Trusted Health Authority Ref CDC

(Janus) #41

This makes perfect sense to me. The human touch - physically, as companionship, even just somebody to talk to for a while, can make large differences.

(GINA ) #42

So what kind of death from injury and Covid could reasonably be considered primarily Covid-caused? Falling out of bed in the hospital? Sick and trying to drive yourself to the doctor and losing control of the car? Fainting and falling off your balcony? It does also say poisoning, maybe that couple that drank fish tank cleaner are in those numbers. Now those would be some anecdotal outliers.

The other categories are more straight forward, but still sloppy. They have influenza and pneumonia lumped together. Why? People get pneumonia all the time without having the flu.

My point isn’t that they are all not really Covid deaths. My point is the data and information are way too sloppy for the decisions we are basing on it. Kids are out of school and huddled in their homes, the elderly have lost contact with their loved ones, businesses are going under, families are being driven into bankruptcy, all based on the perceived deadliness of this illness and teh people we are trusting to inform us of the deadliness of this virus are doing a sloppy job.

(Art) #43

Did you get more response than you predicted before posting it? :smile:

A very important point there. Our own individual or family situation, different from many others, will count for the most, regardless of what somebody else, or “the masses,” or some clown on YouTube may say.

Back to the humour part - making a point with satire is fine, and humour is ‘good’ - we’ll all probably agree. But he just gets stupid right away with things like (about 30 seconds into the video) “…only 9210 were legitimate Covid deaths.”

If he’d similarly glibly said, “If you see somebody not wearing a mask, it means they want everybody else to die,” elements of goofy foolishness would be there, and many an eye would be rolled, just the same.

(bulkbiker) #44

Disagree… that’s the whole point people have been making almost since day 1
There is dying “from” COVID and dying “with” COVID . We now seem to be getting some accuracy in the figures of people who died from it. Now we need to figure out why the others died… was it because they were sent home from hospital to a care home, was it because they didn’t go to hospital for that chest pain etc etc. If the tests are anywhere near as flaky as has been implied in multiple reports then maybe its not the COVID that killed them.

(Doug) #45

The CDC doesn’t really separate those. Very few tests for influenza are actually done, and each year’s reported figures include non-flu pneumonia in with the “flu deaths” number. This has been by design since 2003 or so.

It doesn’t say one or the other is “primary.” However, when we talk about people falling out of bed or off a balcony and killing themselves, or dying in a vehicle wreck, or being careless with one’s fish tank cleaner mouthwash and gargle, we’re going with stuff that’s already included in normal mortality.

We don’t know that the numbers really are “sloppy” at this point. Probably, sometime in 2021 we’ll have a pretty good idea about this stuff. The elephant in the room is all the ‘gap’ deaths - those above expected mortality but not currently attributed to Covid. It would be a different story if there was no gap, but rather an overlap, i.e. attributed Covid deaths were ‘competing’ for spaces within normal mortality. Arguments for a Covid overcount would hold more water then.

Given the very large overall numbers, I’d say that some cases of ‘Covid’ death were primarily caused by other things, and vice-versa. That doesn’t mean that the stated lethality of Covid has to be different.


A smart person would never mislead or try to fool others whether directly or indirectly.

(Ideom) #48

That doesn’t change the fact that JP makes a false claim there. Instances of comorbidity do not necessarily exclude Covid-19, it’s as simple as that. Some bloke with heart disease is walking across the street and gets hit by a bus. Heart disease will likely appear on his death certificate.

It’s very common for death certificates not to be clear about the exact contribution-to-death of comorbidities. It’s also very common for people who die of Covid to have other underlying conditions. It’s hard to believe that JP is unaware of this. In fact, it’s impossible, i.e. he is just playing stupid.

Lots of people have died from respiratory failure or pneumonia, for example, and these will be listed separately. They are not, strictly speaking, “Covid-19,” but rather complications of the disease. This does not (of course) mean that Covid isn’t what began the chain of events which led to the deaths. Our unfortunate lad who got hit by the bus - one could do a ‘JP’ and say, “Well, he had heart disease too…” But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the bus that killed him.

Well, we have no shortage of “flaky reports,” eh? The most common thing I see is people denying some pretty simple logic.

At the level of the individual and anecdotal reports, randomness is profound. Among small groups it’s common. Yet at the level of countries of any size it’s pretty much not there. Mortality figures tend to be very consistent, and deviations tend to not be all that hard to explain.

If “we need to figure out why the others died” then we are supposing other causes of death. Yet we’ve already accounted for such causes - they are included in normal, expected mortality. In the current situation, we have more than accounted for such cases - for the time period we’re talking about, the US had 1 million+ ‘normal’ deaths, and before we even get to Covid-19 cases we’ve also got 50,000+ deaths that act like a ‘buffer’ against overcounting of Covid deaths.

What I see is people staking out an ideological position, and then trying to justify it by grasping at the “randomness” straws. They do not see that the randomness can work against their position as well as work for it, and they don’t see that the overall numbers make their claims dependent on very illogical leaps, in the beginning. They want to deny the elephant in the room while pretending that “possible other factors” somehow outweigh it.

