Health News Digest

COVID-19 misinformation

July 20, 2020

More COVID-19 Misinformation

By Michael D. Shaw

We’re living through the most politicized public health event in history, so you might as well enjoy it. We start with a ridiculous story featured in the NY Times, that was extensively modified—or as they call it “updated.” As was pointed out by Michael Brendan Dougherty, the updating was done on at least two occasions. This gist is that some young arrogant sap (unnamed), from a Red state (natch) went to a “COVID party” to purposely expose himself to the virus. You see, he thought the disease was a hoax; only it isn’t, and he died.

As Dougherty observes, this story has every earmark of an urban legend. The man is not named; it is clearly presented as a morality tale; and no date of the incident nor location of the party was mentioned. In fact, these rather obvious faults with the story are what caused the Times to add all their qualifying paragraphs. So much for “the paper of record.”

The so-called “COVID party” is clearly analogous to chickenpox parties, which were popular before a vaccine was developed. The idea was to let your kids get infected in a controlled setting, recover, and attain immunity. While there seems to be no end to human stupidity, it is hard to believe that someone would willingly infect themselves with SARS-CoV-2, which can cause a disease far more serious than chickenpox. And, who would host such a party anyway, given the staggering potential liability?

But, as I said, we’re just getting started.

No doubt, you’ve heard about the astronomical infection rates being seen in Florida. But when many labs were reporting 100 percent positives, a TV station decided to look into this. In the case of Orlando Health, their reported 98% positives were really 9.4%. The Orlando VA Medical Center showed 76% positives, but this was really 6%. The discrepancies were explained as failure of certain labs to include both positive and negative results in their reports to the state. If you think that sounds a bit fishy, you’re not alone.

Related to this is the shock announcement from the Sunshine State on July 12 of 15,300 new COVID-19 “cases” (positive tests). As it happens more than 7,000 of the 15,300 positive cases reported on Sunday came from Richmond, VA based GENETWORx.

Oddly, on that July 12, nearly 100,000 total test results were reported by the Florida Department of Health, and more than half of these came from GENETWORx. But, according to the company CEO William Miller, “Genetworx is currently processing between 10-13,000 tests per day in Florida, I’m not sure why Florida reported 50,000 tests in one day from us, more than likely it’s a file with a few days’ worth of data.”

OK, so there was somehow a backlog in reporting the results, but even so, what genius thought that it would be a good idea to cram all of them into a single day? Since the public was waiting breathlessly for each day’s results, was this malfeasance, or just malice?

We have indicated, in a previous article, how the CDC is inflating the number of COVID-19 fatalities. For those familiar with the agency, this sort of politically driven policy should come as no surprise. And, now they consider themselves being persecuted by the White House.

I guess the CDC is going to be unhappy with this latest announcement. The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass CDC and send all COVID-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on July 15.

You might recall that this same CDC botched the initial COVID testing. Moreover, they made the ridiculous mistake of conflating viral and antibody tests. And, this is supposed to be our lead agency.

So many media outlets refer to the overpraised Dr. Anthony Fauci as “America’s top infection disease expert.” Hardly. Fauci is a bureaucrat who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. It is vaguely possible that such a “top expert” might reside within that agency, but even that contention is a bit frivolous. There are far too many infectious diseases for one person to be an overall “top expert.”

And, it must be said that since SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus, no one can yet claim to be an expert on it or COVID-19.