Revealing Chinese-virus excess-death graphs #coronavirus

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

In the United Kingdom, total excess deaths are now causing real alarm among statisticians. The 18,516 deaths recorded in England and Wales in the week to April 10 are the highest weekly total since winter 2000 – and we are not in winter now. There 7996 (or 76%) more deaths than the mean weekly death toll for the time of year.


Fig. 1. UK weekly excess deaths by the thousand, compared to the five-year mean, attributed to the Chinese virus (grey) and not currently attributed to it (green), weeks 8 to 15 of 2020.

It can no longer be argued that the Chinese virus is “no worse than the annual flu”. If these are the excess deaths even after a lockdown, one can imagine how much worse the position might have been without a lockdown.

Of the 7996 excess deaths, 6213 had the Chinese virus registered on the death certificate, leaving 1783 unexplained excess deaths. A handful of these are attributable to suicide and other adverse consequences of the lockdown: inferentially, nearly all the rest are uncounted Chinese-virus deaths.

Sir David Spiegelhalter, Professor of the Public Understanding of Statistics in the University of Cambridge, described the excess-deaths spike as “incredibly vivid”. He told the Daily Telegraph:

“I don’t think I’ve ever been as shocked when I’ve looked at something, particularly as just over half of that spike were death certificates with COVID written on them. We knew there was going to be a jump in COVID-registered deaths. I hadn’t expected such a huge number of deaths which didn’t mention it on the death certificate.”

Sir David would not have been so surprised if he had been tracking our daily graphs showing the compound daily growth rates in confirmed (i.e., usually more serious) cases and in deaths. These growth rates, though a lot less bad than before the world began to take the Chinese virus seriously, are still dangerously high, baking in substantial numbers of future deaths.

The unallocated deaths reveal yet another weakness in HM Government’s recording and publication of the figures. It was already known that the death statistics announced in Downing Street’s daily press conferences were underestimated by at least 52% nationally (41% in England and Wales, 70% in Scotland, 91% in Northern Ireland: Fig. 2) because the figures were for hospital deaths only, excluding all deaths in care homes and in people’s houses.

Now it seems that even after adding 52% the figure is a 76% underestimate (Fig. 1), because the Government has not taken the elementary step of issuing instructions that all fatalities where the virus is suspected to have caused suffocation should be tested for the virus and the results reported to it within 24 hours where possible.


Fig. 2. Daily death counts reported by hospitals and the total corrected by the Office for National Statistics to allow for deaths registered later.

The absence of credible death statistics compounds the difficulties caused by HM Government’s failure to give instructions to hospitals and doctors to report all cases where the patient was infected but has recovered. In the absence of these basic numbers, HM Government is visibly stumbling about in the dark.

Daily growth rates in new cases and in deaths are no longer falling much, but they need to be lower before it becomes safe to end the lockdowns in those nations that have them. Sweden, with no lockdown, continues to track a little above the global daily growth rate in cumulative cases, and appreciably above it in cumulative deaths. Sweden has 175 deaths per million population, compared with 64 per million in Denmark, 34 in Norway and 25 in Finland.


Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 28 to April 20, 2020.


Fig. 2. Mean compound daily growth rates in cumulative COVID-19 deaths for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from April 4 to April 20, 2020.

318 thoughts on “Revealing Chinese-virus excess-death graphs #coronavirus

  1. Taiwan and South Korea show how the virus can be contained and the economy can continue.

    A good summary for Taiwan:

    Two perfect video’s with lots of valuable information about the virus and about the South Korean way by the humble and excellent Korean specialist Professor Woo-Joo Kim from Korea University Guro Hospital who calls this virus the most dangerous enemy in his 30 years of experience:
    and the successor with more recent information:

      • Yah. It was almost like the Chinese knew the virus was coming and had a plan for how to stop and how to spread it.

        The Chinese quickly guaranteed vast regions of China yet continued to allow the virus to spread to the US and other countries.

        China did not have a country wide lock down which explains why has only seen a 6% drop in their GDP. Commerce continues in China.

        All of the Developed Countries are going to see a 30% drop in their GDPs because we must have country wide lockdowns.

    • An experienced, retired Epidemiologist/Statistician living in New York City by the name of Knut Wyttkowskie (sp.) believes the real reason South Korea appears to have controlled the spread of Covid-19, is because the virus had already spread through and the population had reached herd immunity, which only takes about 4 weeks.

      • Correct. And a perfectly sound argument, it would seem.
        Now watch Monckton wheel out his own special brand of verbose sophistry, in an attempt to debunk that claim.
        The ONS figures for total recorded deaths, year to date, show nothing unusual about this year, in comparison with the three years preceding.
        Then there’s the well documented evidence of death certificates being filled out with COVID-19 as the primary cause of death, merely on the suspicion (based on symptoms alone) that the virus might have been present in that specific case, or where other, serious, underlying health conditions have been ignored.
        Poor Lord MoB seems to think there’s no possibility of the figures having been manipulated to fit a predetermined narrative.
        I wonder if a certain Mr Gates is in his contact list?

        • Herd Immunity is achieved at approximately 60% of the population.
          So South Korea did not notice that they had 30 Million people with COVID19 with all the testing that they did.
          Even if it was achieved at only 25% that would still be 12.5Million people.
          And you actually believe that when they have conducted 583,971 tests and only found 10,702 cases?

        • His Lordship also says, “Sweden has 175 deaths per million population, compared with 64 per million in Denmark, 34 in Norway and 25 in Finland.”

          But, if you don’t “flatten the curve” then your numbers will be higher for a shorter period of time. A truer comparison would be to see how Sweden does compared to the rest of the world in total cases and total deaths. If the pandemic totals are comparable, then Sweden’s choice would make much more sense than elsewhere, since Sweden hasn’t crippled its Economy with a quarantine/house arrest.

  2. Unless the lockdowns continue until a mass produced, efficacious vaccine is available to the everyone, then all we are doing with economy-killing lockdowns to delaying when a virus-naive individual becomes immune through natural community-based infection. Not if.

    The biggest threat I see right now is mass antibody testing to determine who currently exhibits a past infection and thus assumed immune, and those whose immune system is still naive (un-infected) the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    To be clear, I whole-heartedly support random, anonymous, representative-cross section Corona-2 antibody testing in every community, in every country throughout the World, wherever it can be conducted. This will guide the health community, the epidemiologists and the computer modellers in what is real # infections have been and properly range-in a real world valid R(0) and the expected fatality rate that comes from those numbers. All the indicators are now suggesting R(0) is high but the fatality rate is lowering by at least an order of magnitude due to 25x to 85x higher numbers of immunity from data in two large California random, representative antibody testing studies results.

