The Pandemic that Wasn’t
William de Berg [Original at JamesFetzer.org]
Many have argued since its inception that COVID-19 was not the pandemic that governments and medical establishments and the media have led us to believe. The COVID-19 outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in early March—still the best controlled COVID-19 data—was the first telling sign: over 3000 passengers tested, 712 found COVID virus positive, 13 died. The case-fatality rate of 1.8% was higher than for influenza but lower than for SARS or MERS. But, limited medical treatments were available during the ship outbreak and the median age of passengers was in the mid-60’s, so that the age-adjusted risk of COVID for the general population would be less than 0.05%–in the normal flu range. Then, in October Genevieve Briand of Johns Hopkins published research (since retracted without cause by the university) that showed there were no excess deaths in the United States in 2020, with most COVID death attributions the result of classifying other sources (principally heart disease) as COVID.
It is easy to argue this or that with projections and assumptions and statistical manipulations, but as the saying goes, “one cannot cheat death”—or death tolls. One either dies or does not. Although all death rates from 2020 are still provisional, some nations have reported officially an increase in “excess deaths”—presumed to be from COVID-19 or the social and psychological damage caused by the lockdowns—while others have reported no change. Many large nations around the world reported no or few excess deaths in 2020—China had no increase in its 2020 death rate, while some large provinces in India such as Kerala actually reported lower 2020 death totals. The United States initially reported a provisional death count of 2.9 million at the end of 2020 and no excess deaths, but then strangely raised the toll to 3.34 million by March even though the CDC has a disclaimer that provisional death numbers are not expected to change by more than 2% (<60,000). Continue reading