How to Lie with Statistics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) speaks with forked tongue.

On a page that is ostensibly dedicated to coronavirus mortality updates ( it says, “Indicators that track ILI and COVID-19-like illness (CLI) showed decreases nationally from week 29 to week 30, with decreasing or stable levels in nearly all regions of the country,” and “Mortality attributed to COVID-19 remains above the epidemic threshold,” but no numbers are given.

Additionally, in THREE places on the same page, this message (with minor changes in phraseology that don’t affect meaning) appears: “Based on death certificate data available on July 30, 2020, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) increased from week 26 – week 28 (June 27 – July 11) after declining for 11 weeks since mid-April. The percentage of deaths due to PIC for week 30 is 8.6% and, while lower than the percentage during week 29 (12.0%), remains above the epidemic threshold. Percentages for recent weeks will likely increase as more death certificates are processed.”

A mortality statistic specifically for COVID-19 is NOT given on a page that purports to educate on COVID mortality surveillance. The mortality statistic that IS cited is a percentage computed on the mortality attributed to PNEUMONIA and INFLUENZA, COMBINED with whatever the COVID number may be. A suitably threatening graph appears on the page – and again, the number that the skyrocketing red line represents is “PIC” (pneumonia, influenza and coronavirus) deaths, NOT just COVID mortality.

Apparently there have not been enough actual COVID deaths to be deemed sufficiently terrorizing to the public, so whatever that number or percentage is, it’s being PADDED with the addition of the death rates for TWO OTHER diseases. And lest the reader of that page is not scared enough by the bogus COVID mortality data, the thrice-repeated statement about mortality ends with a sinister warning that the numbers are probably higher than cited.

SHAME on the CDC for fear-mongering.


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