    What I strenuously object to is antibody testing whose purpose is used to determine whether someone is allowed back to work, or to ride on an airplane or public transportation. There are Huge ethical and legal problems if we go down that road.

    For starters, In the US we have a patient confidentiality law called HIPPA that precludes health officials from releasing individual health results without ptx consent. If the tested patient is coerced to sign away his/her rights in order to get a free work/travel permit, then those involved are likely violating other laws intended to prevent health status discrimination in the workplace in many states as well as federal guidelines. These laws were written to preclude discrimination against HIV+ persons 20+ years ago by employers and governments in workplace hiring, but would likely apply in COVID-19 immunity status as well.
    Furthermore, even if the antibody testing result as a condition to returning work status is upheld by the courts, all that would encourage is massive Corona Virus parties by naive individuals with a few virus shedders to get their work ticket punched after a 2-week run of the virus to antibody + status. Unintended consequences, both foreseeable, and unforeseeable, thus would exist everywhere in such an idiotic public policy.

      • Sir David would not have been so surprised if he had been tracking our daily graphs showing the compound daily growth rates in confirmed (i.e., usually more serious) cases and in deaths. These growth rates, though a lot less bad than before the world began to take the Chinese virus seriously, are still dangerously high, baking in substantial numbers of future deaths.

        Ever over sure of his own abilities, our resident nodding Homer now suggests that a Prof in statistics needs to be looking at his lame graphs which even he does not know how to interpret. Dunning-Kruger effect ??

        It would be “a lot less bad ” if he had actually asked to Prof what he though of his famous “metric”. Maybe he could explain how we can use these spaghetti graphs to detect peak infections or when it was safe to come out of hiding.

        I see he has now adopted the propagandist language of climatology with “baked in” deaths.

        The 18,516 deaths recorded in England and Wales in the week to April 10 are the highest weekly total since winter 2000 – and we are not in winter now.

        Another leaf from the climate alarmist’s handbook. “The worst April on record : unprecedented” and we’re not even in winter. Last time I checked April is never in winter. Maybe that is why it’s the “worse April on record”. Duh.

        Now for a graph which does show something and also makes a short term extrapolation to provide a metric for what happens in Italy in the next week as the effects of loosening confinement come into effect.

        I shall be publishing the method of this analysis later today.

      • Thanks again Vuk,
        Your graphic brings some sanity to the wild speculation on the U.K. situation, on this site and elsewhere. It tracks the only two pieces of data in the U.K. that have any consistency and are able to give some guidance on progress.

    • Unless the lockdowns continue until a mass produced, efficacious vaccine is available to the everyone, then all we are doing with economy-killing lockdowns to delaying when a virus-naive individual becomes immune through natural community-based infection. Not if.

      1/. That of itself is a massive gain in survival rate because scarce resources are able to cope with the peak load… but…

      2/. There is plenty of evidence that less exposure lessens the severity of infection in any viral exposure scenario. If herd immunity is acquired via symptomatic or minor symptom episodes, then that is a huge and valuable gain.

      In short we need to wait till herd immunity – via exposure or vaccine – develops, or until we have reliable treatments. Or until testing is available in such quantiles and the disease incidence has fallen to such low levels that identify, trace and isolate becomes a viable way to eradicate it. Lock down will do that at lower human cost, but obviously with greater economic disruption. That is in the end a political decision, and the public needs to be educated by reference to the marginally different strategies being played out in different countries which one they prefer.

      England, a densely populated cosmopolitan country, has shown itself to be highly at risk. other nations less densely populated and with less international interactions may fare better – as indeed Scotland and Wales are doing.

      What works in New York, my not be appropriate for Wyoming, either, and the decision to possible devolve this to individual states with central help is a model that the EU has singularly failed to come up with for Europe, although the nations are doing it anyway.

      So, by all means argue for lifting of restrictions, but be aware that there are more arguments for them than your post seems to consider.

    • However, you’re unlikely to infect your fellow workers with HIV, well, not without more intimacy. Covid19 is a different story.

      • Michael,

        So please explain to me how you think an immune naive person without a demonstrated contagion is a threat to society that requires they not be allowed to work, earn a living in their profession, or travel, when there is no vaccine available?

        Clearly schools and universities require polio, mumps, measles, and rubella immunity as condition to attend. The reason the State and health authorities advising schools and universities can even legally require certified immunity to those is not from an antibody test. The requirement is legal because there is safe, efficacious vaccine to those highly communicable viral pathogens.

        All such a antibody+ COVID-19 immune status requirement for work or travel would do is encourage people to go out and get infected with the virus, then recover, get re-tested. And some small number would die as a foreseeable consequence of such a misguided public policy.

    • “All the indicators are now suggesting R(0) is high but the fatality rate is lowering by at least an order of magnitude due to 25x to 85x higher numbers of immunity from data in two large California random, representative antibody testing studies results.”


      • Probably only worth a one word answer.

        Now for a bit of light relief with you Steve, what did you make of the paper there are multiple strains a less aggressive one in US and a more aggressive one in Europe. Consider if it were true a super spreader from Europe could cause a whole lot of pain to US and you might have to stay in South Korea for a long time yet. The reverse is a super spreader from US would only cause a bit of a problem to Europe.

        If you haven’t seen it a basic run down

        • If the less aggressive one is proven so and confers full immunity it would actually improve the situation to export it.

          • The the hypothesis is it’s a true strain like proper flu strains one does not confer immunity to the other. It would explain the issue of how some in China who have had the virus and recovered re-aquired it. It isn’t proved or anything but a horrible working hypothesis.

        • I heard about the paper but haven’t read it. I would hope they would post their strains to so others could investigate.

          conspiratorially, of course, they are telling a favorable story for themselves.
          it was the EU strain what done it.!!

          People are Fretting about the death rate. No change in the death rate numbers will
          convince politicians to re open.

          No politician is going to say, ‘instead of a million deaths, we only project 145, therefore we can open” Why? because all post open deaths will be used as a political weapon, whether it is 1 death or 1 million.

