COVID-19 Lies, Part One
FEWER people will die in 2020! I swear!
I'd just like to open with: I am a big fan of the CDC. They are getting a lot of heat from critics for doctoring numbers, relaxing coding guidelines, and/or saying things that simply don't jive with people's personal philosophies. In a time where we are living in a global pandemic, we need a national response that can help guide us to a healthier tomorrow. I doubt anyone from the CDC is reading this, but if you are, then keep on keepin' on!
The other day I was looking through my social media feed and I saw this little nugget:
Wow! I decided to have a look into these numbers, because wouldn't that be amazing if it was true? If all the hooping and hollering about this global pandemic actually led us to have a lower loss of life for the year, that would be awesome!
As uplifting as this post was, it was also too good to be true, so I decided to a little research on where these stats came from.
I went onto twitter and looked up "total annual deaths in US" in an attempt to find an original source ... and came up empty. This quote has been copy-pasted repeatedly for the last month all over the twitterverse (starting as a response to some local government post in September 25), but nobody was citing sources for any of the numbers they used. It was a literal "my friend said that her cousin said that her roommate said that his gym teacher told him that ..." situation.
My research wasn't over, however, because I had a very specific number to work with.
I had 2,033,736.
Again, I'd like to repeat (and am in no way foreshadowing) that the CDC gets heat for posting misleading numbers about the Coronavirus pandemic. People talk about how the numbers are fake ... and overblown ... and overly-high estimates ... and are actually going down over time ... and whatever they want to say to fit into their narratives. The person who originally posted the twitter quote I saw that started this whole thing insists that the CDC is just the wooorrrrst.
Segue aside, I decided to look up the number 2033736. It took me to a real estate listing in Oklahoma. No help. Thanks, Google (side note, Oklahoma real estate is quite affordable!)
If google didn't have a source for this statistic, however, I was in trouble. Did twitter simply pull these numbers out of their collective butts? I decided to hit one final spot: The Wayback Machine. I thought to myself, "wouldn't it be funny if this whole rumor was started because some dumbo misread CDC statistics, only to create a glaringly false narrative tha--OH, LOOK AT THAT"
There it is! I found my number!
I have to point out something extremely important here: The CDC has been reporting on provisional death numbers for the Coronavirus pandemic. Ever since deaths first started being discovered due to this disease, they have kept a running total and update it daily. There are two BIG asterisks with their numbers, however:
- Since it's a provisional count, not every death gets added to the count immediately. Some take up to 8 weeks to be added to the records.
- The count for these numbers starts in February. January is ignored.
At the time of this article's publishing, it's October 7th. The CDC has their total death count from all causes that they have officially counted from February to now as 2,150,188. If we take off the last 8 weeks of data (so we only work with complete weeks), that's 1,760,442 dead in the 29 weeks from February - Mid-August. 1,760,442 in 29 weeks works out to 60,705 weekly, or 3,156,655 people dead.
That's 11% MORE than in the last two years.
Not less (or fewer). Not even. Eleven percent more.
Please socially distance, wash your hands, wear a mask and check your sources.
Wayback Machine archive of the same site from September 24th - web.archive.org