Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lying With Statistics: Another Dishonest COVID-19 Report

Here is a headline being blasted out by The Telegraph:

President Trump retweeted the story:
The headline and story are as dishonest as you can get.

This is the first paragraph:
Sweden has now overtaken the UK, Italy and Belgium to have the highest coronavirus per capita death rate in the world, throwing its decision to avoid a strict lockdown into further doubt.
The truth is in paragraph 4 (my emphasis):
However, Sweden has only had the highest death rate over the past week, with Belgium, Spain, Italy, the UK and France, still ahead over the entire course of the pandemic.
Here is a chart of current deaths in the countries referenced.

 Per capita deaths never came close to the peaks in Italy and the UK.

The idea that Sweden somehow has the highest COVID-19 death rate in any meaningful sense is absurd.

If anything the deaths that did occur point to a problem where government management is involved more than anything else.

Over 50% of deaths in Sweden occurred in nursing homes.

 In Sweden, municipalities are responsible for elderly care.

There have been typical nutty government regulations when it comes to nursing home care.

It was essentially a government murder program. From the BBC:
Now, increasing numbers of workers are also coming forward to criticise regional healthcare authorities for protocols which they say discourage care home workers from sending residents into hospital, and prevent care home and nursing staff from administering oxygen without a doctor's approval, either as part of acute or palliative (end-of-life) services.

"They told us that we shouldn't send anyone to the hospital, even if they may be 65 and have many years to live. We were told not to send them in," says Latifa Löfvenberg, a nurse who worked in several care homes around Gävle, north of Stockholm, at the beginning of the pandemic.

"Some can have a lot of years left to live with loved ones, but they don't have the chance... because they never make it to the hospital," she says. "They suffocate to death. And it's a lot of panic and it's very hard to just stand by and watch."
Ms Löfvenberg is now working on a Covid-19 ward in a major hospital in the Swedish capital, where she says the demographic of patients she's treating is further evidence that the elderly are being kept away. "We don't have many older people. It's a lot of younger people born in the 90s, 80s, 70s."

A paramedic working in Stockholm, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the BBC she had not had a single call-out to an elderly care home connected to Covid-19, despite putting in overtime during the crisis.
More and more, it is clear government rule-makers are not in touch with reality. More from the BBC:
  Decisions about healthcare staffing and resources are taken at a regional level in Sweden, although national guidelines suggest that elderly patients, whether in state or privately run care homes, should not automatically be taken to hospital for treatment.
Dr Thomas Linden, Chief Medical Officer at the National Board of Health and Welfare, says workers should "professionally weigh the potential benefits" against risk factors such as catching the virus in hospital and the "costs" of transporting patients, including the likelihood of disorientation and discomfort.


  1. More misleading MSM news. They fail to compare covid deaths and deaths from the shutdown too.

  2. The first part of your criticism is excellent. The Telegraph clearly sacrificed accuracy for sensationalism in line with that tried and true journalism rule: If it bleeds it leads. The second part is more problematic. Sending seniors to hospital could cause them more problems. Hospitals are known to be full of viruses particularly if they are full of younger patients. Similar to Cuomo's mistake forcing nursing homes to accept seniors already sick with the flu. In this case sending sick seniors to hospital full of younger sick patients. On the other hand any organization that is state run will always fall short when it comes to meeting the needs of the customer. The key problem is the use of force as opposed to voluntary interaction.

    1. Hospital or not they denied proper care even in the nursing homes. Knowing what is known for months about how C-19 hits the old, medical care should have come up with solutions on how to treat them / where to treat them.

  3. This article is big on social media. Lots of people buying the BS. Bad news is good news and good news is bad for some mattering on how it fits what they have come to believe.

  4. Sweden has only had 59 people under the age of 50 die of the virus. They have had one death in the 0-19 age cohort and zero deaths in the 10-19 age cohort.

    We cannot get good data on how many of the elderly deaths were dark skinned with Vitamin D deficiencies. Since all nursing home residents tend to have severe vitamin D deficiencies, I suspect nothing was done to improve that and no data will be available on that issue from autopsies. Who wants to kill whom?

  5. Does Sweden have any real randomized data on infection rates, or is it just based on how many people show up to the hospital with symptoms?