Debunked – ‘Factual post about Covid’

Another post on social media claiming to have the facts crossed our paths on social media this week. Spoiler Alert – Social media posts that make bold claims in the absence of evidence are likely to be false. But just maybe this time its ‘not a conspiracy post’, just ‘the facts’ – Lets see…

The post begins with:

I feel it’s fair to say now that there is a great deal & sense of skepticism around the world towards Covid-19 and it’s legitimacy. Here’s why I believe people are skeptical (and we all know the truth connects at a deeper level, so pay attention to that)

skepticism‘ is the correct american spelling of the UK’s ‘scepticism’, and yet the post refers to events mostly occurring in the UK. I have absolutely no idea what ‘we all know the truth connects at a deeper level‘ means, its a strange phrase. Lets start by evaluating the validity of each claim, one by one.

Claim 1: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have professional football games being played (entertainment) 

This claim sounds ok, except there are some important pieces of missing information – so its not a whole truth. Generally matches are being played with no spectators and matches are cancelled if team members become infected.

Claim 2: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have flights still arriving and leaving this country (luxury)

The facts here are in dispute but recent numbers suggest, for non-vulnerable people the risk is low due to the effective ventilation in modern aeroplanes. Flights have not returned to pre-covid levels and restrictions are in place in airports.

Claim 3: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have government ministers visiting family (defying the rules put in place because of apparently how dangerous this virus is)

Yes, in the UK they have seen rule breaking by government ministers and advisers. Some have been reprimanded and lost their roles, others appear to have gone unpunished. In the next general election the UK general public will be given the opportunity to vote out those who broke the rules. But this wasn’t just a UK problem, it happened all over the world, some people will always break the rules, some will always feel the rules don’t apply to them. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a pandemic.

Claim 4: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have empty hospital wards (doesn’t make sense)

There is no evidence provided for this claim and UK government statistics on Covid-19 suggest otherwise. There have been many media reports about impacts of Covid-19 on the NHS, which makes sense because sick people are more likely to be the most vulnerable to the new virus. However, UK health authorities have run media campaigns to advertise the restarting of critical services such as cancer screening.

At this point we can stop and look at the steps we have taken.

  • We took the first 4 claims and identified any facts that we could check.
  • We looked for evidence that might support the claim in the first case (football matches) and found that the claim wasn’t telling the whole truth.
  • We looked for evidenced facts and identified that the first 4 claims don’t supply actual evidence.

The rest of the claims get more bizarre as we continue and they continue to be devoid of evidence (links, references, dates for figures). That is enough for us to say this post is nonsense.

Social media posts that make bold claims in the absence of evidence are likely to be false.

We continued to research the claims made just to see where they led us…

Claim 5: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have restaurants, bars and coffee shops opened serving, cooking and handling food (ehhh)

Yes, the ‘Eat out to Help out‘ scheme (no longer available) actually encouraged people to go out and eat in restaurants. It doesn’t mean the pandemic is a hoax.

Claim 6: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have political elections (obviously a major priority when people are dying or distracted) 

We seem to have switched countries with this claim, there are no major elections scheduled for 2020 in the UK. Perhaps they are referring to the Belarus election or the US election, it is unclear? However, where politicians are failing to handle the crisis, elections allow us to vote in better, more effective politicians with alternative approaches to solving the pandemic crisis. Moreover, the US has looked at alternative ways to vote.

Claim 7: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have schools back opened (hmmm)

Across Europe schools are returning and cases are rising, could there be a link?

Claim 8: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have a prime minister in intensive care and 1 week later he is back running the country (and the Oscar goes to …)

This claim is factually incorrect. Boris Johnson (the UK Prime Minister) was away from office for 2 weeks (a full 15 days) after leaving hospital.

Claim 9: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we are sending ‘covid-19 testing samples’ in the post risking the possible chance of this ‘virus’ spreading (makes sense well done)

This is partially correct, the UK is using postal testing. However, the risk is no greater for Covid-19 tests than other items in the mail. The swab is returned in a sealed container.

Claim 10: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ our government invests over 1 trillion pounds to apparently keep the economy going, but where was this money to eradicate poverty (which kills more people every year than covid-19)

Without evidence to corroborate this figure, we are unable to confirm it. We have a figure of £210bn. which is significantly less.

Claim 11: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ we have an apparent global death rate of 700,000 people (less than 0.01% of the global population) however last year alone 5 million people were registered as dying from the Flu …. JUST IN ITALY (10% of their population, I didn’t see them on a quarantine list then)

The date is September 2020 and Europe is about to hit the 2nd wave of the global pandemic, as cases and deaths begin to rise. As the claim here is undated we have no way to check whether the global deaths were at some stage ‘correct’. At this point they are wrong – global deaths stand at 921,000.

So did 5 million people die from flu last year in Italy, 10% of the population? That seems extreme. Its wrong. Typical global annual deaths from flu are between 290,000 and 650,000. And specifically Italy did not lose 10% of its population last year, in fact only 1.15% of Italy’s population died during the whole year from ALL causes of death.

