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HomeIllinois NewsThorner/Ingold: Can media be trusted about coronavirus?

Thorner/Ingold: Can media be trusted about coronavirus?

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NOTE: Illinois Review offers a platform for conservatives to share ideas, information and opinions. Opinion pieces are not to be considered Illinois Review's position or opinion on topics our gracious contributors submit to share with our readership. We encourage responses and comments in support or opposition.

By Nancy Thorner & Ed Ingold - 

Every day on the news we hear that the total number of COVID cases in the US exceeds that of any other country. This statistic disregards the fact that the US population is greater than that of other countries besides China. Statistics from China can be considered unreliable, since they are altered to fit their political objectives. Sweden is a small country (10M), but of major nations is the only one which has not imposed stay-at-home rules.

Mortality statistics below are based on population alone, without consideration to demographics. There is evidence that the elderly and overweight are disproportionately subject to deadly complications.

If the number of COVID infections is plotted relative to the population as a whole, they constitute a pie wedge than can be represented on the chart – less than a line width. For raw comparison, the YTD death rate for seasonal flu in the US is about 14.5 per 100K (48,000).

In our opinion, there are several things to learn from these charts that are being used to project information to the public:

  • The models are a total failure. There is no clear correlation between the mandated shutdown and measurable results. The data used to feed these models is deficient, and there are other parameters which have not been recognized
  • The effect of COVID on the nation has been grossly exaggerated.
  • The elected leaders have handed the reins of government and the economy over to technocrats, principally Dr. Fauci, which are blind to any issues other than a goal to eradicate this infection.
  • Hospitalization and death due to the seasonal flu greatly exceed those due to COVID, yet nobody suggests shutting the country down in response.
  • The negative effect on the economy out shadows any direct effect of the COVID epidemic.
  • At the end of two weeks of shutdown, roughly 10% of businesses have failed. This number is likely to exceed 60% if the shutdown continues to the end of April. Dr. Fauci would have it go until November, maybe into next year.

The President likes to delegate authority. However this only works if his subordinates share the same goals. This trust has been misplaced in technocrats on the COVID task team. This does not mean they don’t mean well, just that they are wearing blinders.

His desire to delegate to state governors is also misplaced when so many hope to replace him in the next election. He will need to take strong action to restart the economy, since it means taking power from those state and local officials.

Seven Republican state holdouts

It is telling that seven Republican governors are holding out on statewide stay-at-home orders  collectively ignoring the stay-at-home pleas of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, who said in a CNN interview: "If you look at what's going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're not doing that.”

The Republican states ignoring Fauci’s order:  Alabama, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Arkansas, and South Carolina.

This question could be answered with another question. “Why have Democratic governors in blue states been so quick to respond?” Democrats are quick to accuse others of things they are doing.

All the states indicated, however, have made strong recommendations to practice social distancing and at least half have some degree of restrictive measures in place, often because mayors or county officials made local decisions. But these governors have stopped short of giving statewide orders that have been in place for week.

Environmentalists are seizing the moment to proclaim the benefits of the shutdown in reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. They will get even noisier if the controls are lifted.

There is a danger that our enemies, particularly China, will see our current status as one of weakness. We came close to mutiny by the commander of an aircraft carrier over COVID. 200 sailors out of a crew of thousands were infected, and the captain went public when he felt his concerns were being ignored.

Grim Presidential Task Force Briefing, Saturday, April 4, 2020

This briefing told of grim time ahead in the next few week and of all the death what would occur.  Such information did not convey an aura of confidence to the American people.

Consider this article by Matthew Vadum published at the American Thinker on April 3, 2020: New York City is lying about Chinese virus death rates: "The mass hysteria over COVID-19 in the U.S. is driven in large measure by misleading statistics and bad math about the disease’s body count. Now that New York has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, we are now regularly inundated on cable TV news with the latest pandemic statistics from the city. The statistics grow gloomier by the hour.