(bulkbiker) #49

You think that’s ok? Seriously.

(Ideom) #50

It’s the way it is; that’s just factual. Coroners, doctors, medical examiners, etc., fill out death certificates and may list numerous other conditions that were present in the deceased person. The mere presence of “something else” on a death certificate doesn’t necessarily address the contribution-to-death that any one element caused.

The CDC’s “Conditions Contributing to Deaths” may include pre-existing conditions that make a Covid-19 infection worse. This is stuff like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems, etc. It may also include complications from a Covid-19 infection, such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, etc.

The tendency, alone, for Covid-19 to cause blood clotting and harm organs leads to a vast number of related things than may appear on a death certificate.

(GINA ) #51

So it sounds like, if I am reading correctly, you are looking at ‘excess’ deaths as Covid deaths and aren’t too fussed about the details. That would be a valid way to look at it I think, once enough time has passed (as you say).

The problem is we are making big decisions with potentially huge consequences to people and communities right now. School districts have to decide whether kids go to school or stay huddled at home keeping their parents from working right now. Local and state officials have to decide if businesses can open, or if the safety risk is too great and they will go bankrupt right now. They don’t have a year or two.

I don’t think it is too much to ask that the government agency we have charged with gathering such information, and have given a budget in the neighborhood of $6 billion (with a B), do a better job of it. If all we are going to do is wait and see how many ‘extra’ people died, why bother?

Another way I see the CDC’s information gathering as sloppy is the age categories. They lump everyone 0-24 years old together. I am a school administrator so that is my particular concern. What are the real figures on children between 5 and 12? We need to know that to decide if elementary schools safely open. We know some children have died (and that is always a tragedy) because it made the headlines, but we need actual data. Right now our school policy seems to be made off over-hyped headlines.

(Art) #52

And a given death certificate may not differentiate very well between the two. I would think that if the Covid and non-Covid death numbers are being affected by this, then PaulL’s “canceling each other out” thing would be happening, and the overall counts are relatively unaffected. In the US it would take something really substantial to swing it much, either way, to begin with.

Considerable hay is made of the very little things on Facebook posts and in YouTube videos. So, indeed - what else that’s really substantial (substantial enough to make a meaningful difference in the numbers) - is present, other than Covid-19?

(GINA ) #53

I did a little reading on how they code death certificates. The diagnosis in the #1 spot is supposed to be what actually killed you. Next is the diagnosis that is the underlying cause of #1, then the underlying cause of #2 (if there is one) and on down. They even call it a ‘chain of events.’ Seperate from that is a spot for ‘underlying conditions.’ It would be interesting to know just where covid fell on the death certificates.

Apparently the coding is not an easy thing to do and doctors and funeral directors don’t always do it right, so at some point the death certificate is run through software before its reported. If the software can fix it, there are people called nosologists specially trained to sort it out.

This document is pretty interesting and has some examples of how a death should be coded. It doesn’t talk about the nosologists.

(Hagen) #54

:cowboy_hat_face: Busy thread here.

“What actually killed you” = even here things may be somewhat murky, I’d think. Did you die because you fell off the cliff, or did you die because your heart stopped when you hit bottom? Or did you die because you had cancer and committed suicide?

My default position would be to look at all deaths, then decide if things are making sense or not.

(Old Baconian) #55

This has been a problem ever since death certificates were first invented. I don’t imagine it will be solved any time soon.

(Prancing Pony) #56

At least on this forum we are all free to discuss, debate and make up our own minds. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate that and each other.

(Doug) #57

Slightly more complicated than that, but yeah, not at all “worried” about anecdotal stuff, etc. The U.S. has more than enough deaths to cover normal mortality. We’ve got about 18% more deaths than normal (at least that was the way it was for March through July).

I see ‘excess’ deaths as those above normal mortality and not attributed to Covid-19. Last time I looked, of the deaths above normal mortality, about 72% were being counted as Covid, and 28% were not. Without anything else that’s both unusual and substantial going on, there’s a pretty healthy safety margin there for the Covid count.

The economic stuff is another discussion, a big one. For now, I’d just say it’s not as simple as that.

Certainly, big decisions are being made about schools, students, teachers, administrators, etc. “Stay huddled at home” - that makes it sound pretty bad. :smile: Well, if we’re gonna go that way, then school isn’t just “daycare” so the parents can get away from their kids. :wink:

More seriously - hey, I know this whole thing really sucks for a lot of people. There will be decisions with no clear path to “no harm” being done. We cannot change that.

Your thesis seems to be that we’re counting too many Covid deaths, and that this means we’re being too fearful about opening up in-person schooling. I think the evidence is strong that we actually have an overall undercount of Covid deaths. The schools - I don’t think it matters, really, what the exact Covid count is. What we have is a mix of schools being both too lax and too strict, and they’re going to be adjusting as they go along.