Claim 12: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ government officials (health secretary) confirmed masks have not been scientifically proven to stop the spread of this ‘virus’ yet it’s been enforced across Europe

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in June 2020 examined similar virus transmission and found clear evidence that masks help reduce transmission. If I buy a new car, I don’t rip out the seatbelts and airbags because there isn’t a pre-existing trial stating that they work with this particular new car.

Claim 13: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ American hospitals have been funded by the government up to $37,000 per patient that is confirmed to have died from Covid-19 (hmmm I know what I would do if I owned an American hospital) 

Hospitals get paid to treat people, by governments, by insurance companies etc, that’s how the system works. The doctors and nurses don’t treat cancer for free either.

Claim 14: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ the UK government has announced live on TV that they have been wrongly adding covid-19 to death certificates (miscounting as a result of dead virus bacteria found during autopsy)

The UK government did update the figures in August 2020 to correct for this oversight. In fact there has been much debate in the media about whether to count deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19 more than 28 days or more than 60 days before they died. The UK figures have now been corrected for this, and they stand at over 41,000 in September 2020.

Claim 15: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ you have a computer guy (Bill Gates) advising the world how to protect themselves.

These days just writing ‘Bill Gates‘ in a social media post is a red flag for some fact checking! Is it wrong for people with money to donate money to help people? And rich people have always given us ‘their opinion’ about how the world should be run, this is nothing new.

Claim 16: During a ‘deadly global pandemic’ you have medical professionals standing up around the world saying “something is not adding up” (just Google Covid-19 truth and look beyond the front pages)

There is no evidence provided for this claim. If by medical professionals we mean Dr Stella Immanuel, “Five years ago, she alleged that alien DNA was being used in medical treatments, and that scientists were cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious”.

Frankly claim 16 had us rofl, the day the author of this post and many others like it ‘reads beyond [the headlines]‘ will be the day we stop writing this blog. It is entirely because these people do zero research, don’t fact check or even read before reposting this nonsense to us and our children that sumoflogic.org exists.

Claim 17: I could go on ALL DAY…BUT Here is a fact based on UK death statistics. There is a 1 in 100 chance of someone dying in a car accident.

We believe that this poster could indeed lie all day, a truth amongst lies. The RAC puts the chance of dying in a car accident at 0.5 in a hundred, so 100% over the real figure.

Claim 18: There is 1 in 10,000 chance of dying from Covid-19 (based on the current false reporting of deaths) 

The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is probably between 0.5-1.0% depending on the source and region, so 1 in 200 to about 1 in 100. Since this post is mostly referring to the UK, here is a UK link.

After 18 claims that make no factual sense the post degenerates into the usual nonsense.

But DO YOU EVER STOP driving your car?

  1. You can’t catch a car-death, car-death infections don’t grow exponentially, even if the car sneezes and coughs on you.
  2. The car death statistics are based on a large section of the population driving for most of their adult lives. While Covid-19 is (hopefully) a single infection. Apples and oranges.
  3. If I had a 1/100 chance of dying when I got exposed to a car, I’d stay away from cars.
  4. All cars sold in the UK, Europe and the US all contain expensive & extensive systems to limit the harmful substances they emit. Think of your car’s catalytic convertor and particle filter as a mask.

So let me ask you. Why are you letting your mind be controlled by the media? 

Or strangers posting baseless claims on social media. Why does the poster want me to stop listening to reputable news sources?

I’m sure if the news previewed a daily tally of the deaths related to driving or prescription pills you would stop driving and taking painkillers. So why not switch off the news? 

There are extensive, and tightening controls on narcotic painkillers, exactly because they are dangerous. In fact the CDC refers to America’s drug overdose problem as an ‘epidemic’ even though far fewer people have died from it than from Covid-19.

Why are we all wearing masks breathing in our own Co2, messing up our immune system with over sanitisation, locking ourselves in doors, separating ourselves from loved ones, living life in fear and bowing down to people with a university degree in ‘Politics’ that wear suits? 

If we don’t like the leaders we could elect new ones in elections. This poster suggested we shouldn’t vote. We debunked a post in August about masks and CO2. I believe the poster means that we shouldn’t lock ourselves ‘indoors’ as opposed to becoming trapped between doors. That is not a light-hearted quip, read here about intentional spelling mistakes being used in email and social media posts to add authenticity and make them more believable.

This isn’t a conspiracy post. It’s all facts.

This isn’t a conspiracy post‘ is always a red flag phrase that should trigger either the fact checking or the ‘scroll past’ options in our brains. This post is a collection of baseless claims leading you down a path towards an ending that suggests we shouldn’t vote or stay informed.

Begin to question and soon your eyes will be opened and your mind will be free of the hypnotic trance you have been living in for 6 months.

This is an ironic ending. Yes, question who would want you to not vote, not stay informed and not stay alive?

We couldn’t end this post without the little hands together praying for peace and love that was attached to the end, but I am not sufficiently technologically capable to add that so I will link to this interesting article instead.

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