          No New York politician is going to use California numbers about anti bodies to re open.
          No Ohio politician is going to use german results of anti bodies to re open.

          And no politician is going to read blog comments by me or you and change policy.

          They might Give Monkton a few minutes to say his piece, they would never give the Gregs
          a second thought.

      • Do tell Dear Drive-by Mosher why you believe it is wrong.
        The evidence of so many asymptomatically infected by the evidence of antibodies both implies a high R(0) and a lowering case fatality rate. Or does actual epidemiology elude you?

        The more people are fgound to have immunity to the virus who never went to a doctor or the hospital is clear evidence the number of cases is far higher (the denominator of CFR) than originally believed. By the same token some had to have been infected early on before social distancing and shutdown measures were undertaken strongly implies a high R(0) when the society is functioning at normal activities.

        • “Do tell Dear Drive-by Mosher why you believe it is wrong.
          The evidence of so many asymptomatically infected by the evidence of antibodies both implies a high R(0) and a lowering case fatality rate. Or does actual epidemiology elude you?”

          You can go look at the other Threads here to see my comments. But I will summarize for you.

          1. It was NOT a random sample.
          2. The test they used ( not approved by FDA) is from a Chinese company.
          3. The specificity and sensitivity of the test are bad.
          4. 50 positives out of 3350 subjects can be produced merely by the false positives of the

          a day after I raised my concerns, professionals weighed in.
          The point here is ANYONE who reads the paper about Santa Clara will see the problem

          • Steven,
            You might have had a valid point the Santa Clara Study was just one result, but it was broadly consistent with the more recent results of the USC-LA County results.

            “USC-LA County Study: Early Results of Antibody Testing Suggest Number of COVID-19 Infections Far Exceeds Number of Confirmed Cases in Los Angeles County
            “Based on results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus- which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have had the infection. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time of the study in early April. The number of COVID-related deaths in the county has now surpassed 600.

            “We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,” said lead investigator Neeraj Sood, a USC professor of public policy at USC Price School for Public Policy and senior fellow at USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. “The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.”


            If the number of infected-recovered is roughly 300,000 in LA county, and the number of deaths (so far) is 600, the CFR is 0.6/300 = 0.2%

            But if you simply use the number of PCR positive confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections of 8,000 and the 600 deaths so far, you arrive at a horrendous 7.5% CFR, which is 37x higher than the 0.2% CFR based on a truer picture of the number of actually people infected in LA county.

            With the LA County result, I stand by my statement that with more antibody testing the CFR is falling dramatically, and the other clear implication is that the R(0) estimates in 3- 5 range pre-lockdown were likely correct and that far higher numbers of people were being infected in the period of late January to Mid-March than the PCR+ statistics suggest. This virus is easily spread, but very much like the Swine flu influenza in terms of CFR.

            The lockdowns are a drastic over-response, and clearly need to end now in all except a few locations like Boston.

    • Joel O’Bryan,
      I stand with you and our HIPPA laws – Well Said! The alternative is the equivalent to branding a ‘scarlet letter’ into the foreheads of those that don’t meet The State’s criteria for ‘free’ travel and work.

      • In a town near me the Police Department, in partnership with a private company out of CA, is now flying a surveillance drone which will swoop down and shout at people not maintaining “social distancing” or walking in the wrong place. They claim this drone, flying at 190 feet, will also be reading your temperature, pulse, BP and whether or not you are coughing. But the data’s “aggregated,” you understand, no privacy concerns here . . .

        So now the police can conduct a random physical on me without my knowledge or consent, to be used by the police for enforcement. Cue the boxcars, brands, and microchips, folks!

        • I’m just waiting for someone to exercise their 2nd amendment rights when one of those drones swoops in to yell at them.

          • John Endicott
            “I’m just waiting for someone to exercise their 2nd amendment rights when one of those drones swoops in to yell at them.”

            John, if it is in airspace above your property, fire away. Courts have already ruled that is an intrusion and trespassing and you can deal with it.
            If you are in a public area or not on your own property I wouldn’t advise it.

          • Stevecsd, I made no judgement about whether it would be good or wise thing to do. I’m just surprised it hasn’t happened yet.

        • They should adopt that shrill shriek the Chinese appear to teach their social pressure agents. That’ll do the trick.

    • Your last paragraph is powerfully argued and illustrates a very real concern.
      The ethical issues raised by many aspects of this sorry saga are profoundly troubling, and as you suggest, could lead to abuses on all sides.

    • I would far prefer such a corona party myself to vaccination with mercury and formaldehyde and aluminum and aborted fetal DNA and God only knows what else. Except there are HIV/AIDS sequences in this coronavirus. It just might cause an AIDS-like consequence a couple years down the road. AIDS is very slow-developing, so we cannot know until late this year, at the earliest.

    • From your link “The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment.”
      It was a case study. Which means looking through individual cases and trying to compare after the fact. If Dr.s only tried it on the worst cases and it had no effect then this result one would expect a higher number of deaths. PS Trump also said he “didn’t know” if it worked. But people like you conveniently forget that part.

      • Yes, the TDS media have constantly and willfully misreported Trump as “touting” HCQ or saying it IS a gamechanger, when what he said was “I’m not a doctor” … “maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, we don’t know”…” if it does it will be a gamechanger”.

        What he said was totally accurate and justified. The are now deliberately misreporting the facts, totally changing the meaning of what was said in order to attack Trump for what he did NOT say.

        Fools like Simon believe them.
        Rather than reading soft-p0rn tabloids like the Mail, maybe he should look at data from Dr Raoult’s team who have treated 3000 ( not 368 ) with the drug and lost 12 patients ( not 103 ).

        • Raoult specifically warns against using HCQ on severely ill patients saying at that stage the virus is not longer main medical problem. His protocol is intended to stop people becoming critically ill by early treatment.

          The other elephant in the room is comorbidity . The VA treats SICK veterans , not healthy ones.

          Sadly, the MSM would rather see a useful treatment sidelined and thousands, if they can publish a few lying and snide attacks on Trump for something he never said.

          • the msm makes big bucks from pharmas ads etc
            so a non patented drug they dont make much on will be dissed
            and yes its more an early stage use it appears
            still a damned sight better than the remdesivir they keep trying to find a use for
            that drug was about to be canned as orphan drug status
            they pulled that applicatioon damned fast on the hope of a moneyspinner if they could squeeze a result.

