Combating Misinformation about Rising Infections
August 7, 2020
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There is an interesting phenomenon going on in the United States of America and in many countries of the world. Headlines of various news agencies have captured it aptly but done a poor job at explaining the phenomenon — in part because the sources where the truth is being told have been taken down by the mainstream media (MSM) giants. A July 3, 2020, New York Times Publication, updated on July 22, 2020, read, U.S. Coronavirus Cases Are Rising Sharply, but Deaths Are Still Down.1 Vox reported on July 6, 2020, that Covid-19 cases are rising, but deaths are falling. What’s going on?2
The following are quotes from both the New York Times and Vox respectively:
After a minor late-spring lull, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States is once again on the rise…And yet the virus appears to be killing fewer of the people it infects. In April and May, Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, led to as many as 3,000 deaths per day and claimed the lives of roughly 7 to 8 percent of Americans known to have been infected. The number of daily deaths is now closer to 600, and the death rate is less than 5 percent. — New York Times
There is something confounding about the US’s new coronavirus spikes: Cases are rising, but the country is seeing its lowest death counts since the pandemic first exploded. The numbers are genuinely strange to the naked eye: On July 3, the US reported 56,567 new Covid-19 cases, a record high. On the same day, 589 new deaths were reported, continuing a long and gradual decline. We haven’t seen numbers that low since the end of March. — Vox
Understandably, people want to understand why this pattern is so but the lamestream media has done nothing but stoke fear in people. However, before people start gobbling up everything the mainstream media also known as MSM is serving, let us first take a look at their track
record when it comes to reporting on the coronavirus before giving a sounder explanation of the phenomenon.
MAINSTREAM MEDIA SCORECARD
The media amplified the voices of American immunologist and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci and British Epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson. The decision to lock down countries was based on the models of these men. Ferguson’s model produced by the Imperial College of London predicted one to two million coronavirus deaths in the U.S. and 500,000 in Britain prompting both nations to go into lockdowns in mid-March, throwing both nations into economic turmoil. The forecast by Ferguson and Fauci has been spectacularly incorrect so far. In Neil Ferguson’s case, he resigned from his position on the British government’s advisory panel on the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus pandemic after he was exposed by the UK Telegraph for violating social distancing rules by entertaining his married lover at his home.
Interestingly, forecasts by other scientists who the mainstream media tried to silence, and delegitimize as conspiracy theorists have rather proven true.
Case in point is Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate (received the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing complex models of chemical systems) and Stanford biophysicist, who began analyzing the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide in January and correctly calculated how the virus would act in different countries. “Numbers are still noisy, but there are clear signs of slowed growth,” he said. He correctly predicted that China would get through the worst of its coronavirus outbreak long before many health experts had predicted. He told the China Daily News that the virus’ rate of growth had peaked. He predicted that the total number of confirmed
COVID-19 cases in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths. This forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate: As of March 16, China had counted a total of 80,298 cases and 3,245 deaths — in a nation of nearly 1.4 billion people where roughly 10 million die every year.
He correctly predicted a similar outcome in the United States while many epidemiologists such as Ferguson warned of years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths.3
Isaac Ben-Israel is an Israeli military scientist, general and ex-politician. He currently serves as the chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and the National Council for Research and Development, under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space of Israel. He too correctly predicted when new cases would peak using mathematical models and slammed economic closures. He too was attacked by leading doctors who dismissed his claims but they panned out to be true.
BIG PHARMA AND THE HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE COUP D’ÉTAT
Any realistic observer has seen how the mainstream media with the assistance of certain ‘experts’ have misled the public from day one. The media is leading the charge for a vaccine when multiple doctors have cured thousands using Hydroxychloroquine which has been demonized by the media as being unsafe. Now one would ask, why do those who have cured patients not publish their results in reputable medical journals? The answer is simple. The world is run by cabals and one of the major players is Big Pharma — who sponsor the elections of politicians and own huge media enterprises through offshore companies and determine the fate of nations by manipulating the public conscience or the public mind. Even the journals are manipulated — what gets published and what does not. The article that Anthony Fauci used to shut down the USA and ask for further draconian measures felt worldwide was published in the Lancet Journal. When real doctors fact-checked, it was found to be full of lies using fictitious datasets and thus Lancet had to withdraw it.
