Don’t Believe the New COVID Death Guess

Three Covid (China Virus) story headlines highlighted the dissonance in what we know, or think we know, about the Coronavirus.

King5.com, a Seattle-area broadcasters website reported that the Washington state located Institute for Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a group whose Covid illness and death projection ranges were initially used by the Trump administration to guide their thinking about the disease progression before there was real data available, has come up with a startling guess that the Covid death rate in the United States has been understated by approximately 50 percent.  The new 905,000 number is based upon a presumption that all increased deaths since the pandemic started exceeding what was anticipated for the year should be counted as Covid deaths.

This presumption would add more than 300,000 Covid deaths to the United States total alone above the Johns Hopkins University count of 574,093 on the date the study was conducted.

A stunning number, if true, but it is this next headline which perhaps adds perspective to the eye-popping, click-bait assertion in the IHME report  – “Cancer Screenings Plummeted in 2020. The Results are Grim.”

The Epic Health Research Network (EHRN) found that in May of 2020 that preventive cancer screenings had gone down by between 88 – 94 percent in the first four months of the pandemic, and while screenings rose as states lightened quarantine restrictions, researchers feared that the impact of these delayed screenings could be catastrophic.  In just one example, breast cancer biopsies plummeted from a monthly 2019 average of .9 per 1000 exams to .1 per 1000 in May of 2020.  This created a double-whammy of fewer exams being given and significantly fewer biopsies being conducted of those women who would normally have additional follow up study done on abnormalities.

The Cancer Institute reported that, “In 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 606,520 people will die from the disease.” Unfortunately, the Center for Disease Control did not publish the 2019 cause of death (including cancer) data until February of 2021, meaning the government won’t know how many extra people died from suicide, cancer, drug overdoses, heart disease and many other causes based upon a drop in screenings and early treatment.

This leaves a wide-open field for Covid fear mongers to claim all additional deaths above the normal expected numbers as being from Covid.

Ironically, the same IHME has been aggressive in their projections, unequivocally detailing the number of increased deaths in states without masking or extreme social distancing policies. This projection decision ignores evidence initially from Sweden and then in many U.S. states like Florida, where less restrictive quarantining of the general population resulted in fewer deaths per 100,000 than in heavily regulated states like New York and New Jersey.  Now, IHME wants to categorize deaths that more likely than not occurred due to the social isolation that was driven by their projections as being Covid deaths.

And maybe they are right, as the paralyzing of about half of Americans with the despair created by Covid fear, along with the lack of early cancer and other disease detection that resulted, are a direct result of our nation’s reaction to Covid.  Just taking the Cancer Institute reported 2020 projection of 1.8 million total cancer cases with one in three of those resulting in death creates a startling reality if the number of deaths jumped by just 10 percent as a result of lack of treatment for months. While speculative, it is no less so than the IHME guess, and just this level of increased cancer deaths would result in more than 100,000 out of the projected 300,000 excess deaths in America in 2020 that the IHME is crediting toward Covid.

The third COVID headline is great news, as the seven-day moving average for Covid deaths has dropped to a level not seen since July 9, 2020 with the number steadily lowering each day.  The seven-moving average is significant because after more than fourteen months of tracking the disease, we know that reporting varies by day as some locations file reports on a Monday through Friday basis and other do so every day.  The average adds the reported number each day, while dropping off the number that day one-week prior, providing a dependable trendline.

The truth is that with all the alarmism, talk of new variants, and whatever else spews from Dr. Fauci’s mouth on any given day as he desperately seeks to keep his Rasputin-like hold on the country, the number of cases is going down as are the number of deaths per day.  And the percentage of deaths per infected person is also dropping.

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This is good news and don’t let the politicians who govern and control by playing on fear tell you anything different.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

Cross-posted with The Daily Torch

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