incorrect” – so the huge Headline denounced on the front page of the “Bild”newspaper. What’s behind it and how durable is this statement? Professor Dr. Christian Drosten commented on the harsh criticism.
Several articles in the “image”newspaper of 22. Calendar week 2020 aims to discredit a not-yet-published study by the Team of the Charité-virologist Professor Dr. Christian Drosten. The study of the Charité suggests that children could be during an infection with the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 the same virus load carry as adults and, therefore, similar to infectious. The “image”newspaper considers these results to be flawed, and starts a public “attack” against Drosten.
Now, the renowned virologist defends itself in the context of the NDR-Podcasts “Coronovirus-Update”. But what throws the “image” of the study at all? According to the tabloid sheet, the study had to be withdrawn because they contained errors. The well-known English statistician David mirror holder has written a treatise on the Drosten study, in which he exercises the purely scientific criticism that the data summary, which was delivered in a preliminary version of the study, are coarse.
“The data are even partially aware of a bit of rough left, because we know that the hare is not buried in the statistics, but in the data itself,” countered Drosten. The “image”-newspaper contacted the well-respected statistician, and elicited from him a couple of statements to the study. This cracking image from the connection and another huge blow was a line from it: “We recommend that the errors and the study to withdraw,” headlines the paper.
As the mirror noted that it is a targeted effort to tear apart the study in the Public, distanced himself on Twitter of the presentation. “His criticism was a purely academic criticism, as this is just the way it is, he meant it well – he has written to us super nice E-Mails him, that he was sorry for how it went,” says Drosten.
But “image” did not let up. Employees of the newspaper was contacted by a cooperation partner of Drosten from Italy, Belgium, Holland and England. Then the journalists confronted the researchers with a newspaper report of a Belgian newspaper, in the state that it was in one of the EU Commission, in the Drosten there would be a confrontation to this study.
According to Drosten, this is completely misleading. Because the is no EU-Commission, but the so-called “Steering Committee”, which acts as the steering Committee of a European research network. The Committee serves as a platform for scientists and researchers who have made an application for research funding in the EU and money for a project. In the Committee observations, the studies and research to be exchanged.
During a video conference, there was a discussion on the assessment of the infectivity of children. “There was no confrontation, but an academic discussion about how to use here in this Situation now statistics, because we all have the same Problem. We don’t have to scrape with incredible time pressure data together that actually does have the texture and the quality that you would start in order to make statistical analyses,“ says Drosten.
“Image” seems to have interpreted some of these quotes very freely. “Any Statements that are in the newspaper now, because so from: Christian, what are you doing, is premature or something, or your statistics are influenced by the policy, occurred in this way, never in this video conference,” emphasizes Drosten. All of us in this Board are Top scientists from various European countries and all advise each of the policies of their countries. “We all know that what we do has an effect on the policy,” says Drosten.
Drosten stresses that all researchers have the same uncertainties, and all comment on the opposite of the policy so that it is basically too early for definitive statements. “The way I’ve done it always,” says Drosten. This is not a nice story for a newspaper that wants to write something dramatic.
The coordinator of the research consortium, Herman Goossens back even called officially to the “image” of his statements and wrote “I’ll get back to my statements, I support your Research, not more”.
“A newspaper is not allowed to use,” says Drosten, and refers to the press code. The “image” printed it anyway. “I’m sorry, this is probably wrong,” wrote Goossens to Drosten then.
“I think it is also clear that the statistics have made as as we in our study really rude, and even a little bit according to the Motto: a Fine looking, and not worth it anyway in these data,” says Drosten. However, such statistical has been made in addition to discussion to the main point. “But you can not say absolutely not, due to statistical criticism of our data is that the study is wrong,” says the Coronavirus expert. In this study it was also completely without statistics alone.
In the meantime, the Team is a reconditioned pre-release version of the study on the website of the Charité online. “I have been annoyed this week, me almost only with the image-Newspapers around. It has cost me a lot of time and delays the science, is now very significantly,“ says Drosten upset.
“We will, however, make a progress in the Public that everyone can understand why I say that our data, when you look at them again, carefully structured and accurate, showing even without statistical analysis, that the early symptomatic children were tested in household contact studies that are just their viral loads quite as high as that of the adults in the same Situation,” says the virologist. (vb)
Also read: Corona-pandemic: What role do children play?