“I think [that] given the profile of this virus, it’s likely it would have been far more deadly than the Spanish flu” if the coronavirus had originated in 1918 with the medical capacities of that time, Gottlieb said in an interview on National Review‘s The Editors podcast.

“I think it’s reasonable to surmise that anyone who gets admitted to a prolonged I.C.U. stay with COVID-19 who ends up getting intubated, [or] ends up getting prolonged critical care–that’s probably someone who would have died from the Spanish flu,” Gottlieb continued. “And if you do accept that assumption…if you say, some large proportion of people who are surviving COVID-19…would have died from Spanish flu, then COVID-19 not only looks like Spanish flu in terms of its distribution across the age range, but looks far more fearsome.”