Two of the world’s leading medical journals — the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine — published studies based on Surgisphere data. The studies were co-authored by the firm’s chief executive, Sapan Desai. Late on Tuesday, after being approached by the Guardian, the Lancet released an “expression of concern” about its published study. The New England Journal of Medicine has also issued a similar notice. An independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has now been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere because of “concerns that have been raised about the reliability of the database”.
By the time it was withdrawn, serious decisions with dire consequences had been taken by the WHO, US National Institute of Health and others using this fake science research article.
The Lancet study, which supposedly involved 96,000 patients was one of the first to openly discredit HCQ, claiming it was ineffective & “doubled the risk of Covid-19 mortality.” After researchers demanded to see the data & discovered it was possibly fraudulent, it was retracted. Before the Lancet study retraction, the World Health Organization and Dr. Fauci promoted it and used this fraudulent data as a basis to declare HCQ ineffective. This was widely covered by the media. Its retraction, however, was not. — Dr. Simone Gold
The media has been very dishonest about its reportage about Hydroxychloroquine. Why is this so? The answer is Big Pharma needs the vaccines to be widely accepted so they can make hundreds of billions if not more, at the expense of the global population. This drug has cured multitudes and despite the cabal of Big Pharma, honest doctors have compiled many studies. At present, this link alone has 67 studies (40 peer-reviewed).
Below is a link to a reservoir of Hydroxychloroquine research studies, showing how highly effective HCQ is when given EARLY in diagnosis or as a prophylaxis. There is a crime being perpetrated on the people, at stake is huge sums of money and power. God help us. — Twitter user @LukeMor19529310
See Footnote for the link to some of the studies. Below is a graph from the link.
Doctors are now using it as a prophylactic with amazing reports in many countries. Prophylaxis is the prevention of disease. Chloroquine is being used to prevent COVID-19 infection and to control its possible spread.
There is abundant proof that Chloroquine works and there is no need for a vaccine but the media is having none of that.
With this mountain of evidence in favour of the use of this age-old drug to treat COVID-19, why the push back against it? It is simple! Big Pharma and media manipulation! The former uses the latter to achieve its ends — the manufacture of consent and the distortion of reality so certain people can have their pockets lined with money.
THE TRUE FACE OF THE MEDIA
Not many people today understand the mainstream media and its current function in societies.
To explain the role of the media, let us consult the writings of a man who is a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and respected by most academics and the media establishment itself in the person of Avram Noam Chomsky — sometimes called “the father of modern linguistics”, He is a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He holds a joint appointment as Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Laureate Professor at the University of Arizona and is the author of more than 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media.
“He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.”― Noam Chomsky
“I don’t know whether use of language is more or less “sloganistic” when hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year to “control the public mind” or when people parrot rhetoric of organised religion, to select one of many examples. On referring to the spread of AIDS as an “epidemic”, the term “epidemic” is used to suggest that the problem is serious and should be a matter of grave concern”― Noam Chomsky,
Changing the Way We Think about AIDS, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Huw Christie, Continuum, September-October, 1996
“Not only that, but the general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know. One result is a kind of alienation from institutions. People feel that nothing works for them. Sure it doesn’t. They don’t even know what’s going on at that remote and secret level of decision making. That’s a real success in the long term task of depriving formal democratic structures of any substance.”― Noam Chomsky, Excerpted from The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many, 1993
“State propaganda, when supported by the educated classes and when no deviation is permitted from it, can have a big effect. It was a lesson learned by Hitler and many others, and it has been pursued to this day.”― Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
“If the media were honest, they would say, Look, here are the interests we represent and this is the framework within which we look at things. This is our set of beliefs and commitments. That’s what they would say, very much as their critics say. For example, I don’t try to hide my commitments, and the Washington Post and New York Times shouldn’t do it either. However, they must do it, because this mask of balance and objectivity is a crucial part of the propaganda function. In fact, they actually go beyond that. They try to present themselves as adversarial to power, as subversive, digging away at powerful institutions and undermining them. The academic profession plays along with this game.” ―From Lecture titled “Media, Knowledge, and Objectivity,” June 16, 1993
“Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.”―From Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies
In short, the professor has explained how one must not trust the mainstream media to be the upholder of truth. They told everyone Donald Trump was trailing in the polls and had lost an election only for him to win sending those who trusted the mainstream media for their facts into a deep depression. It could not be trusted then and it cannot be trusted now. One must circumvent them and seek the truth themselves.