I don’t think this really matters (what percentage error do you think is really there, and would that make a difference?) For schools, it’s much more a matter of what’s going on in the individual states, regions, school districts, individual towns, etc.

Hey, talk to your superintendent… My wife teaches high school. Things have been up and down in our home state of Georgia. Some schools have been all ‘remote learning’ thus far, and some partially, and some tried full-on in person “regular” schooling. Of the ones that did open up all the way, some of them had virus outbreaks severe enough that they had to close down - in the very first few weeks. Some are trying to re-open, at least to an extent, now.

My wife’s school system is all remote. The plan is to have certain statistics in place, i.e. low enough measures of virus activity in the local area, and then bring back in-person schooling part way. The measures are not ‘impossible’ to meet - it looks like later this month or early in October the schools will partially re-open for in-person, the students initially being divided into 4 groups, with each group “going to school” on one of the days from Monday - Thursday, with the rest learning remotely and all doing it on Friday.

I know that’s still enormously far from normal operation, and I know that high school kids are far different from little kids. Kids 5 to 12 years old? I think the ‘real figures’ are pretty clear - in general the risk of death from Covid is essentially zero. There will be a very few with severe enough pre-existing conditions to matter, and a few statistical outliers, but mostly I don’t see risk of fatalities there, and I also don’t think there’s much risk of permanent harm from the virus for surviving patients (as opposed to adults, especially older adults and those with comorbidity factors).

We do have to think about the teachers, though, and now we’ve got a population with substantial amounts of risk. If nothing else mattered but young kids and young teachers then it would be a different story.

Here too, things aren’t existing in a vacuum. I’m skeptical we’ll have a good vaccine later this year. However, it does appear that there’s a good chance that we’re substantially bridging the time until we do have a vaccine. If sometime in the current school year, we get a good vaccine, then what risks are really worth taking while we wait, given that once we have a vaccine, most of those risks will vanish?

No matter what, there will be some few stories of “Tragic death of 10 year old,” and "Beloved teacher dies." I’m not saying that means have no in-person schooling at all. But there are many things to think about. If little Johnny brings the virus home and it ends up killing his grandparents, then that too is really going to suck. And I realize that it already sucks for little Johnny not to be going to school so his parents can go to their jobs, etc.

(Doug) #58

Agreed, Stuart. :slightly_smiling_face:

I certainly would question things here. How close would the numbers have to be, to be acceptable?

If we’re talking about the CDC and American numbers, then as I said to Gina - the last time I looked, of the deaths above normal mortality, about 72% were being counted as Covid, and 28% were not. Without anything else that’s both unusual and substantial going on, there’s a pretty healthy safety margin there for the Covid count.

We’re probably going to have numbers through August pretty soon, and I doubt things will have changed much at all. The end of the year will come and at some point afterwards we’ll have tallies that will be quite well-accepted and not contested much at all (probably true in many countries).

(Elmo) #59

No doubt about that. Some places, so much is forbidden, and it’s common for Facebook and YouTube discussions to not get anywhere.

JP’s ‘getting censored’ video - I think he’s primarily trying to ‘preach to the choir,’ but it’s also like he’s talking to the audience as if they’re all 12 years old.

So let’s say we are 12 years old - we’re all in our 6th grade (or whatever the local variant is) class and JP gets in trouble for something. JP goes into this enormous song-and-dance, trying to make a ‘federal case’ out of it, and trying to shift the narrative to one of grievous persecution, that ‘the man’ is just trying to keep him down, that mysterious malevolent mastermind minions of Megorra are arrayed against him, unfairly.

Finally, JP runs down, and the teacher says, “Okay, JP, are you done? Yes? Well okay, why don’t you return to your seat and let’s continue with class.”

There’s no teacher in with him in the video, but the YouTube guidelines, terms of service, etc., are right there for all to see. So, what did he do? What got something of his taken down?


I’m reviving this thread because the YT censorship is getting frightening. Twitter and YouTube as well. Anything that doesn’t align with one particular narrative is taken down for misinformation. This includes legislative hearings, clips from doctors who stray from the consensus, even quotes from the FDA and CDC and vaccine manufacturers.

This really matters, because most of us make decisions by putting together observations and information from the outside world. When only one set of facts is allowed, when only certain voices are permitted, we don’t even realize that our observations are limited to that story.

This wouldn’t be a free speech/first amendment question in the US because these are private companies EXCEPT that there are explicit agreements between these private companies and the government.

From the CDC website “Facebook, as with other social media tools, is intended to be part of a larger integrated health communications strategy or campaign developed under the leadership of the Associate Director of Communication Science (ADCS) in the Health Communication Science Office (HCSO) of CDC’s National Centers, Institutes, and Offices (CIOs).”

Even if you are fully in agreement with the narrative, this should bother you!

(Old Baconian) #61

It is precisely because social media sites are vehicles for advertising that they are vulnerable. The U.S. government cannot dictate what those sites say, but advertisers can pull their advertising, which creates enormous pressure. No advertiser wants to face a consumer boycott. If social media did not solicit advertising to pay their bills, they would not be so vulnerable.