          • Yep, so using it in those in critical, and we need to confirm, did the appropriately use zinc with it.

            It sounds like it was misused, it drug abuse.

          • I am curious about this assertion that HCQ is a zinc ionophore.
            There are research papers demonstrating that chloroquine is a zonc ionophore, and many have lept to the conclusion that since they are “related”, that HCQ is one as well.
            This may be the case, however I have not seen any research which demonstrates it is the case.
            I have found a lot of articles making this assertion, and many of them provide a link to the research they are citing, but in every case, they link to the research on chloroquine.
            The two molecules are structurally quite distinct.
            Small changes in the structure of any molecule can completely change the properties of the molecule.
            In fact there are few molecules that are different that behave the same across a wide range of conditions.
            How molecules behave in living cells is most commonly highly dependent on the exact structure of the molecule.
            So as far as I have seen, the assertion is not backed up by research.
            If anyone can show such research, we can at least get that concern cleared up.
            I do not think anyone really wants to be making unproven or unwarranted assumptions in matters of life and death.
            Besides for that, a great deal of research has been done over many years looking for an antiviral effect in humans for either of these drugs, alone and in combination with various antibiotics.
            All have been disappointing in the results of such studies, so the question needs to be asked: What is the rationale or mechanism for believing this virus is different than other viruses such as SARS and many others, when it comes to these drugs and treating the disease they cause in humans?

        • The are now deliberately misreporting the facts

          now? they’ve been misreporting the facts about Trump since the day he came down that escalator to throw his hat in the ring.

        • weird.

          not seeing any actual data from the Raoult study.

          Since only 20% of all patients progress to a stage where they need hospitalization
          The need for a control arm is paramount.

          One hopes he publishes actual data and not just summary statistics.
          that would mean.
          age stratification,
          comorbidity cross tabs

          Still waiting to see his data.

      • Agree, there is a larger study with more participants just out of France, which clearly shows high recovery rates with prescribed doses of Hydroxychloroquine and Resvedivir if both are taken at prescribed doses (200mg per day max), within 7 days of Chinavid infection confirmation.
        China has applied for 3 patents on Hydroxychloroquine- first in 2016, next in 2018 and recently as March 2020 citing Gilead USA technology….Gilead USA challenging on prior art.. go figure…

      • Nah.
        If Trump had any restraint at all and didn’t just shoot from the hip he’d have kept quiet on the matter.
        He was fishing for miracles. And he should not be doing that.

        • How about he was providing Hope for Change, a reason for optimism in a dark time, based on real though limited data and qualified by saying it may work and it may not? What a war crime!

          Now if a certain recent president made statements like Trump did, he would have been revered as the Hero from Honolulu, and would have cashiered another Nobel Peace Prize.

          But whatever, maintain your TDS.

        • Wow, you can read minds. That’s amazing. What am I thinking?

          Maybe you forgot that is a science based web site.

          • That’s a hoot. You know all about Trump’s motives and display your hostility to him, (thus my comment to keep your TDS which comment is evidence-based), but I’m the one reading YOUR mind.

            Also on the question of virtually any controversial policy, scientific evidence hardly ever suffices. We must also consider the political biases that drive people to believe the irrational things that they want to believe.

            Final postscript—did Obama get a Nobel Peace Prize for actually doing something? Maybe not being George Bush?

        • Trump didn’t “make” anybody try hrdroxychlouroquine. at most he gave some impetus for the system to allow those inclined to try it to do so-according to proper application criteria. The Chinese, Koreans and others are also trying other drugs elsewhere, some of which seemed to be beneficial in the last SARS outbreak. Doctors all over the world know other doctors all over the world. And they talk! I would be very surprised if the drug hasn’t helped more people than it’s harmed, given that doctors are overseeing its use. Everything else id TDS stupidity.
          I don’t much like trump myself. But I favour his policies over the Democrats by a long shot and even him personally over the demented pervert.
          I’m Canadian. Trade you Trudeau for Trump!?!

    • That study is so flawed I have multiple MDs telling me they have the opposite anecdotal results.
      That study only looked at the sickest of the sick, already intubated on a ventilator and given high dose HCQ. All the MDs understand how flawed that politically motivated story is.

      • politically motived? Exactly what political motive does the veterans health administration have?
        And what about the study in Brazil that was also stopped early because of excess deaths? On the
        face of it both studies would be under pressure to report the opposite.

          • Krishna,
            Trump has pushed both drugs at press conferences even going as far as saying that
            people should take it since “its not going to hurt them”. When in fact the latest
            study suggest that the exact opposite is true. All of which goes to show that pushing
            unproven medical treatments can kill and if you are the president of one of the largest
            countries on earth you should be very careful about such matters. That said all the studies
            so far are small so it is too early to say anything definite.

        • The veterans health admin had nothing whatsoever to do with the study.
          The study just used their data.

        • The Brazil study stopped using a higher than recommended dose of chloroquine, not the recommended dose of hydroxychloroquine.

      • It is obvious that a lot of the articles reporting on the study are written by people with an apparent political motive.
        It is not obvious that the research itself was done with any political motive.
        Personally, I ignore the obvious bias of those doing the reporting, and just look at the data.

    • Simon,
      You need to go to the original preprint paper:-
      I would strongly urge you to look at the comments posted in the above reference.
      In my view, this is a BIZARRELY biased paper, with an aberrant set of conclusions.

      The clinical protocol most often recommended by supporters of HCQ is (a) A pre-screen (including QT interval) to exclude patients with likely adverse reaction (b) a treatment of HCQ + Azithromycin + Zinc supplement initiated prior to the onset of severe LRT infection. The claim of its supporters is that it encourages rapid reduction of viral load and keeps patients from progressing from URT infection to serious LRT infection needing mechanical ventilation. Once a patient is put on mechanical ventilation, there is no evidence as yet from anywhere that this treatment is helpful. Some frontline clinicians are recommending that no HCQ should be administered after ventilation or more than 14 days after symptom onset.

      This particular “trial” was based on a retrospective review, and to the extent that it is possible to draw conclusions – given the fact that the patients treated with HCQ or HCQ+ AZ were the most severely ill patients – the trial suggests that HCQ + Az does reduce (a) the likelihood of requiring ventilation and (b) fatality rate, but these are not the conclusions drawn by the authors.

