The Pandemic Really Is Over, No Seriously, We Mean It This Time
There’s an opinion piece in The New York Times heralding a new “positive milestone” for Covid. It declares that excess deaths have magically dropped back down to where they were before the pandemic—thanks to vaccines, Paxlovid, and “natural immunity.” They’re calling it “a sign that the pandemic really is over.” You can almost hear their desperation. There’s just one problem.
The math literally doesn’t add up.
At first, we suspected.
Now we know.
It’s an artificial drop. The CDC achieved this drop by manipulating their weekly mortality predictions. We need to be crystal clear here. Nothing has changed in reality. Covid hasn’t become an “ordinary illness.” It’s still killing and disabling as much as ever, just at a steadier pace.
The CDC announced their change in methodology very quietly back in March, and someone finally read the small print.
Take a look:
Yes, they absolutely did change how they count all of this. And yes, it very much does sound like they’re opening their arms to Covid deaths. Many of us were suspicious, but we didn’t have confirmation. The CDC buried this little tweak in their Covid excess mortality dashboard.
Here’s what it says:
On March 15, 2023, the methodology for estimating excess deaths was updated to account for the fact that approximately 160 weeks of data during the pandemic were being excluded in the algorithm (so that expected values were not inflated due to substantially elevated mortality during the pandemic), resulting in unstable estimates of expected weekly numbers of deaths in some cases. To account for this limitation and provide more stable estimated expected numbers for recent time periods, the Farrington surveillance algorithms (1) were first applied to data through 2020 and used to predict the expected weekly number of deaths through 2020. To estimate the expected number of deaths for 2021, weekly counts of death above the 95% prediction interval in 2020 were replaced with imputed values, assuming that deaths (on average) in 2020 reflected the expected numbers and variability predicted by the Farrington algorithm.
Here’s my translation:
Now that the pandemic is “officially over,” they’ve gone back and included pandemic deaths in their new excess mortality predictions.
They even made it retroactive.
At least the CDC is telling the truth (sort of). They’re acknowledging that they’re cooking the books to provide “more stable” excess death predictions. It’s bullshit, but at least they’re explaining what they did.
The New York Times is lying.
The media is trying hard to convince the public that Covid no longer poses a threat. They’re intentionally neglecting the change in how the CDC calculates excess mortality. They’re presenting it as a genuine drop, not a numbers trick. Meanwhile, I ran my own numbers with CDC data.
Take a look:
If we use the original method to calculate excess deaths, it remains significantly higher than it was before Covid. My numbers put us at 5.5 percent above the baseline for the year 2023, and that’s a low estimate. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development puts us at 8-14 percent.
Take a look:
Even The Economist raised an eyebrow.
Here’s what they said:
Our central estimate for the world’s current total mortality rate exceeds projections from 2019 by 5%, or 3m lives per year.
Here’s their chart:
You can also get a more reliable excess mortality rate at Our World in Data. They still offer a model that uses pre-pandemic data.
As of late May, we’re still at 6 percent:
There’s a lot of reasons why economists, actuaries, and honest scientists use excess deaths. It’s a much more accurate measure of Covid’s impact. It cuts through the bullshit game that states have played defining hospital admissions “with” versus “for” Covid. As we know, Covid can kill you in plenty of different ways, months after your supposedly “mild” infection. It’s all heavily documented.
Is excess mortality better than last year? Yeah. Is it heading in the right direction? Yeah, for now. Does that mean we should abandon masks and clean air? No, not at all. Excess deaths have flattened a little bit, but they’re still high. They’re so high that it should make anyone uncomfortable.
Take a look:
Excess deaths for 2023 actually remain on par with the last two years when you use the original excess mortality baseline. That’s why the affluent types are so eager to convince us that excess deaths are “down.”
They actually aren’t. In fact, we should expect what health statisticians call a “mortality displacement.” The mortality rate should drop below average after a mass casualty event like a pandemic, because they tend to wipe out extremely vulnerable populations first. We’re not seeing that.
We’re still far above average.
If you were a corrupt politician or a sociopathic billionaire, you’d have a very real incentive to cover that up. There’s a big difference between the original baseline and the CDC’s new (retroactive) expected weekly deaths.
Take a look:
Excess mortality levels were the last thing we had to show that Covid still posed a threat. It’s more reliable than PCR testing, home tests, or even wastewater monitoring at this point. Predictably, they changed the rules.
Billionaires and their puppet politicians made the CDC give them an artificial solution to their excess mortality problem:
Cook the Covid books.
I’ve hesitated to come right out and accuse health agencies of manipulating their data, but it’s extremely clear now. They’ve provided our dishonest media with the ammunition they need to disappear the pandemic once and for all, without actually doing anything to stop the virus.
Here’s a list of lies from the mainstream media so far:
- Covid doesn’t hurt children.
- Breakthrough infections are rare.
- You only get Covid once.
- Natural immunity lasts for years.
- Covid doesn’t damage your immune system.
- Face masks don’t really work.
- Covid has become “mild.”
- Lockdowns caused immunity debt.
Every single one of these statements has been proven false, but the media repeated them so many times they became normalized. These aren’t just innocent lies. They’re not just opinions you can debate on the internet. They’ve gotten millions of people killed or permanently disabled.
Now they’re covering up excess deaths.
It’s social murder.
The U.S. government isn’t the only one doing it either. Britain has also recently, very quietly, changed how they calculate excess deaths. In fact, here’s a great thread on what’s actually going on there. And here’s an explanation from Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS):
The pandemic isn’t really over, so we shouldn’t be using data from the last three years as a new normal. It’s inaccurate. It’s misleading. It’s unethical. It’s dangerous. This deception matters especially now, given suppressed reports of a new variant in Japan and rising cases in the U.S. As Even Blake at WSWS warns, the world is basically flying blind into a new Covid surge. Our decider class has dismantled every tool we had to track and contain the virus.
Now we have our N95 masks and our air purifiers.
We have our nasal sprays and mouthwash.
We have the truth.
Last year, we were told “you do you,” but even that turned out to be a lie as the public now tries to shame and gaslight us into giving up on our own protections and our employers pressure or even force us to take off our masks.
As the rich do their best to disappear the pandemic, we have to keep everyone honest. They won’t do the right thing unless we make them.
We have to call out the lies.
Nobody else will.