"These figures have frightened people into submission as state and local governments across America enact repressive measures they say are necessary to contain the virus or slow its proliferation. The problem starts with the fact that the highly influential statistics from the Big Apple paint a false picture of what is actually happening.

"In New York City, the death of anyone who dies who tests positive for COVID-19 is counted as a coronavirus death. This is the case even if the coronavirus failed to play a significant role in the person’s passing or illness. This calculus violates established scientific standards."

What's going on in your city, town, neighborhood?

As posted at conservativetreehouse.com on April 4, 2020:

“There’s something really odd, a profound disconnect of sorts, between what the media is sharing and the reality of what the general public is reporting from their own experience.

"According to most national media hospitals are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.   U.S. media claim doctors and nurses are collapsing under the stress and strain of conditions they describe as “war zones” in the battle against COVID-19.

"Media is now reporting about nurses and doctors committing suicide as they try to deal with severe PTSD, and psychological trauma, as a result of endless shifts in overcrowded hospitals filled with desperate and dying patients. Additionally, refrigerated trailers now fill with piles of dead bodies as the morgues are overwhelmed with deceased coronavirus patients.

"Influencers, perhaps people with an interest in pushing an agenda, are sharing videos of nurses and doctors pleading for help and crying under duress amid their struggle.  It all seems rather sad and unnerving.  Additionally, professional instability that severe seems a little disconcerting…. That said, that’s one summation of a recent 24-hour media cycle."

However, there is a disconnect.

"For every media claim of overwhelmed hospital war zones, there are a dozen reports from actual workers, nurses, doctors and medical personnel reporting exactly the opposite; and yes, a disparity in reporting even in the New York metropolitan area.

"Medical personnel in Wisconsin, Missouri, California, Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Georgia New Jersey, and every region in the USA are reporting there are few to no patients in their facility and the medical staff is being laid-off, or told to go home and/or stay home, because there is nothing to do."

Closer to home, as related by a doctor at Alexian Brothers in Elk Grove, the hospital is essentially empty.  It could take hundreds of corona patients, and probably many more.  They have less than 10 serous ones today, mostly old.  They are in bad shape and are being given anti-malaria and anti-bacteria drugs and are on ventilators.

The same holds true at Condell Hospital in Libertyville as to its number of coronavirus patients.

Before believing all the government is telling you about the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to verify before trusting the information being given to you.

Although not politically correct to state, the media's breathless reports are a last-ditch effort to gin-up national panic to at last "get" Trump after four years of despicably trying. They're terrified he'll be elected again! 

Media's hysteria is loudly echoed by virtue-signaling Education, Entertainment, Pulpit, Government, and the Democrat Party.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. There are actually 9 states without these silly orders. It will be interesting to see what happens later on. But as in the models for “environmental problems,” these Covid models are flawed as well. Good to expose this.

  2. Thanks, Nancy. Another good article on this subject:
    “Could the Covid19 Response be More Deadly than the Virus? The economic, social and public health consequences of these measures could claim millions of victims.”
    https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/01/could-the-covid19-response-be-more-deadly-than-the-virus/ Still more:
    https://www.westernjournal.com/cdc-tells-hospitals-list-covid-cause-death-even-just-assuming-contributed/ & https://truepundit.com/dear-d-c-youre-coronavirus-models-have-been-the-real-disaster-your-data-predictions-numbers-are-not-adding-up/

  3. Gail K
    Right on, Nancy and Ed!
    Seasonal flu causes more sickness but we don’t close businesses, shelter in place, or refrain from worship.
    And how about the 2 trillion “relief package”. If you divide that amount by the approximate 300 million Americans, we should get $6,667.00 apiece!
    Where is all that money going?