      The paper…
      (1) It uses Propensity Score Matching, which increases imbalance, inefficiency, model dependence, and bias.
      (2) “hydroxychloroquine, with or without azithromycin, was more likely to be prescribed to patients with more severe disease” (!)
      This trial was opportunistic and retrospective rather than randomised. Table 2 in the paper shows that there were substantial and statistically significant health differences (eg in blood pressure and kidney problems) and severity of disease progression in the group treated with HCQ or HCQ + Az relative to the “no HCQ” group.
      (3) 19 patients were transferred from the “no HCQ” group to the HCQ or HCQ+Az group AFTER ventilation. (!!!) If fatalities are recalculated using the preventilation treatments, then the people on HCQ+Az die at just over half the rate of the other two groups! The authors are so unimpressed by this fact that it does not make it to the conclusions.
      (4) The headline scores suggest that patients treated with HCQ + Az were transferred to ventilation at about half the rate relative to the other two groups. This is declared as not significant by the authors, but it is significant at 10% p-level even using the authors’ statistics without further block bias correction.

      I note that several of the authors are sponsored by competing drug manufacturers, including remdesivir, but I am certain that their interpretation of the results was not compromised by that fact.

      I should add that the Brazilian test to which your Daily Mail article refers demonstrated only one thing – that if you overdose patients with lethal dose levels of HCQ then quite a few of them will be killed off. Who knew?

        • Love of money is not only the root of all evil, it is almost always the Lowest Common Denominator. In the mainstream Media Propaganda Combine it is second only to Ideological Programming in terms of “Motivation”.

          Simon hasn’t figured any of this out.

    • Trump derangement syndrome in operation. More prevalent than the COVID 19 and more dangerous in some

    • Simon,
      I wrote a long detailed response which got canned. I am not going to try to repeat it.

      The preprint paper is available here:-


      They suggest correctly that the conclusions are not just flawed but aberrant. It is also worth noting which Pharmaceutical companies are sponsoring the authors.

        • “This study has all of the markings of an advocacy piece.”

          Either that, or these guys are the worst interpreters of data evah!

      • “Simon,
        I wrote a long detailed response which got canned. I am not going to try to repeat it.”

        Your detailed response is there now and a good one it is.

        Sometimes the comment software takes a while to publish comments. Just be patient. It is usually not the moderators holding up a post. I’ve noticed that today my posts are appearing immediately after I hit the send button. Usually, they won’t appear immediately.

        • Indeed. it’s the software not the mods. Multiple links, certain words, and sometimes just plain random bad luck (IE I have no idea why an otherwise fine post isn’t showing up) can all get your post delayed. They usually make it through eventually.

        • Tom
          The erratic hold time is frustrating and mysterious. It seems that when I comment on an older thread, I’m more likely to get posted immediately.

          • Clyde, there seem to be three different levels of moderation here. Every so often, I get a comment published immediately. At the other extreme, perhaps due to using a bad word, I get an immediate response with “Your comment is being moderated” or some such. That’s fine. The comment usually appears inside an hour. The problem comes at the middle level; the page resets to the top, and my comment isn’t there. Sometimes it’s there within 10 minutes; other times I have to come back the next morning. John Endicott is probably right; the problem lies with the software, not the moderators.

        • Anthony found errors in the PHP script one of the last days, he corrected and since than, a lot of problems were solved, f.e. immediate comment appearance.

    • Hydroxychloroquine is a prescription drug and individual doctors, not politicians, decide what drugs they prescribe for their patients. Irrespective of what faith I have in our healthcare system, by-and-large I do believe individual doctors listen to the medical community, not politicians, when looking after the welfare of their patients. Talk about politicians in the context of this blog is, at best, a distraction from useful and perinate discussion.

      • Indeed, though in this case TDSimon would also be appropriate, considering he’s got a bad case of TDS.

    • Read the studies. The original had controls, all others are retrospective. Having read the one you mention, it is useless for the purpose. 19 of the Non HC patients were transferred to the HC and HC + Az after they were on ventilators. If these ended up dying, as is likely, they should be counted as Non-HC treated, but they weren’t. Also a poor job of evening out the risks – Hi blood pressure, diabetes, low oxygen in the HC cohort. Far better if they had interviewed the Dr.’s and asked their opinions if they thought it worked.

      But while we are discussing this, can you take a look at yourself? Gleefully anticipating that a drug won’t save people so you won’t have to walk back your ridicule of the bad orange man who was desperately grasping at some hope while facing this horrific pandemic? Lets all get down on our knees and pray to god that HC turns out to be of no use to the sick.

      “Well his recommendations could have risked lives..”

      BULL. This drug has seen dose counts of BILLIONS. Q-T elongation easily monitored. But, if it does turn out to have therapeutic effects and the use was delayed by even a bit due to political BS like this then what will you say to those who died because of its delay in use?

      • “But, if it does turn out to have therapeutic effects and the use was delayed by even a bit due to political BS like this then what will you say to those who died because of its delay in use?”
        You must be able to see that this argument cuts both ways?
        IOW, what if it does cause more people to die?
        I have no TDS, and am certainly not happy about any negative findings.
        I was one of the earliest and strongest supporters of Trump on this site, and I still am, but for me that means finding out what the facts are, not making assertions that cannot be backed up with data.
        One question re this VA study is, does it include every patient treated by the VA at any of the hospitals?
        If so, it is the kind of study that several people have said should be used instead of clinical trials.
        IOW…compare people who got one of these drugs or combinations with people who have not.
        If they selected out some people and it is not everyone treated for COVID 19 by the VA, that would seem to invalidate the objectivity of the comparison.
        But if it is in fact every patient treated by the VA for COVID, that would seem to give it some weight.
        But in any case, it does not meat the gold standard criteria for scientific assessment of safety and efficacy: Double blind placebo controlled clinical trials.
        That is what everyone hopes gives some definite clarity on whether or not these drugs should be used, and if so, when.
        The same goes for all of the experimental treatments.
        Plasma therapy is in a somewhat different category, in that is has been shown to be an effective treatment for many different types of infectious diseases. But not all of them, so for plasma as well, clinical trial data is badly needed.

      • Yeah, I don’t want any part of this disease. It looks like it has the ability to damage multiple organs if it is in your body long enough.

        I’m wondering how the people who have really been ill and then recovered will fare afterwareds. If they have gone that long and been that seriously ill with the virus, then it would stand to reason that one or more of their vital organs has been damaged even though they did recover. What are the long-term effects of this disease?

