Please, Stop with the 6% Story

Everyone is repeating it, posting it, running with it.  I get it. But people just do not seem to understand how this works. I have been talking about this since March, honestly, I have. You can check the Dividing Line and my social media feeds. I am not a medical doctor—but I was department fellow in Anatomy and Physiology in college and was one of the top students. I can read technical papers.  And I know about virology, infection vectors, and comorbidity factors. Let’s set the record straight.

As soon as sufficient data began to come out of especially Italy early on a trend appeared that has been consistent pretty much all around the world. Yes, yes, I agree that covid death reporting has been a mess, and, yes, I agree that it has been monetized (hospitals get more money if someone dies with a covid diagnosis than otherwise) and politicized.  We may never have accurate numbers, and the numbers we have are most likely overblown.  But laying that aside, an immediate fact that came to light was this: the average age of death seemed to track fairly closely, country by country, with the average life expectancy.  Covid was not sending folks to eternity any earlier than all the rest of mankind’s ailments.

But along with this it was established early on that covid is an opportunistic virus.  That is, it almost always requires “comorbidity factors” to take someone out. Hence, it has next to no meaningful impact below the age of 30, for example, since the vast majority of the young do not have such comorbidity factors. As we age we develop problems, and the more problems we develop the more dangerous covid becomes—just like so many other diseases that operate in the same fashion, introducing stresses and complications to the system that can cause death.  The common cold can kill a person with chronic emphysema, for example.  We saw early on that the numbers skyrocket for covid’s fatality rate in the presence of multiple such factors.  The most recent study I saw said most people required between two and three such factors for covid to become highly fatal.  This has been consistent from the start.  Covid adds a high stress factor to people with emphysema or high blood pressure or, especially, obesity.  

So there is absolutely positively NOTHING new about the headline, “CDC says 94% of covid deaths has other complicating factors,” or, to put it another way, only 6% of covid deaths were attributed solely to the virus without any other complicating factor.  In fact, I tracked down a screenshot I took back in March, provided here, to prove my point. They had only 1% with no conditions at that time, all from mainly Italian sources.  But the comorbidity issue has been known from the start.

But here’s the point: almost all deaths have multiple factors. Sure, some diseases can take you out all by themselves, but often disease creates weaknesses and imbalances in your system that provide opportunities for other diseases to “get in on the act.”  Chemo-therapy for cancer can open the door for secondary infections that kill you.  Lung cancer opens the door for pneumonia, etc. and etc.  Very often the medicines we take for one disease make us more susceptible to another disease. So, very rarely is a death a single-cause issue.

So it is just not right to say that the CDC has said that only 6% of the deaths it has listed are “real” covid deaths.  This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how this all works.  At the same time, it has been wrong, all along, for the CDC and the WHO to not properly contextualize what it was calling “covid deaths.”  Of this there is no doubt at all.  CNN, MSNBC, etc., have had running graphics on their news programs for months with “death totals” in the United States and the world, but never with any meaningful context.  Never are these numbers but in the context of what we would normally be experiencing in mortality rates in 2019 or any other time in the past. This was done, purposefully, to create panic.  No question about it, and it worked, and continues to work.  

But we do not fight the abuse of covid death numbers by running out and saying the CDC made it all up and only 10,000 people have died in the United States.  That’s just not true.  Covid-19 is a potent end-of-life opportunistic infection, just like all other strains of influenza, the common cold, and other better-known diseases like tuberculosis.  Yes, it is very relevant to understand that it needs help to kill someone.  If the citizens of the United States were more disciplined in their diet and exercise they would be significantly less liable to CV-19’s ability to infect and kill.  Morbidly obese people are definitely in danger of this virus, for example.  But the hyping of the numbers, the padding of the statistics, together with the willful refusal to place the numbers in a meaningful context, has led to even more deaths in other areas (postponed surgeries and medical treatments, for example, and even a spike in suicides). We have indeed been abused by our government—and by both parties—in this situation, and it is shameful.  We truly had almost no one to stand up for us when the “elites” started opining about treating this one virus differently than any other we have ever identified.  They have been wrong from the start, and the results are indeed horrific.

But all of that does not justify twisting the CDC’s report into the narrative I am seeing many of my friends repeating. They did not say only 6% are “real” covid deaths.  They said 6% were reported without other comorbidity factors.  Is that significant?  Of course it is, but it has been known, and reported on, for at least five months.  It is not news.  

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