New Analysis Shows How the CDC Spread False Information That Exaggerated the Severity of COVID-19

Public health agencies should be held to a high standard, yet they are getting away with spreading false information and accusing others who have posted factual information, of doing the same.

Academics from the University of California, San Francisco have published a new paper titled “Statistical and Numerical Errors Made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The paper outlines 25 instances when the CDC reported statistical or numerical errors. Twenty (80%) of these instances, according to the researchers, “exaggerated the severity of the COVID-19 situation.”

They also explain how the CDC was notified about the errors in 16 (64%) instances and later corrected the errors, at least partially, in 13 (52%) instances.

As the paper points out, it’s quite ironic that “inaccurate and misleading information” labels were put on various scientific papers, posts made by experts in the field, and more throughout the pandemic yet the CDC themselves have been outed multiple times for spreading misinformation.

In fact, the Biden administration collaborated with Big Tech to actively censor and put labels on content they knew, admittedly, was “true content” with an army of federal censors.

The researchers explain,

“Many entities rely on the CDC for trusted information, as does the lay public. For instance, YouTube links to the CDC website on all videos discussing COVID-19, supporting CDC policy positions. Spotify links select podcast episodes to the CDC website as well. Many universities, healthcare facilities, daycares, churches, businesses, schools, sports programs, and camps defer to CDC guidance for COVID-19 precautions. For this reason, it is imperative the CDC avoids errors in their statements, or, if errors are made, that they are rapidly corrected. We set out to identify numerical errors or objectively false statements made by the CDC.”

As you can imagine, this was a daunting task. US federal agencies put out a plethora of information on their websites, social media accounts, scientific publications, press releases, emails, and more. The authors sought to compile errors they previously identified, or errors brought to their attention by other observers.

All errors were presented at a meeting with all authors present. The errors were discussed, reviewed and accepted only if three authors all felt the errors were clearly false. A fourth author, not involved in the collection, made the final determination whether the included errors were false.

Several mistakes are related to the completely inaccurate Data Tracker demographics; some are related to the misuse of a flawed pre-print to claim COVID as a “top 5 cause of death in children,” and others are issues with paediatric hospitalization data, variant percentages, and other issues.

“These errors have been made repeatedly and were likely to have affected discussion of pandemic policies. During the years the errors occurred, CDC’s guidance repeatedly called for restrictions being placed on children, including school closures, mask mandates, and strong recommendations for vaccinations and multiple boosters even among children who have recovered from the virus.”

Though the tendency to exaggerate risks was worse with kids, 80% of the total errors overestimated risks to the population at large. Expecting the CDC to report both accurately and without a propensity to induce fear is something we should all want and is not a right-wing conspiracy theory.

Throughout the pandemic there have been conflicting numbers when it comes to children. Now that this analysis has come out, it all makes sense to me, as my research showed completely opposite narratives from various countries regarding children. In many countries at the height of the pandemic, zero children died.

For example, early on in the pandemic Jonas F. Ludvigsson, a pediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, published research showing that out of nearly 2 million school children, zero died from COVID despite no lockdowns, school closings or mask mandates during the first wave of the pandemic.

According to a March 2022 report released by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Finland showed there were zero COVID deaths in young people throughout the entire pandemic. Only 26 percent of children ages 5-11 and 80 percent of children ages 12-17 at that point received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Children under 12 were never masked, and only 9 percent of children ages 5-11 were fully vaccinated.

I thought to myself, how can this be true if COVID was claimed to be extremely dangerous for children here in North America?

These types of errors and misleading messages from federal health regulatory agencies were in fact pointed out throughout the pandemic by hundreds of academics. There are many examples to choose from.

For example, in February 2022, several researchers from various academic institutions in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada published a papertitled “The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Vaccine Policy: Why Mandates, Passports, and Segregated Lockdowns may cause more Harm than Good.”

The authors point out the misleading messages surrounding COVID vaccines from health authorities and legacy media. They go through vaccine efficacy, the risk of COVID-19, mask mandates, lockdowns, the ability of the vaccines to stop transmission via viral load studies and much more.

“Political rhetoric has descended into moralizing, scapegoating, blaming and condescending language using pejorative terms and actively promoting stigma and discrimination as tools to increase vaccination.”

One of the authors from the new analysis, Tracey Beth Hoeg, MD, PhD, along with Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H., a Johns Hopkins professor, surgeon and public policy researcher, published a piece in The Free Press in July 2022 explaining how some CDC, FDA & NIH Scientists are embarrassed by lack of science guiding COVID vaccine policy.

“Another CDC scientist told us: “I used to be proud to tell people I work at the CDC. Now I’m embarrassed.” Why are they embarrassed? In short, bad science. The longer answer: that the heads of their agencies are using weak or flawed data to make critically important public health decisions. That such decisions are being driven by what’s politically palatable to people in Washington or to the Biden administration. And that they have a myopic focus on one virus instead of overall health.”

They expressed that doctors and scientists at the top levels of the NIH, FDA and CDC are “frustrated, exasperated and alarmed about the direction of the agencies to which they have devoted their careers.”

“It’s like a horror movie I’m being forced to watch and I can’t close my eyes,” one senior FDA official told them. “People are getting bad advice and we can’t say anything.”

As you can see, the new analysis recently published is not a big surprise, and there are more instances to choose from throughout pandemic that have been pointed out by other academics.

The next question becomes, were these errors intentional or unintentional? We may never know the answer to that question, but we do know that scientists from within these agencies have been raising concerns for years. Only during the pandemic did more experts in the field and more lay people become aware of this.

An example I’ve often used to illustrate this point involves a group of senior scientists from within the CDC calling itself, CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER.

They published a list of ethical complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff regarding the CDC’s behavior in 2016. They provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK). The members of the group elected to file the complaint anonymously for fear of retribution.

“It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests… and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behaviour. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units. These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health.”

It’s a shame that the agencies tasked with protecting us may be doing the exact opposite. It’s nearly impossible to rely on them for accurate information, guidance and data when it comes to all things health.

If physicians and public health officials in the US remain silent and fail to admit past mistakes, harmful policies will persist or resurface in the next pandemic. Why wouldn’t they? Without us defining what went wrong or creating an ethical framework to prevent the same mistakes, why would they stop?

By Arjun Walia
Source: The Pulse

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