So back to the theme under investigation. What does it mean when we observe that, Coronavirus Cases Are Rising, but Deaths Are Still Down.
THE SITUATION IS NOT AS DIRE: ALTERNATE CAUSES OF HIGH POSITIVES
The media dishonesty is that they state the rising cases but will not state that:
• In the USA for instance, the increase in testing means there would be an increase in the detection of the infection, leading to high rates but the public is not made aware of what percentage of the rising cases are symptomatic or asymptomatic.
• Many of the cases are padded with comorbidities for instance heart failure, accident victims, diabetes etc. Put differently, victims of other illnesses who also had COVID-19 but did not die from COVID-19 were recorded as COVID-19 deaths.
In the USA, the case definition for COVID-19 death was Persons who died with COVID-19 and Persons who died of COVID-19. Death with COVID-19 means the person tested positive for the virus but a comorbidity was the cause of death and not COVID-19, yet all these were counted as COVID-19 deaths. This is grossly misleading. After much complaining, the CDC has revised this slightly.
What is comorbidity?
In medicine, comorbidity is the presence of one or more additional conditions often co-occurring (that is, concomitant or concurrent with) with a primary condition. Comorbidity describes the effect of all other conditions an individual patient might have other than the primary condition of interest and can be physiological or psychological. In the context of mental health, comorbidity often refers to disorders that are often coexistent with each other, such as depression and anxiety disorders.
Comorbidity can indicate either a condition existing simultaneously, but independently with another condition or a related medical condition. The latter sense of the term causes some overlap with the concept of complications. For example, in longstanding diabetes mellitus, the extent to which coronary artery disease is an independent comorbidity versus a diabetic complication is not easy to measure, because both diseases are quite multivariate and there are likely aspects of both simultaneity and consequence. — Wikipedia
Faulty Test Kits
This was not only the case with the CDC in the USA but this transpired also in the United Kingdom and many countries who ordered their kits from China or other countries.
Ramped Up Testing
The USA is a leader in testing and thus it makes sense that the infection rate would seem to be climbing.
In any case, let us assume that it is not the ramping up of testing that is increasing the supposed incidence, but that there are indeed new infections, why then does the establishment media choose to report the daily number of new infections but omit to add the percentage of cases that are symptomatic and asymptomatic?6
A BETTER NARRATIVE
The rate of infection plateaued worldwide yet recently there are reports of increase or a spike in new cases of the number of infected people globally. The data worldwide shows an increase in cases but the information derived from the data is falsely interpreted by the mainstream media with the possible aim of driving fear into people so they accept vaccines more readily.
First, it is important to note that mortality in COVID-19 cases has dropped substantially.