        We can thank the Chinese communists for this.

      • Read this article:

        With ventilators running out, doctors say the machines are overused for Covid-19

        Then read this doctor’s heartbreaking comments to understand what a difficult position doctors are in realizing that they may be making the wrong decision to put covid patients on ventilators:

        The decision to intubate is extremely difficult & prior to #COVID19 it wasnt AS hard. There are patients who most certainly need it & then there’s Halo who maybe didnt. Ive constantly heard…what would 1 more day on HFNC achieved or what else could have been done?
        1 less ventilator/ICU day is an enormous win. Less invasive therapies (ie. HFNC, Nitric Oxide, Convalescent Plasma, etc) need to be considered 1st. Im NOT saying intubation killed Halo but fear of them suddenly crashing should not be driving this decision

    • What’s that article unbelievably omits is that the anesthesia drugs ventilator patients are given to put them in a coma-type condition permanently harm many of them. The longer one stays on a ventilator, the greater the chance of permanent brain damage. Covid patients sometimes stay on ventilators for weeks, so no wonder their brains are being damaged.

    • Or they have MIs or strokes due to being caged inside like an animal and deaths are being mislabeled as Covid caused.

  3. Does anyone of links to similar stats for other countries? I’m struggling to find them, though the UK stats show up easily in a Google search.

    • well, look at this site

      MOMO – European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action

      There is a spike but very narrow

      • Thanks that looks like the exact kind of data I am looking for. Just about to see if you can dig down into it from the summary graphs.

      • It is interesting that we have a double peak in the winter 2017/2018 data for the participating European countries. There was a high amount if flu deaths that winter (obviously concentrated in Jab/Feb) and although nowhere near has high a 2nd peak as we have currently it is still pretty significant.

      • I don’t see any recent data on total mortality on the worldometers site. I don’t need to see a subset of total deaths of what each country as tagged with covid-19 as it is pretty arbitrary and inconsistent across countries.

        I am looking for the equivalent data to the UK data posted here. ie the Week 3rd-10th April had 18000 deaths which was 8000 above the 5 year average.

    • New York cardiac emergency calls:
      From March 20 to April 5, 2019, cardiac calls averaged 69 a day in New York City, with an average of 27 deaths — 39 percent of the calls.

      For the same period this year, cardiac calls averaged 195 a day, with an average of 129 deaths, meaning 66 percent of those calls involved a death.

      The difference has become more pronounced as the disease has spread.

      From March 30 to April 5, 2019, there were an average of 69 calls a day for cardiac patients and 26 deaths, meaning 38 percent of the calls.

      For March 30 to April 5, 2020 — the week ending Sunday — cardiac calls averaged 284 a day, with 200 deaths a day. Seventy-two percent of the calls ended in death.

      The numbers for Sunday were the highest yet. Out of 322 cardiac calls, 241, or almost 75 percent, ended in death.

      • are the cardiac patients Covid patients? are victims of the disease or the lockdown (not going to hospital early)

        • Would you want to go to a hospital currently? A large proportion of the people catching Covid-19, are doing so in hospital.

          • That is the issue most of the posters aren’t in harms way. In some ways it would be interesting to see a country just go the everything as normal path and what happens so be it. Sweden doesn’t even go close because they have all sorts of soft restrictions. The dubious lets do nothing test case is probably going to fall to some 3rd world country as with all these things the poor suffer most.

      • NYC has now given EMT’s a “DNR” order when they go on a coronary call; if there’s no pulse, do not use CPR and do not transport to the hospital.

        That could be affecting the stats.

        Given that there are multiple financial incentives for hospitals to code virtually EVERY death as COVID-19 “related” at this point (just probable exposure in the ER will do) I think the death stats are scientifically meaningless.

        This is now a political operation.

        • Yet Monckton’s post, ( and I thank him for it) dealt specifically with excess deaths above normal NIT assigned to Covid-19.

    • The public cemetery on Hart Island New York is seeing an increase in burials—from 24 a week to 24 a day

      With record-breaking coronavirus-related deaths overwhelming morgues and mortuaries in New York City, the public cemetery on Hart Island is seeing an increase in burials—from 24 a week to 24 a day. By April 13, more than 10,000 people in the city had died from COVID-19, after daily deaths surpassed 700 for five days.

      Some coronavirus victims are being laid to rest at Hart Island, in Long Island Sound, just east of the Bronx. Since 1869, the wind-swept, mile-long island with rocky shores and crumbling buildings has taken in the bodies of people with no known next of kin, including those who have died from diseases of epidemic proportions.

      Mayor Bill de Blasio says the Hart Island cemetery is accommodating only unclaimed victims of COVID-19, along with people who have died of other causes.

      • They don’t count they were all sky diving accidents wrongly recorded as dying from covid19 … you have to be able to prove they died of covid19 🙂

  4. It is also worth showing the increase in all deaths in recent weeks in New York, compared to the number of deaths in previous years at the same time of year.

    • Yes, and note the decrease in deaths from the flu and penumonia, and yet still the overall increase.

  5. There is of course another possibility- that people are dying of the usual causes at a higher rate, through lack of routine access to medical care. For example, waiting longer with chest pain before seeing the doctor or calling the ambulance. There was a case described in the New England Journal of Medicine. Perhaps also, poorer management of diabetes and hypertension et cetera through more difficult access to the GP. It could account for at least some of the excess.

    • By definition the increase would then be deaths caused by covid19 but without having covid19, your argument goes circular 🙂

  6. Selected bias, you did not choose another thing that Sir David Spiegelhalter told the Daily Telegraph and that is this: “Many people who die of COVID would have died anyway within a short period.” We won’t know how many more deaths there have been this year compared to the previous five years until the end of Week 52.”

    And it is a shame that you missed in the Telegraph this from Carl Heneghan, Oxford Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine, who says infection rates halved as a result of hand-washing and keeping two metres apart, which were urged on the British public on March 16th, a week before the lockdown. Maintaining the severe restrictions isn’t necessary, according to Professor Heneghan. “In fact, the damaging effect now of lockdown is going to outweigh the damaging effect of coronavirus,”

    • And yet the total number of deaths from all causes is way up and, no, it’s not just a statistical blip. Some people try to ignore this result, apparently for ideological reasons.

