Independent Plus Opinion

A perspective on COVID-19 statistics: Part 2

By Dr. John Pronk, ND

Last week I wrote about the conflicting data surrounding COVID-19 statistics; confusion about the number of people who have or have had the coronavirus, and the true count of how many people are dying from the virus. Experts such as Stanford researchers Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. John Ioannidis, Dr. Scott Jensen MD, Professor Knut Wittkowski, Dr. Joseph Mercola MD, and Dr. David Brownstein MD are now filling in some of the missing pieces of the puzzle.

As we saw, there is growing evidence that a lot more people may have had the virus than was previously thought and that the virus is not killing near as many people as is being reported. This being the case because of a flawed reporting system being used in many countries. What the evidence suggests is that this current pandemic may not be much more than a glamorized bad flu season. We’ll now look at two examples that show this to be the case. Then we’ll explore why the numbers are being skewed, and who might benefit from doing so.

Italy as a prime example

How come there is such a large discrepancy in mortality rates between different countries? For instance, Germany has been reporting a 0.4 per cent mortality rate among COVID-19 cases (which is not unlike the typical rate for the common flu) whereas Italy reported a shocking nine per cent mortality. Why such a difference?

According to professor Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s Minister of Health, one of the big reasons for this is due to how their hospitals have recorded deaths.

“The way in which we report COVID-19 deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.” On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of the reported COVID-19 deaths were shown to have a direct causality from coronavirus while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one underlying chronic disease; most had two or three.

The president of the Italian Civil Protection Service went out of his way to remind people of the nature of Italy’s mortality figures in the morning briefing on March 20.

“I want you to remember these people died with the coronavirus and not from the coronavirus.”

This means that Italy’s COVID-19 death toll figures could be wrongly inflated by up to 88 per cent; that the total number of people who died of COVID-19 could be as low as 700, which would bring Italy well in line with the rest of the world. It means the thousands of deaths currently attributed to COVID-19 and being used to justify the introduction of measures equating to medical martial law were largely due to other common chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

This statistic is not a secret or in any way controversial as it was in the official report from the Italian Health Institute. According to the official numbers of just a few weeks ago, the average age of people dying there of COVID-19 is 78 years old; keep in mind, the average life expectancy in Italy is 82, which puts those numbers in perspective. The number of people dying without any other disease was two per cent, while over 75 per cent of them had two or more pre-existing diseases.

I repeat, the majority of Italians dying from COVID had three other pre-existing diseases that could cause death before coronavirus, so to say that all of these deaths are coronavirus deaths is, at the very least, misleading.

But what about New York City?

We’ve probably all seen footage of forklifts lifting bodies from hospitals, stacked caskets, Hart Island’s mass burial sites being required. What’s the story about Hart Island?

Truth be known, the cemetery on Hart Island has been used for the burial of unclaimed or unidentified bodies from New York City since 1869.

Since 1980, 68,955 people have been buried on Hart Island. That’s 1,700 per year, (33 per week) for the past 40 years. Recently there are about 100 per week. This recent increased number is due in large part to the recently (since the start of COVID-19) restricted window of time now allowed for next-of-kin to claim bodies, reduced from 30 days to 15 days. As is understandable, with the present chaos and social isolation measures going on in New York, this increased number of unclaimed bodies is a large part of what is happening there.

Concerning New York COVID-19 deaths, US medical advisor Dr. Deborah Birx admits that persons dying with COVID-19 are reported as dying from COVID-19. And it’s not just Italy and the USA; Ireland, England (as of March 14), Germany, and several other countries have openly stated that any deceased persons with COVID-19 are deemed to have died from COVID-19 whether or not it’s verified as cause of death. Individuals dying within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 are reported as dying from COVID-19.

But don’t we need to do something to prevent COVID-19 from getting as bad as they say it might get?

Dr. Joel Kettner, interviewed by Duncan McCue on March 14 during CBC’s cross-country checkup, stated that in his 30-plus years of public health medicine he has never seen anything close to this overreaction to a virus, and he does not see any reason for it.

The data on which the scare is based is inadequate, as far as cases, deaths, testing rates contagion, numbers hospitalized, numbers dying ‘with’ vs ‘of’ coronavirus. As well, there is “no good evidence to support these social distancing measures being mandated. Methods and the evidence for them is quite weak.”

It doesn’t mean that COVID-19 is a hoax, but it also certainly doesn’t mean that there is dependable data sufficient to shut down the world’s economy which could and has already resulted in more deaths from other causes.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University cites projections that as many as 75,000 Americans could die because of drug or alcohol misuse and suicide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic; this is according to an analysis conducted by the national public health group Well Being Trust.