Types Of Tests and Immunity
Second, the focus should not be on increasing infection rates but rather who is symptomatic or asymptomatic and the mortality, the percentage of people dying of this disease? Let us consider the following:
• Natural Immunity
• Widespread or Mass Testing
Natural immunity occurs when a person comes into contact with an infectious agent but builds an immune response to the disease. The body produces antibodies which are immune response proteins that the body produces to fight against an infectious agent, in this case, the virus. When most of the population builds this natural immunity to an infectious disease, it is termed herd immunity. Herd immunity provides indirect protection to those who are not immune to the disease. The current increase in COVID-19 positives is most probably due to mass testing and better testing equipment. There are two kinds of test kits available. They are:
1. Viral Tests
2. Antibody tests
The Viral Test determines if a person has a current infection, meaning it determines if the coronavirus antigen is present in the body. The Antibody tests determine if the immune response to the coronavirus is present. This means that the antibody test does not detect current infection but identifies people who have previously been infected with the virus. Having an antibody for an antigen is proof of immunity. This means a person came into contact with the virus, their body fought against it and won. Testing positive for an antibody test, therefore, does not mean you have the disease but indicative that you did have contact with the organism.
Testing positive for a viral test i.e. antigen of the virus also does not connote active disease. But the media does not tell the public this. In fact, many people are asymptomatic.
The Asymptomatic Debate
What Does it Mean to be Asymptomatic?
Symptoms are phenomena that arise from and accompany particular diseases or disorders and serve as an indication of them. After a diagnosis has been made, a patient who exhibits or presents some or all of the symptoms that are associated with the disease condition is said to be Symptomatic.
A patient presenting no symptoms of the disease condition is said to be Asymptomatic. Other definitions are quoted below from various dictionaries:
“showing no symptoms or signs of a disease or disorder” — Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition.
“Without symptoms, or producing no symptoms” — Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary
“Neither causing nor exhibiting symptoms of disease” — The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004
“Lacking obvious signs or symptoms of the disease — usually understood to mean despite the presence of a pathologic condition” — Segen’s Medical Dictionary.
It is possible to have the antigen present at a time but show no symptoms of it at that time. This usually occurs in persons with very active immune systems. The immune system suppresses the virus and progressively overcomes it.
As mentioned already, in addition to the technicalities of counting those with immunity as infected cases, there are inherent problems with the test kits like false positives. When positives from both Viral and Antibody tests are counted as new cases, it gives a false picture. When people who have immunity against the disease are counted as positives, it gives a false impression that deviates from reality. More people testing positive but not being sick or being asymptomatic could be a good thing in that it might point to possible herd immunity — but the media is quiet on these facts.
Can Asymptomatic Persons Transmit the Virus?
Now the media and Dr. Fauci would have us believe that asymptomatic people do transmit the virus to others — but they have no substantial proof except models — the same models that threw the world into lockdown and economic collapses that have proven wrong time and again.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said transmission from Asymptomatic Covid19 patients to uninfected people was unlikely:
“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” — Van Kerkhove, a press briefing in Geneva.
Dr Anthony Fauci quickly rebutted:
“What happened the other day is that a member of the WHO was saying that transmission from an asymptomatic person to an infected person was very rare,” Fauci said on “Good Morning America.” “They walked that back because there’s no evidence to indicate that’s the case.”
What Fauci failed to tell us is that there is no real evidence to the contrary either. He continues:
“And in fact, the evidence that we have, given the percentage of people, which is about 25, 45 percent of the totality of infected people, likely are without symptom,” he said. “And we know from epidemiological studies that they can transmit to someone who is uninfected, even when they’re without symptoms.”
“So, to make a statement, to say that’s a rare event, was not correct, and that’s the reason why the WHO walked that back.”
Notice he said ‘likely’. He could not state that his version is a fact or a certainty. He likewise has no proof of the percentages he is quoting. The poor doctor was forced to retract her statement with the following:
“So, estimates of around 40 percent of transmission may be due to asymptomatic (cases), but those are from models,” she said at a follow-up press conference. “So, I didn’t include that in my answer yesterday but wanted to make sure that I made that clear.”7
Asymptomatic means without symptoms. A person is asymptomatic when the person presents with no signs, symptoms or abnormality despite the presence of an underlying disease. A person can be asymptomatic if an infection is subclinical i.e. an infection that is not an active disease. For instance, a person may test positive for malaria but present with no signs or symptoms of malaria.
