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So, a student media article about a non-peer-reviewed, non-published journal article by an economist at Johns Hopkins is the best evidence contrarians can find that COVID is a serious pandemic killing hundreds of thousands of Americans? And then when the students do the right thing in retracting it, it’s “censorship” and not “following in line”? LOL, not.
Editor’s Note: After The News-Letter published this article on Nov. 22, it was brought to our attention that our coverage of Genevieve Briand’s presentation “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic.
We decided on Nov. 26 to retract this article to stop the spread of misinformation, as we noted on social media.
Briand was quoted in the article as saying, “All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers.” This claim is incorrect and does not take into account the spike in raw death count from all causes compared to previous years. According to the CDC, there have been almost 300,000 excess deaths due to COVID-19. Additionally, Briand presented data of total U.S. deaths in comparison to COVID-19-related deaths as a proportion percentage, which trivializes the repercussions of the pandemic. This evidence does not disprove the severity of COVID-19; an increase in excess deaths is not represented in these proportionalities because they are offered as percentages, not raw numbers.
Because of these inaccuracies and our failure to provide additional information about the effects of COVID-19, The News-Letter decided to retract this article. It is our duty as a publication to combat the spread of misinformation and to enhance our fact-checking process. We apologize to our readers.
ramage wrote: Please note that the accuracy of the data is not disputed.
Perhaps this will help to explain:
from Newsweek.com 11/28/20
The U.S. counts coronavirus deaths differently from other countries. Indeed, we are counting deaths differently than we have for any other disease.
“The case definition is very simplistic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, explains. “It means, at the time of death, it was a COVID positive diagnosis. That means, that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means, technically even if you died of [a] clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.” . . . Beyond including people with the virus who clearly didn’t die from it, the numbers are inflated by counting people who weren’t even infected. New York has classified many cases as coronavirus deaths even when postmortem tests have been negative. The diagnosis can be based on symptoms, which are often similar to those of the seasonal flu.
Pony Soldier wrote: I’m sure the 20% premium has had no effect on the numbers...