Want to be frightened by phony statistics – repeated daily without ever checking the source?
Pick a number, any number, twist it, turn it, feed it to the gullible, everyone from Barney Fife to Donald Trump. For extra fun, listen to the fools repeat your lies, day after day, like twits stupidly loving their fake followers.
Much propaganda can be excused as entertainment. Were Rock Hudson and Phyllis Gates (no relation to “Bill”) happily married as portrayed in the Press? Will Joe Biden pick Michelle Obama as running mate? Does our President secretly watch On the Waterfront reruns when depressed?
But if lives and livelihoods are at stake, fake news, false statistics and unfounded conclusions should be exposed by smart Media outlets that ask questions and don’t always excuse bureaucratic bungling.
Nearly all Coronavirus “experts”, politicians and the public currently rely on data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Here’s a CNN report yesterday:
The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington now forecasts more than 137,000 Americans will die by early August, up from its previous forecast of 134,000 deaths.
That rise is largely due to Americans moving around more, IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a news release, adding that in some places the upward trend in movement began before statewide measures were relaxed.
Researchers tracked that movement through anonymous cell phone data, according to the release, Murray, who used to work for W.H.O., explained.
That death number prediction today followed a total of 750 deaths in the U.S. on Sunday from the virus, according to IHME data.
But in the model, IHME projected 1,842 deaths for that same day, nearly 1,100 more victims than necessary to make their projection grow to 137,000. The model is not updated from their own new data daily or even every two or three days. Staff must be busy with other chores?
Examining the IHME model, the level of 750 U.S. deaths should not have been reached until June 11 – nearly at the bottom (and end) of the curve.
The model is obviously flawed and vague. For example, U.S. deaths yesterday were predicted at 1,789. but in parentheses it warned somewhere between 1,346 and 2,617. Actual deaths listed were 1,008, again far below even the bottom range of prediction.
The lighter pink in the graph is the giant deviation allowed by IHME.
Adding to that distortion, the model was changed on April 15 to permit observation alone to determine new coronavirus cases and deaths. Testing is no longer required.
The apparent deception, deliberate or stupid – doesn’t stop there.
This is yesterday morning’s IHME summary of total U.S. cases and deaths:
The headlines from all the media and IHME reported more than one million active cases. You would interpret that as existing now (the adjective definition of active).
It may be possible to have explained Santa Clause to eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon by citing hope, love and charity, but I doubt if even she would have fallen for today’s faulty stats.
We start with IHME cases -1.367,638 – then subtract deaths of 80,787 to equal 1,286,851 for cases remaining. Total recovered is 256,336, which must be subtracted from the 1,286,851 to yield IHME active cases of 1,030,515.
How can there be more than a million active COVID-19 cases remaining in the U.S. after months of testing that accumulated a total of 1.367 million cases?
That’s impossible. Either more folks died, recovered, or do we have a huge number still being treated?
None of those possibilities are true.
What IHME has done that fools us is exaggerate the number of serious, hospitalized cases to include the patients tested positive with little or no symptoms, who were just sent home.
On another page (right) IHME notes on its world results (not on U.S. page) that 98% of described active cases are “mild condition” and the rest – 2% – are serious or critical.
Putting these scattered facts together, we can conclude there were 1.03 million active cases, but nearly all of them (98% or so) were judged mild.
IHME does not provide an actual number of these mild cases for the U.S. After months nearly all of those tested mild positive must have fully recovered – even if they had any symptoms at outset. It would be correct to say there has been an accumulated million positive test cases.
There is an answer from IHME to just how many Americans are currently seriously ill with COVID-19, and it shows (see summary above) under the heading Serious, Critical, as 16,514 tested or observed current hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The headline should read COVID-19 patients total more than 16,500 in U.S. hospitals – not some misleading million active cases.
New York State’s status confirms this conclusion of what are real U.S. numbers, as Governor Andrew Cuomo explained Saturday:
New York’s number of coronavirus hospitalizations and intubations continues to decline. Total (N.Y. State) hospitalizations fell to 8,196 on Friday.
We’re finally ahead of this virus.
The IHME report, however, does not show a total of New York’s hospitalized or serious/critical cases – just a misleading 260,494 active cases, instead of 8,196 hospitalized. If there was really one quarter of a million seriously ill, it would be an impossible challenge to a state with just 55,000 hospital beds.
Is IHME deliberately misleading the public, politicians and working to inflate the severity of the virus?
The Microsoft founder, William Gates (no relation to “Phyllis”), is the major funder of this institute.
“IHME provides critical data about global health trends that can empower policymakers worldwide to identify better solutions in the fight against disease,” Gates, co-chair of the $46 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said.
Taken from a past IHME press release:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) announced today the foundation’s commitment to invest $279 million in IHME to expand its work over the next decade.
…IHME is now considered the trusted source for the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, and a range of other national and global organizations.
A critic of President Donald Trump, Gates says the US needs to be testing 20 million people a day by midsummer. He urges ten more weeks of total national shutdown.
He has also described the need to develop software, including smartphone apps, to keep accurate track of virus testing and predict future trends – which would also record every person you meet and every place you go.