      In Ecuador …

      The result is overwhelmed hospitals, morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries. link

      Some people try to explain away the evidence saying this is normal for Ecuador (it isn’t) or that the government’s response is entirely responsible (no, not even mostly responsible).

      • No, it’s not normal for Ecuador, but neither is a collapsed economy, where normally malnourished people can no longer buy the food they need. That’s the situation poor Ecuadorans are in now. When you don’t get the nutrition you need, you become more susceptible to illness and death. I don’t understand why you can’t hear that. Wait until your economy collapses and you can’t eat; then you’ll understand.

          • I haven’t looked into it. My guess would be because of poverty and diet. Create a situation where 1 unit of Ecuadoran currency that used to buy 5 lbs of potatoes now only buys 1 lb, and you have a crisis situation. That is exactly what’s happening (those potato numbers were in the NY Times article you linked to a while back)

      • The real mortality from the CCP virus in Wuhan is vastly higher than the figures reported by the Chinese State, judging by the fact that the city’s crematoria were running 24 hours a day, and were still overloaded.

        • How is it that the Wuhan virus is not widespread in China now? The Chinese had a big celebration in Hubei province right at the heighth of the infection with millions of people coming into Wuhan and surroundings and then they all went back home to other parts of China. So why is it China does not look like the U.S.? Do they have a way to stop this disease, or are they lying about their current condition?

          There are hints that China still has a problem with the Wuhan virus but I would think if they had a big problem, they wouldn’t be able to hide it, so maybe they have a vaccine or therapies/preventatives are turning the tide.

          The Chinese claimed they were close to having a vaccine, even bragging that they were going to be the first. Of course, the Chinese had a headstart on studying this virus so they should be first. I just wonder how much of a headstart they had.

          • “How is it that the Wuhan virus is not widespread in China now”

            While it is worse then they claim, there is much evidence that it was far far worse then their numbers show,; two plus magnitudes worse. It burned through their population for 10 plus weeks with zero defensive protocols. I am certain China did NOT close their economy over a few thousand flu like deaths. They allowed ZERO observers. The disappeared numerous whistleblowers. The deserve zero trust.

          • “How is it that the Wuhan virus is not widespread in China now? The Chinese had a big celebration in Hubei province right at the heighth of the infection with millions of people coming into Wuhan and surroundings and then they all went back home to other parts of China. So why is it China does not look like the U.S.? Do they have a way to stop this disease, or are they lying about their current condition?

            wrong. not millions

            CNY started on Jan 24th. last day of work was 23rd, nationally.

            there was a large celebration in Wuhan early in Jan, less than 100K people attended.
            it was a local celebration.

            The travel ban was imposed on the 23rd. which meant people in Wuhan could
            not leave to return to their place of birth ( the tradition). Likewise, you could not
            travel into the city.

            of course there were people who left Wuhan before the 23rd.

            there are a couple papers on this that used Baidu map data to track people
            who left early.

            You can look at outbreaks in other Regions and back calculate the seed cases.

            basically every other big city in china peaked 12-15 days after the lockdown.

    • “infection rates halved as a result of hand-washing and keeping two metres apart,”
      This is precisely what happened in Australia – the first proper analysis of real time local data showed that the R0 was well below 1 with closed borders, case and contact tracing, hand washing and voluntary distancing. This was two weeks before the severe restrictions were put in place. Professor Heneghan is absolutely correct.

    • Are you really dumb enough to believe Carl Heneghan, without actually checking some for yourself.
      Let me explain I took a snapshot of the worldometers data on the 29th of March, ie 13 days after your Carl says that the infection rates had halved.
      On the 16th there were 1543 cases and 55 deaths.
      By the 29th there were 19522 cases a more than 10 fold increase and 1228 deaths a more than 20 fold increase.
      Now we have 129044 cases heading for a 100 fold increase and 17377 deaths a 200 fold increase.
      Does that sound like it was under control?

      • By the 29th there were 19522 cases a more than 10 fold increase and 1228 deaths a more than 20 fold increase.

        There weren’t 1228 deaths. There were 2723. This is why it’s not easy to detect exactly what’s going on. The death numbers in the worldometer data refer to dates the deaths were ANNOUNCED – not when they occurred.

        While I’m a bit sceptical of Heneghan’s claim he does have a point. The peak number of daily deaths occurred on April 8th (815) when the cumulative total was over 9k. Heneghan makes the valid argument that the time between infection and death is , on average, around 3 weeks which means most of the April 8th deaths were infected BEFORE the lockdown.

        Apparently the London daily death peak was April 4th – so infection definitely happened before the lockdown in the majority of cases.

        Earlier in the week, I had an email from a pretty reliable source who told me that hospital admissions peaked in Birmingham on April 10th. They have now been asked to plan for a return to normal.

        • hospital admissions peaked in Birmingham on April 10th

          Sorry – that should be Covid patients in hospital not admissions.

        • April 10th. 980 deaths.
          April 22nd. 759 deaths.
          But better to average per week, as reporting of deaths is by admin staff, many of who don’t work weekends.

          • In response to JohnM, the daily growth rates in total confirmed cases and in total deaths shown in the graphs are seven-day averages, for he reason he mentions.

  7. Because it is possible to spread the disease before you have symptoms, it seems likely that there was plenty of spread before the lockdowns took effect. link

    But some people don’t even get symptoms. Recent studies suggest as many as 80% or more of those infected are “silent carriers”, showing no or very mild symptoms. link

    On the other hand …

    However, there is no good evidence that asymptomatic people who never develop symptoms are able to pass it on.

    Except …

    Usually, super spreaders are asymptomatic themselves, and yet the disease in their bodies has progressed to the point of being communicable. link

    There is a great deal we don’t know about this disease. The cocksure experts stating things with great certainty deserve a kick upside the head.

  8. In contrast to earlyier statements the German RKI is now interested in obductions, and as these first about 100 in Hamburg, all death had at least one, most more other, often not diagnosted illnesses.

    • Now, I found an link in English news:

      Why do some people die of Covid-19 in a short time while others don’t even notice the infection? Pathologists from Hamburg now provide clear insights.

      The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf autopsied over 100 Corona dead.
      So everyone had Coronavirus fatality “Usually several” serious Pre-existing illness.
      Corona deaths: Average age over 80 years – RKI calls for further post-mortems.

      • What is usually never mentioned when data show virtually all covid mortality is in people with pre-existing morbidities is the drugs those people were taking. There’s the concern that some drugs (like ACE inhibitors) increase ACE2 expression in the lungs leading to more severe illness.