It is important to note that many people who have been labelled as ‘infected with COVID” due to positive testing are not infected with COVID-19. The inaccuracies in the testing account for the high positives.
People are not showing signs and symptoms because they are negative and are not infected with the virus. The use of the term asymptomatic therefore is inappropriate as there is no underlying disease.
The claim that Asymptomatic persons can transmit the virus to another person is at best half-truth. There however is a phenomenon known as Silent Transmission. For instance, Chickenpox being contagious 24 hours before the first blister occurs but compared to the virulent disease, this form of spread is rare. The doctor at WHO was correct. That notwithstanding, as is to be expected, those on the side of promoting fear will doubtless provide new articles to support their point that asymptomatic people can transfer the virus to others. If the world’s leading journals published questionable data, what else can they not publish? What credibility do they have except that which the public repose in them?
Also, the distinction between truly asymptomatic persons and mildly symptomatic persons is blurry. This is because people without the infection are all classified as positives based on the tests as explained above. Mass testing compounds positives on persons with inbuilt immunity. To combat this, only those who present with symptoms and are suspected to be infected with the virus should be tested using PCR Antigen Tests.
“Van Kerkhove acknowledged that distinction when speaking with TIME after the press briefing, and added that it can be difficult to distinguish between a mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic person. Some people may not associate mild symptoms — like fatigue or muscle aches — with COVID-19, but these individuals would still technically be symptomatic and capable of spreading the virus, Van Kerkhove says”.8
These experts are not speaking with certainty but the media is peddling their guesstimates and models which have failed us before as facts.
“We’re not ruling anything out,” Van Kerkhove says. “We’re not saying that [asymptomatic spread is] not happening. But we’re saying more transmission is happening among symptomatic individuals. People are looking for a binary, and it’s not that”.9
Did I forget to mention the following about the articles published based on faulty data in reputable journals upon which the WHO, Dr. Fauci and others based their advice against chloroquine?
“A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, has provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19 co-authored by its chief executive, but has so far failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.
Data it claims to have legitimately obtained from more than a thousand hospitals worldwide formed the basis of scientific articles that have led to changes in Covid-19 treatment policies in Latin American countries. It was also behind a decision by the WHO and research institutes around the world to halt trials of the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine. On Wednesday, the WHO announced those trials would now resume.
Two of the world’s leading medical journals — the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine — published studies based on Surgisphere data. The studies were co-authored by the firm’s chief executive, Sapan Desai.”10
The articles passed and were published. It was only after the providers of the data were questioned about their methodology that they failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.
Other journals other than the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine have also come under scrutiny for publishing incorrect, misleading and unethical information as research.
An example is as follows:
JAMA is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal published weekly online and in print, and a member of the JAMA Network family of journals.
Who and what can the public trust? Some scientific journals and doctors have compromised their ethics. Some scientists got people on drug trials to take high doses of Chloroquine that murdered them — and then turned around to discredit Chloroquine in publications that it is ineffective. When caught, they lied and tried to cover up.11
“The authors of the recovery clinical trial (Peter Horby and Martin Landray) attempt to cover up a despicable fault in the hydroxychloroquine arm. Several elements are concerning : results that are hiding reality, unforgivable errors in the documents, the author of the appendix of the documents of the Recovery study (British clinical trial) is Dr Hayden known to be historically close to Gilead having taken on several occasions the defence of Remdesivir (drug that has recently been approved by the European Medicines Agency without evidence of therapeutic benefit and very harmful side effects). Hence the Recovery study cannot be considered serious.
We note that there is mounting evidence that hydroxychloroquine is active and tolerable against Covid-19.
