The Science and Politics of COVID-19

One of the most important lessons of the past nine months is that epidemiological models are predicated on assumptions and that statistical data can be manipulated to conform to a variety of desired outcomes.  They are therefore an alluring target for political exploitation.

It was therefore noteworthy when a November 22 study published by Johns Hopkins University was subsequently deleted by the university because an official stated that it "was being used to support false and dangerous inaccuracies about the impact of the pandemic."

The study, titled "A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19," was conducted by Dr. Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the applied economics master's degree program at the university.  Her analysis made the astonishing conclusion that "in contrast to most people's assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming.  In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States."

Dr. Briand compiled a graph from data on the CDC website representing percentages of total deaths per age category from early February to early September, which includes the period from before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. to after infection rates soared.

Remarkably, the deaths of older people were unchanged prior to and after the advent of COVID-19.  Because COVID-19 primarily impacts the elderly, experts anticipated an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups.  But the CDC data didn't support this presumption.  In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same.

As Dr. Briand noted, "[t]he reason we have a higher number of reported COVID-19 deaths among older individuals than younger individuals is simply because every day in the U.S. older individuals die in higher numbers than younger individuals."  She subsequently determined that the range of deaths among the older population was within the range of past years.

If COVID-19 has actually had no statistically meaningful impact on U.S. mortality rates, why are the mainstream reporting bordering on hysterical?  Let's dig deeper.

It's a premise of disease progression that we will experience an increase in the total number of deaths by all causes, primarily due to heart disease, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia.  As Dr. Briand notes, "This is true every year.  Every year in the U.S. when we observe the seasonal ups and downs, we have an increase of deaths due to all causes."

But her analysis led to yet another revelation when she examined the 2020 data during the same period, because COVID-19-related deaths exceeded deaths from heart diseases. This was peculiar because heart disease is generally the leading cause of death. She finally discovered the truth:  when she compared the frequency of deaths per cause during that period, she learned that as opposed to the predicted increase across all causes, there was a statistically significant decrease in deaths attributed to heart disease.

The most revealing finding is that "[t]his trend is completely contrary to the pattern observed in all previous years" and, most suspicious, "the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19."

We should generally be skeptical when we see an overwhelming consensus among scientists, be it in the politically jaded world of climate change or, indeed, COVID-19.  The unavoidable conclusion is that the statistics are fundamentally misleading and that for what appears to be political reasons, deaths from other diseases are being categorized as COVID-19 deaths.

All of this makes the comments by top pathologist Dr. Roger Hodkinson even more profound, as he said the COVID "crisis" is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public"; it's "politics playing medicine, and that's a very dangerous game."

This is no tinfoil hat conspiracy alarmist.  Dr. Hodkinson received his general medical degrees from Cambridge University in the U.K., where he was a scholar at Corpus Christi College.  Moreover, he is a Royal College–certified general pathologist (FRCPC) and also a fellow of the College of American Pathologists (FCAP).

With respect to the second wave that has, if you will, overtaken the media and politicians, Dr. Mike Yeadon, former chief scientific officer and V.P., and allergy and respiratory research head with Pfizer Global R&D, argues that false positive results from inherently unreliable COVID tests are being used to manufacture a "second wave" based on "new cases."

In a September paper titled "How Likely is a Second Wave?," Dr. Yeadon and two colleagues warned that half of tests for COVID-19 are false positives.  In an interview, he was asked:  "We are basing a government policy, an economic policy, a civil liberties policy ... on what may well be, completely erroneous data on this coronavirus?"  He succinctly replied, "Yes."

Risk analysis is integral to dealing with this matter.  An article in Reason magazine in May titled "The CDC's New 'Best Estimate' Implies a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate Below 0.3%" would lead us to believe that the vast majority of us are far more likely to die in a car accident than from this virus.  In that regard, it has much more in common with influenza than it does with SARS-CoV-1, which in the 2003 outbreak killed 9 percent of those infected below age 60 and nearly 50 percent of those above that age.

That COVID-19 has been malignly politicized, with unprecedented abridgements of our constitutional rights and devastating consequences to middle- and lower-income earners and small-business–owners, is perhaps the greatest travesty of justice.