  4. From World Net Daily – numbers keep changing:
    Scientist behind U.S., U.K. lockdowns drastically lowers death estimate, 3-26-20, Initial shocking figures cited by White House prompted unprecedented virus response and business lockdown … The lead author of a dire coronavirus study cited by the White House, Downing Street and other governments in their decisions to urge or impose unprecendented lockdowns and “social distancing” has drastically revised the estimated death toll of the pandemic in the U.K. The study by Imperial College of London published March 16 estimated that 2.2 million Americans and 500,000 Britons could die. However, an average of about 29,000 in the U.K. die every year of the flu and related complications. Now, lead author Neil Ferguson has testified to a parliamentary committee that the U.K. death toll is unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower, reported the website New Scientist. [..snip] NY Times reporter noted Ferguson credits the lockdown for the low figures, but the U.K. lockdown began only one day before his testimony Wednesday, 3-25-20; lockdowns take two weeks or more to show any impact. Not surprisingly, this testimony has received no attention in the US – I found it only in UK papers. Team Apocalypse is not interested.”
    Something ELSE is going on to cause the world to deliberately destroy itself. Our leaders are deluded – could be/probably is … ALMIGHTY GOD’S STRONG DELUSION: 2 Thessalonians 2:7-11

  5. Justification for “Flattening the Curve” through drastic measures was to keep the disease from outpacing the capacity of our ICU facilities. This prediction was based on models of the epidemic which far exceed real-world observations. It is clear that now, in the worst of times, as cited by non-elected technocrats, that the flood gates will hold. While the flood may have abated somewhat due to “Social Separation” and other factors, the levee has also been built higher by increasing the ICU capacity considerably.
    There is a danger that the original goals will become an attempt to eradicate COVID-19, which is virtually impossible. Even isolation is questionable strategy, since by early estimates one person can theoretically pass the infection to 10,000 others in a single month. Since deaths due to COVID-19 lag infections by up to 2 weeks, whatever happens this week was ordained the third week in March.
    Moving ahead, it is vital that decisions be based on facts not fear, the law and Constitution not fiat. To this end our forefathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor.

  6. Excellent article, Nancy! I’ll put in a plug here for some folks whose podcasts are free and who have dug deep into this matter, raising some of the same concerns you addressed in this article: Mark Levin and Dan Bongino.
    One of the more outrageous bits of news has to do with those who have been providing models to the administration: some of them wish to remain anonymous. ANONYMOUS! They want to influence public policy and not be held to account for their bone-headed advice…is what it looks like to me.
    There is simply no way to dismiss the imminent economic disaster that will be ours if we do not change course.

  7. Models can be a very good thing. Yes, they are based on assumptions, but like any hypotheses, they can be tested against measured results. That is the rub.
    We don’t have real data to populate these models. The total number of deaths is shocking, but just a score not a fact. We are told that half of all infections are silent, asymptomatic. But without facts to back it up, that’s just a wild guess. We need to know who is susceptible (untouched), who is infected, and who has recovered (presumably immune). Current test results say little about those yet susceptible or asymptomatic. The recovered count only tallies those who were hospitalized, and even deaths do not reliably distinguish who died FROM the virus, and who died WITH it.
    The Swine Flu of 2009 infected 17% of US Citizens (56 million) and killed over 10,000. Where was the shutdown, the daily tally, the political posturing. What did happen was the creation of a pandemic response team, which we see in action today. The goal was te get it right the next time. But did it work, and at what cost?

  8. This post originally contained several graphs, constructed from official data on the internet. Without the graphs, the text is unclear. Briefly…
    – In terms of total infections and deaths, the US is #1 among major nations
    – Weighted by population, the US falls to 6th place in terms of infections, and 7th place in terms of deaths. Italy, Spain and France are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, much higher than the rest.
    – Sweden and the US are roughly equal in terms of infections per 100K, but the US is significantly lower with respect to mortality. Only Germany is believably lower in both statistics.
    – Based on available data, mortality in the US is 2.4/100K. Since other data is under-counted, this value is inflated.
    – China is dead last on all charts, but the data cannot be trusted.