Before exposing the intellectual fallacy and the real deadly implications of the results of Recovery which conclude that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective, we seek to expose the reader to the comprehensive analytical work carried out by FranceSoir in search for truth. In particular, we have revealed problems of medical ethics (1)and notorious incompetence (2), and even potentially criminal activities (3, 4), related to the Recovery 22
trial, on which we have published a complete document demonstrating the existence of obvious conflicts of interest (5).
France Soir, with the help of scientists and clinical trial experts, has carried out a rigorous and meticulous analysis of the majority of studies published or submitted for pre-publication on the MedRxiv site of Cornell University. FranceSoir is the only print media to have scientifically dismantled, point by point, the highly questionable prepublications, whose conclusions were biased against hydroxychloroquine or in flagrant contradiction with the data exposed, as for the AP-HP study (6) or Epiphare (7). On the other hand, it is clear from other studies and clinical trials that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), in combination with azithromycin which gives it considerable synergy, appears to be the only tolerable and active treatment against Covid-19 (8,9,10,11) and also suitable for prophylaxis (9).
We also bring to bear that the current pandemic has allowed members of the public, concerned about the health of their loved ones and themselves, to perceive the extent to which misinformation could circulate in the mainstream media. This led is evidence by the fact that only 7% of the French have confidence in what the messages broadcasted by television media about the pandemic (9).”
In this respect, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been systematically denigrated as a target. Why has it been systematically denigrated? It was put in their heads that the randomized controlled clinical trial was the universal panacea of the reasoned medical scientific approach. This is particularly false in this case and in opposition to the medical ethics of the Hippocratic Oath (1),” says a medical research specialist.
However, this certainty, instilled by intense brainwashing by public health authorities and Big Pharma-funded television presenters, is crumbling and vacillating in the face of accumulated evidence (8,9,10,11) in favour of hydroxychloroquine and raises questions about how a molecule such as remesivir could have slipped through the cracks of the European Medicines Agency without toxicity testing.” 12
The mainstream media has not been honest about COVID-19 and neither has segments of the medical establishment in certain countries. The medical models used to forecast what would happen to COVID-19 from both Fauci and other experts like Ferguson failed woefully but life and death decisions have been made using these faulty models. Economies have collapsed, domestic violence has skyrocketed, suicide hotlines in the USA has seen a 600% increase in calls. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Multiple scientific articles used fake data to write lies but on the strength of their conclusions, the WHO, Fauci and others spoke against Hydroxychloroquine. These were trumpeted in the mainstream media but when they were eventually exposed and these articles retracted by Lancet and the New England journal of medicine, it was on the down-low. Anyone who tries to tell any story contrary to the version being propounded by mainstream experts and media is outright censored. Websites have been shut down and doctors who spoke out have been sacked from their hospitals and some branded conspiracy theorists. Dr. Simone Gold of America’s Frontline Doctor is one such example.
Noam Chomsky was right when he said:
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate — Noam Chomsky, (2013). “How the World Works”, p.234, Soft Skull Press
This is certainly the case now. Twitter, Facebook, Google and their YouTube, as well as other media outlets, are censoring free speech and they seem to be getting away with it.
Thankfully there are alternatives springing up like parler.com/ and ceflix.org/. All is not lost. There is much to be hopeful for. Even if a person tests positive, there is hope. It is not a death sentence as segments of mainstream media make it seem.
With respect to vaccines, big pharma interests are undergirding arguments being made in the mainstream media. Do not listen to them. Study and make your own informed choice. We live in what has been described as an information age. If you search, you will find facts and not have to rely on suppositions presented as facts.
Do not put your destiny and trust in the mass media whose allegiance does not rest with the public but its owners, their philosophies and clients. Keep safe by seeking out the facts for yourself. COVID-19 will not destroy the world. We will survive and have already beaten it in some respects. Also understand that a lot of the data being spewed out there is at best guesstimates and not real-life figures.
