You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 17, 2020.

This week, two important discrepancies occurred with regard to coronavirus test results and deaths.

Both are developing stories.

Florida — bogus test results

Florida has done very well throughout the coronavirus pandemic, particularly given the number of elderly people who live there.

Suddenly, a few weeks ago, cases began to rise alarmingly.

It turns out that negative test results were not reported to Florida’s Department of Health:

Orlando’s Fox 35 television station received a tip off about this.

Reporter Robert Guaderrama has been investigating. In some cases, test results have been submitted as being 100% positive. In reality, the number of positive results are in single digits:

Surely, Florida cannot be the only state where this has been occurring.

One wonders about California, where most counties are under a new lockdown:

Has Governor Newsom instructed someone from California’s health department to look at the test result numbers to see if they look accurate?

Thank goodness Florida is looking into theirs.

England – questionable death figures

Today, Friday, July 17, 2020, news emerged that Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock is investigating questionable coronavirus death figures as reported by Public Health England (PHE):

It seems as if people who have recovered from coronavirus yet die months later still have COVID-19 written on their death certificates. No wonder our death totals are so high.

Joe Murphy, Political Editor for the London Evening Standard, explains:

Currently, England has no cut-off date when COVID-19 expires as a cause of death:

The other UK nations only include those who die within 28 days of a positive test.

There is a second issue here, too, in the way PHE records coronavirus deaths.

This issue came to light thanks to Professor Carl Heneghan and Nuffield Health Senior Statistician Jason Oke from Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM).

On July 14, they published an article, ‘ONS Death Data and the Disparity with PHE Daily Updates’. ONS is the Office for National Statistics.

In short, Heneghan and Oke say that the ONS statistics are more accurate than PHE’s (emphases mine):

What has become apparent in recent weeks is the growing disparity between the numbers released by ONS and those reported by Public Health England which are widely disseminated in the media.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths in England according to ONS for 3rd July is 48,154 whereas the equivalent total announced on the 4th by PHE was 39,626.

The PHE figures also vary substantially from day to day. For example, 16 new deaths were announced on 6th July, but the following day, 152 were reported.

This variation is most likely due to the appearance of ‘historic’ deaths that have occurred weeks before, but for some reason unknown to us, get reported in batches on particular days. To counter this variation, a moving average smooths the trend, but even this is at odds with the ONS data.

The PHE moving average for 30th June is 103, which is more than the ONS numbers for 30th June and 1st July combined.

The moving average is overlaid on to the ONS figures to show the PHE figures average has been consistently higher than ONS for some time

Because of the inaccuracies in PHE data we recommend using ONS data and the NHS England data to understand the trends in deaths over time. To reduce confusion we require all deaths reported by PHE to include when they occurred as opposed to the day of reporting.

PHE’s inaccurate recording of deaths can increase the fear factor in the general public where reported by the media.

Liverpool Business News‘s Tony McDonough explains the CEBM article, using graphs:

Heneghan had more on these PHE disparities on July 16. If we rely on PHE’s figures, England will never rid itself of coronavirus. An excerpt of their article follows:

I am relieved that this news has emerged in mainstream media.

The public — and politicians — are discovering the truth behind these inflated, false coronavirus figures.

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