A West Texas physician named Richard Bartlett has been making the rounds on social media, claiming that Taiwan, Japan and Iceland have been using inhaled steroids such as budesonide to treat Coronavirus infections, and that it’s the reason Taiwan has only had seven COVID related deaths among its 24 million people.

In this video interview he also claims that social distancing would be impossible in Taiwan, given its population density.

I've found some debunkings here and here but IMO they're far weaker than looking at the list of preventive measures Taiwan has employed since very early January:

By 5 January 2020, the Taiwan CDC began monitoring all individuals who had travelled to Wuhan within fourteen days and exhibited a fever or symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. These people were screened for 26 known pathogens, including SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, and those testing positive were quarantined.[9]

On 20 January, the government deemed the risk posed by the outbreak sufficient to activate the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

  • 1
    Theory: having a "Central Epidemic Command Center" is more effective than "insert random drug here" at containing fallout effects of a pandemic.
    – bishop
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 17:00
  • Are you solely interested in whether these countries used inhaled steroids or also in the effect the steroids had on the Coronavirus? I expect the latter to be inconclusive at this time.
    – jwodder
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 18:40
  • 2
    @bishop Especially one that activated on 20 January!
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 2:07
  • @jwodder: Whether they used the drugs. If they did use them, it's been a few months, aso we should see the effects, and we should see some public acknowledgment of their role. Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 19:00


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