Shouldn’t we do whatever it takes to stop the spread?

It is no wonder then that Knudsen Wittkowski, former head of the department of research design and biostatistics, and former senior research associate at Rockefeller University states emphatically, “There is no evidence that doing any of these social isolation measures has any effect on the epidemic, with one exception; that is, by ‘flattening the curve’ they are actually ‘broadening the curve’ and that means it takes more time, and if it takes more time, in the end, people are at greater risk because nobody can follow these strategies or measures for an extended period of time.”

Extending the duration of this pandemic not only suppresses natural lasting immunity from developing, but it also creates much more disease due to social isolation, economic hardship, and healthcare crippling.

Why and who would want to lengthen the duration of this pandemic?

All the alarming death figures predicted for the US (2.2 million) and the UK (500,000) initially reported from Imperial College London (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) were used to shock governments into extreme social and economic disabling.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci (senior medical advisor to US President Donald Trump) openly admits that the validity of the models used to estimate these numbers are sketchy at best and only as good as the assumptions made, which were based on very limited data. He admits it is an “inherently imperfect science.” Yet governments would have us believe that they saved us from the millions of deaths that would have happened had we not done what they told us to do.

Wittkowski clearly states that the models used have no ‘relation to reality’ and were off by several orders of magnitude. Very few epidemiologists were involved in generating these models.

Vaccines on the way for everyone — so don’t become naturally immune!

In light of the pandemic, pharmaceutical companies are racing to provide a vaccine to prevent further spread of the disease. Biotech company Moderna began the first clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine in March.

Biotech company Inovio, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is the second company to start testing an experimental COVID-19 vaccine for humans in the US.

At least 70 COVID-19 vaccines are under development, each of them likely attempting to be fast-tracked to the market. Under normal circumstances, a vaccine may take five to 10 years to be developed, and pushing rapid progress comes with significant safety concerns.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the construction of factories to produce seven vaccine candidates, with the winning vaccine being produced en masse, to vaccinate the world’s population. Foundation chief executive Mark Suzman said, “There are seven billion people on the planet. We are going to need to vaccinate nearly every one. There is no manufacturing capacity to do that.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the biggest funder of the World Health Organization (WHO), by the way, and in a Washington Times opinion piece, published on March 31, Gates calls for the complete shutdown of all US states and quarantining of all Americans “until the case numbers start to go down … which could take 10 weeks or more.”

While Gates can undoubtedly afford it, few working-class Americans would be able to survive without income for months on end and could face serious mental health repercussions as a result.

So Gates, a key funder of WHO, is calling for a 10-week or longer shutdown of the US and the rapid building of brand-new vaccine manufacturing facilities to handle the manufacturing of billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine — which would be rendered useless if it turns out that the majority of the population has already been exposed to the virus by going about their daily lives, and thereby acquired herd immunity naturally.

Fauci agrees: COVID-19 natural herd immunity not wanted

At a White House briefing of the Coronavirus Task Force held April 6, Dr. Fauci confirmed that strict social distancing and quarantine measures are at least partially in place to prevent populations from developing natural herd immunity.

“One issue that’s going to be important and it has to do with somewhat of a comparison, for example, with influenza. We go through multiple cycles of influenza [and] there’s always a degree of background immunity in a population,” said Fauci.

“That will ultimately happen [with COVID-19] if we get a situation where we get back to normal. Now, I hope we don’t have so many people infected that we actually have that herd immunity, but I think it would have to be different than it is right now.”

In an April 9 interview on National Public Radio (NPR), Gates returned to the message that some social distancing measures have to stay in place “until we get a vaccine that almost everybody’s had.”

While Dr Fauci’s intents may appear nothing but altruistic, it is hard to believe that his recommendations are in no way influenced by other interests. One company, Moderna, which is partnering with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Fauci, has seen a 78 per cent increase in its stock price since it announced in February that its experimental messenger RNA vaccine was ready for clinical trials.

Next week we will look at some of the other not-so-apparent conflicts of interest influencing the course of this pandemic, as well as find hope in this current storm.

For more information from well-referenced resources, I suggest Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website (articles.mercola.com) and James Corbett’s Reports (www.corbettreport.com), or check out some of the other doctors and researchers mentioned above.

To be continued next week.

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Dr. John Pronk, ND practices natural medicine in Palmerston. He can be reached by email at jpronk@greenwoodclinic.ca