Dr. Katz updates Scott County health board


Scott County medical director Dr. Louis Katz urged clearer, more concise public communication on COVID 19 in the county.

In remarks to the county health board March 19, Katz decried the avalanche of unspecific, jargony information from health officials at all levels. He said the repetitive information drowned out more important, actionable steps.

“We’ll see no more of that ‘Do risk assessment in your organization’ baloney,’’ he told the board.

He said early emphasis on contagion rates confused more Iowans than it helped. While struggling to explain the science, authorities missed opportunities to emphasize urgency of immediate precautions.

Katz said misinformation on “social media scares me worse than the virus.” A column wrongly attributed to him spread on social media, including through accounts of county elected officials.

“We still have people who believe this is an impeachment conspiracy,” he said after the meeting.

Katz commended the county’s public schools for a quick, coordinated shut down.

“We have to applaud schools for biting the bullet. I think it will turn out to have been very smart,” Katz said.

He said initial positive tests in the county, “are the tip of the iceberg. We don’t know how big the iceberg might get.

“The worst case models are coming up with 18 months. That’s assuming there are no efforts for mitigation, which isn’t the case here. I’m pretty comfortable it will be shorter than 18 months. I don’t think it will be eight, nine or 19 months. But I’m not sure,” Katz said.