Saturday, November 28, 2020

Death causes are misattributed to COVID-19

I posted some CDC COVID-19 data, and argued there are hardly any excess deaths. A Johns Hopkins newsletter makes a similar point, archived here. The article has been retracted because it was being "used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic." It said:
When Briand looked at the 2020 data during that seasonal period, COVID-19-related deaths exceeded deaths from heart diseases. This was highly unusual since heart disease has always prevailed as the leading cause of deaths. However, when taking a closer look at the death numbers, she noted something strange. As Briand compared the number of deaths per cause during that period in 2020 to 2018, she noticed that instead of the expected drastic increase across all causes, there was a significant decrease in deaths due to heart disease. Even more surprising, as seen in the graph below, this sudden decline in deaths is observed for all other causes.

This trend is completely contrary to the pattern observed in all previous years. Interestingly, as depicted in the table below, the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19. This suggests, according to Briand, that the COVID-19 death toll is misleading. Briand believes that deaths due to heart diseases, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia may instead be recategorized as being due to COVID-19.

I don't want to support dangerous inaccuracies, so I link to the Johns Hopkins rebuttal, just as I linked to the CDC rebuttal before.

So read both, and you will see that there is no disagreement about the underlying data. 262k+ deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, but the CDC only gets to that number by drastically reducing the number of other deaths.

To accept those numbers, you have to believe that we have had a sudden decrease in heart disease deaths that magically matches an increase in COVID-19 deaths. And you have to believe that flu, influenza, and related diseases have magically disappeared from the population.

You might think that no one gets the flu anymore because everyone is wearing masks. If that were true, that would be a gigantic public health breakthru. Health officials would be bragging about it. They don't. They don't say anything about the flu.

What they do say is that COVID-19 has killed 262k+ people, almost entirely old people with multiple other comorbidities. This artfully conceals the fact that most of them are dying of heart disease or some other disease of the elderly, and the deaths are being labeled COVID-19. They don't want to say it that way, because of a belief that the truth would undermine public policies for masks, social distancing, lockdowns, and electing Joe Biden.

It is probably that the lockdowns have done more harm than good. See this list of scientific papers documenting the lockdown harms.

If you think that I am wrong here, then tell me how this pandemic is any different from a bad flu season? The virus spreads like the flu. It causes symptoms like the flu. It responds to medicines like the flu. It has replaced the seasonal flu, just as each year's flu strain replaces the previous one. And the death totals, if you include all causes to as to be more objective, are barely any different from a bad flu outbreak.

You might say, "But there are differences. Flu peaks in wintertime. COVID-19 is more contagious." These are minor difference. This disease should have been called the Wuhan flu.

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