Lies, Lies, And Damn Statistics

On February 25, in a letter to the editor of a medical journal, 14 doctors working specifically on the task of testing all patients in France who had suspected virus cases maintained that their testing had so far resulted in 0 positive test for SARS-CoV-2. In all, 4,084 tests had been conducted on 32 patients believed to be high risk carriers of SARS-CoV-2 which had turned up a total of 0 positive results. 

The doctors went on to explain that they had also tested 5,080 respiratory viruses of which human coronaviruses were the fourth most common to afflict the 3380 people who tested positive for some sort of respiratory virus (Influenza A, Influenza B and Rhinovirus were ahead). Of those 337 HCoV-strain positive results, 60.8% of cases were infected with HCoV-HKU1, a common human coronavirus that is only usually present at the time of death in those who are very old or who have severely immune deficiencies.

The 205 HCov-HKU1 infected coronavirus cases had so far resulted in 1 fatality, of an 80-year of Chinese man who was in France at the time of death. This one death represented the only mortality that the doctors had by then observed in France out of all patients who had tested positive for any strain of Coronavirus. They noted that this was somewhat lower than the 13 deaths they had observed in the same time period (since Jan 1, 2020) that occurred with respect to those patients who carried other viruses. By far the majority of deaths in fact consisted of patients infected with Influenza A and rhinovirus, noted the doctors.

The doctors’ letter concluded to the editor that “it is surprising to see that all the attention focused on a virus whose mortality ultimately appears to be of the same order of magnitude as that of common coronaviruses or other respiratory viruses such as influenza or respiratory syncytial virus,” given the data observed.

On Friday, Feb 20 2020 at 7:50am, CNN’s Shanshan Wang in Beijing wrote: “Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea and France have each reported one death,” referring to SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19. Wikipedia (which is where Google derives its information from) counts the same number of French deaths and breaks the data down in the following way: on Feb 8, the country had confirmed 11 cases; on Feb 15, the country confirmed its 12th case and registered the first death outside of China. Data from UK newspaper The Guardian listed the same confirmation – that of 1 death out of 12 total cases by February 19.

There has been speculation that the mortality rate of COVID19 as it is observed is not in line with what is reported by Google and other mainstream media outlets. Now we know why – quite simply, they are counting “cases” as the total number of deaths by any virus other than a Coronavirus, while they are counting “deaths” as those mortalities attributable to any form of Coronavirus at all and then dividing the latter by the former.

Actually, all this data shows is, far from how high the mortality rate is of Coronaviruses, but how low it is. Virologist Wolfgang Wodarg, a European virologist, explained in a video recorded in March how by normal standards, around 10%-15% of all flu deaths would be expected to record with them a Coronavirus as well. Notably, in this instance, we can see that 7.7% of all deaths by virus listed a Coronavirus as the virus that was in the host at the time.

However, more critically still, it is possible now to see exactly how the data had been over-representing the mortality rate. The misreading of the data in this case indicated that France had a 7.7% mortality rate as a result of Coronavirus, when in fact the mortality rate was 0.2%. Similar disparities in statistics are being observed now everywhere. Except for the fact that they are being furthermore attributed to SARS-CoV-2 deaths. In this case, the SARS-CoV-2 fatality rate is in fact 0%, since no one in France at the time on February 19 had even tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.


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