Finally, the people of America are realizing that the COVID-19 death rate facts that they have been provided with have been misleading, which is why people are getting vocal about the unnecessary lockdowns, rapid and widespread testing, and different other policies related to the coronavirus prevention.
Ronald B. Brown, a doctoral candidate in Epidemiology from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada has raised a very crucial question about how the mortality data was given to Congress at the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic.
The particular hearing on mortality data was held on March 11, in front of the House Oversight Committee. At that hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed that the mortality rate of COVID-19 was 3%. If the mildly symptomatic cases were taken into account, then it would be 1%, which is ten times deadlier than any normal seasonal flu.
According to Brown, this particular testimony given by Dr. Fauci was the reason behind imposing measures such as the extended lockdowns, physical distancing, and different other policies nationwide. Brown then dove deeper into explaining that fatality rates are recorded in two different ways, while the mortality rate is only a calculation done after sufficient time has passed.
According to the CDC, the mortality rate is a frequency of death within a specific time frame for a well-defined population. For example, if you want to know about the mortality rate for women under 40 from breast cancer in a specific year, you should divide the total number of deaths of women under 40 from breast cancer by the total population of women under 40 during the specific calendar year.
Another crucial metric is the Case Fatality Rate (CFR), which is calculated as the total number of deaths due to a specific disease divided by the total number of confirmed cases of the disease during a specific span of time. This particular calculation is also used for measuring the severity of any kind of disease. When it comes to knowing the CFR of women with breast cancer under 40, the total number of deaths due to breast cancer under 40 needs to divided by the number of confirmed cases of breast cancer in women under 40.
The Infection Fatality Rate is calculated in a different manner. The total number of deaths due to an infection is divided by the prevalence of the infection in a population. As we know that with coronavirus cases, there are numbers of asymptomatic and mild infections. Based on the blood tests that require immune response, the number of the infections is calculated. According to the estimation of the CDC for COVID-19, the number of infections in people was ten times more than the number of confirmed cases in July this year.
For COVID-19, all these calculations are already transparent. The National Center of Health Statistics (NCHS) has already relaxed the guidelines and formalities of listing a death as a death from COVID-19. Based on the guidelines of the NCHS, no confirmed test or medical documentation is required for stamping the COVID-19 ICD 10 code on the death certificate. NCHS’ latest update gives organizations the flexibility of doing tests wherever possible. No lab-confirmed test is required.
Now, if you intelligently combine the relaxed guidelines of the NCHS and the financial incentives provided to hospitals through the CARES act, you would easily realize that the death rate is overstated.
According to Brown, as these three statistics — mortality rate, Case Fatality Rate, and Infection Fatality Rate — vary significantly, there was definitely a miscalculation. The estimation given by Dr. Fauci was mainly meant to be used by the media to inform the public.
The word “cases” was actually misleading for the public, as it defined the number of people who were sick with COVID-19, as well as the people who were found positive but displayed no symptoms.