Xihong Lin: COVID-19 Lessons Learned So Far

On April 17, professor Xihong Lin testified at the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee, before 8-9 UK parliament members and chair Dr. Greg Clark, about lessons learned so far in the fight against COVID-19. After this evidence session, the Committee wrote a letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on their findings, and just released the letter to the public last week.

The letter describes the committee’s key findings and expands on 10 thoughtful recommendations to aid in the response to COVID-19. Several of the take home messages mentioned in Dr. Lin’s testimony were included and quoted in the committee’s recommendations, such as setting testing priorities, test-trace-isolation strategy, detection of asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic subjects, addressing the issue of health disparity, and importance of evidence based research and policy development using data. See Dr. Lin’s full list of key points in her original testimony here.

In addition to her testimony for the UK Parliament, Dr. Lin also presented research at a webinar last week on “Learning from the COVID-19 Data in Wuhan, US and Europe” hosted by the Committee of the Presidents of Statistical Societies and the National Institute of Statistical Science. The presentation has results from her recent Wuhan study published in JAMA, some US and Europe results, data from the HowWeFeel app, and 10 take home messages. One key takeaway from the HowWeFeel US data, showed that participants with infected household members have a much higher risk of having a positive test compared to those without infected household members (48% vs 8%). This shows the household transmission rate is high in the US and that the test-trace-isolation intervention first launched by MA– which more and more states and countries having started initiating– is very important.