Let me conclude with a hopeful article from the New York Post:13
Early in the epidemic, public-health experts feared the virus might kill up to 2 percent of those infected, potentially causing millions of deaths in the United States and tens of millions worldwide. Those terrifying estimates prompted the lockdowns that have done incalculable harm to the economy, shattered small businesses and left children traumatized and untold numbers suffering from brutal isolation. But we now know much more about the virus. And we know its lethality is lower than we originally feared — and highly concentrated in the very elderly and people with serious health problems.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in May that the coronavirus kills about 0.26 percent of the people it infects, about 1 in 400 people. New estimates from Sweden suggest that only 1 in 10,000 people under 50 will die from the virus, compared to 1 in 14 of people over 80 and 1 in 6 of those over 90. Estimates for the coronavirus’ lethality have fallen so sharply because calculating the so-called infection fatality rate requires scientists and physicians to know both the total number of deaths and the total number of people infected. Tracking deaths is relatively easy. But tracking infections can be tough. Many people who are infected with respiratory viruses like influenza or the novel coronavirus have only mild symptoms or none. They may never be tested or even know they are infected. Thus, in the early stages of an epidemic, scientists must guess at the number of mild and hidden infections.
Probably the best way to discover the real number is through antibody tests, which measure how many people have already been infected and recovered — even if they never had symptoms. Unlike some other countries, the United States still hasn’t completed a national random antibody study — yet another way in which our public-health establishment has failed to get the data we need to make good decisions about lockdowns. But some counties, states and countries have.
Those studies consistently show that far more people have been infected with and recovered from the coronavirus than suggested by data from tests that only measure current infections. Tests of municipal sewage systems — measuring the virus’ genetic signature in wastewater — have had similar findings.
Nearly all the studies find between 10 and 100 times the number of total infections as reported infections, with the average somewhere around 20 to 25 times.
In other words, while the CDC reports 2.34 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, the actual number of infected and recovered people may be closer to 50 million. (CDC Director Robert Redfield told journalists Thursday that the number of cases may be 10 times higher than the earlier 2.34 million.)
Thus, the death rate, which would be 5.2 percent based on that 2.34 million figure, is actually more like one-20th as high — or 0.26 percent.
To be sure, these estimates still have some uncertainty. The actual figure could be as low as 0.1 percent or as high as 0.4 to 0.5 percent, though treatment advances should mean it will trend lower over time. Even at 0.26 percent, the rate is still significantly higher than influenza most years, more comparable to a bad flu strain like the 1968 Hong Kong flu.
But it is far lower than we initially thought — a fact that should be cause for celebration.
Instead, some media outlets insist on using the out-of-date estimates that are much higher. For example, an ESPN article this week said public discussions about reopening the National Football League were “ignoring a mortality rate that has been estimated at 1.4 percent.” That figure is more than five times the CDC’s best estimate. Even more jarring, it is more than 100 times the actual risk to people in their 20s and 30s — the age range for nearly all NFL players.
Using those overstated estimates is a recipe for panic, bad public policy — and continued lockdowns that may delay to return to normality.
Let’s hope that isn’t the reason people in the media are using them.
The above is one of the few cases where the reportage has been up to scratch. Kudos to the NY Post.
Finally, this writeup does not deny the existence of COVID-19 nor its infectious rate. It simply seeks to clarify some misinformation surrounding the virus. It also seeks to give a ray of hope in a mainstream media landscape where doom is proclaimed with respect to COVID-19 almost every day. Thank you for reading and God bless.
3 https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-turning-point-in-us-will-be-earlier-than-predicted-nobel-laureate-says/?utm_source=facebook_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site buttons&utm_campaign=site buttons&fbclid=IwAR2IRwQIdaNze7atJoRSjd52FISxtP9KunMWEOP2H5ErH-keRRJeHE5KrK4
6 Incidence in epidemiology is a measure of the probability of occurrence of a given medical condition in a population within a specified period of time. Although sometimes loosely expressed simply as the number of new cases during some time period, it is better expressed as a proportion or a rate with a denominator.