        I’m starting to wonder if drugs that deplete certain essential nutrients aren’t a morbidity co-factor. For example, ACE inhibitors deplete zinc. The symptoms of zinc deficiency, covid and the side effects of ACE inhibitors are very similar. Other drugs that deplete zinc are antacids, anti-inflammatory medications, anti-retroviral medications. birth control, cardiovascular medications, diuretics, etc.

        Drugs that Deplete: Zinc

  9. Chris Monckton shows excess deaths for the week, not total deaths (which he clearly states) but that needs to be put into context with total deaths which are some 600,000 annually in the UK.

    This BBC article provides better context of the 18000 total deaths in the week concerned, of which some 6000 were due to CV although due to WHO guidelines if it is present it needs to be listed as the cause of death, so people may have died with it but not OF it.

    The recent record for deaths in one week was in January 2020 due to a severe flu epidemic and I am not sure why this should be discounted because it was ‘winter’. A record week for deaths due to a virus is a record week, whether that virus is flu or Covid 19.

    It is the total deaths in 2020 that needs to be examined eventually and it is doubtful they will be out of the ordinary unless there are consequences of diverting all attention to CV at the expense of other illnesses

    As examples that this appears to be happening, according to latest stats some 2700 cancer diagnoses and treatments are being missed every week and the other major forms of death, such as heart disease, will also not be diagnosed or treated. So potentially there are many tens of thousands of additional people who will die of the current major causes of illness, as all efforts are directed towards CV19.

    How long this side lining of other illnesses will go on is unknown of course as that will affect figures, but with a shattered economy the ability to treat future patients of long term illnesses will be sharply reduced as resources diminish due to budget cuts and reallocation of resources.

    Incidentally no one is saying that CV is not serious just that it needs to be put into context with other deaths and ‘avoidable’ deaths which run at 140,000 a year in the UK. These don’t shut down the economy as CV has done which seems certain to cause a depression with all that entails. Let us not forget either that we have been put under house arrest when other measures including shielding the vulnerable, social distancing, masks, washing hands, testing etc would have kept the country going


    • Yes I sort of agree.
      If a normal week is 10-11000
      And a peak normal flu week is 14-15000
      And a COVID peak weak is 17-18000.
      A layman ( me) can conclude that COVID is worse than normal flu.
      Maybe would be worse if no lockdown
      Maybe not so bad if large percentage of population get it and in future years may prove similar or only a little worse than normal flu

      • But is it worse than the flu? Consider that each year there is a flu vaccine shot that is taken by half the population. That would double the number of deaths due to the flu if the vaccine were not available. Also consider that those who do take the shot are more apt to be the elderly and/or in ill health. This adds an additional percentage to the number of likely deaths due to the flu without the use of a vaccine. All of a sudden the WuFlu mortality rate and the mortality rate from the flu are similar.

        • You have a valid point, but flu vaccines aren’t very effective, and in some years not effective at all. So, while the impact of the flu vaccine would reduce deaths, it might not be by much.

          • There are years where the wrong strains are put into the vaccine, however, there are also indications that people who get the shot every year have at least some level of protection even many years into the future if a strain that was in one of those vaccines then circulates.
            For example, there is evidence that people who were vaccinated against swine flu in the 1970s had a degree of protection when swine flu circulated in this century.
            The protection given by the vaccine is not limited to the binary question of “got flu/did not get flu. There is strong data showing that if you have a vaccine for a particular strain and get that strain anyway, there is a high statistical probability that you will get a less severe illness.
            We know that our bodies have a thing called acquired immunity, and that part of this is antibodies and memory cells for a specific antigen.
            Building up the number of these in an individual over time confers ever increasing resistance to disease. This is one big reason why children get sick far more frequently than adults. Older adults have a far lower frequency of flu and colds, and other communicable diseases…up until some point in time that overall physical degradation due to advanced age and/or comorbidities outweighs a lifetime of acquired antibodies and memory cells.

          • There was never any H1N1 pandemic flu. It was a very weak flu.

            Any source that mentions pandemic flu has zero credibility.

        • I have yet to see any Dr. Fauci level evidence that the flu vaccine offers any benefit whatsoever. Even normal people level evidence.

    • A lockdown was and is justified as a precaution against a new and unstudied virus for which there were some pretty dire predictions made.
      It give time to study the pathogen and disease process, to assess those and to examine responses and to adjust those and respond further.

      If it is eventually found to be no worse than a severe flu, we will be inundated with ‘geniuses after the event’ telling us they knew it all along.

      They’ll claim they knew it all along, but in truth they were simply having a bet on it.

      And, this precautionary response should still be considered the most sensible approach.

      • A lockdown was and is justified as a precaution against a new and unstudied virus for which there were some pretty dire predictions made.

        You could make the same argument for every new strain of flu that appears (this could be Spanish Flu II !).

        The virus was not unstudied by the time the UK lockdown decision was made. It was already clear that it wasn’t a once a century mass killer justifying hobbling the economy and quarantining the healthy. It was already clear that the healthy were largely left alone (mostly non-symptomatic). Unfortunately, the unfounded “dire predictions” were listened to.

        They’ll claim they knew it all along, but in truth they were simply having a bet on it.

        No, they were looking at the evidence (see Sweden). The uninformed took a bet and have gambled away their economies.

        • PJF is wrong. If, even after a quite strict lockdown, the excess mortality in the UK shows a spike severe enough to startle a professor of statistics, one can only imagine how much more excess mortality there would have been without intervention.

          The Swedish counterexample has been well reported in this series, but it is beginning to look not quite as successful as before: the daily compound rate of increase in deaths is among the highest we are tracking, and is considerably higher than in the other Scandinavian countries, all of which have lockdowns in place.

          Responsible governments, unlike one or two armchair epidemiologists here, have to bear in mind not only the mighty dollar but also the lives of their citizens. Like it or not, they chose to take a precautionary stance; and, as HM Government made plain today, they will not relax that stance until the infection rate drops below unity.

    • Tonyb, unfortunately this situation is the result of stupidity by both the Government & the NHS.
      Both have forgottten the meaning of the word Quarantine.
      Mixing both General and COVID19 patients in the same hospitals means that as soon as the hospitals are filled with COVID19 patients the general patients can’t risk being in hospital with them.
      Isolation hospitals were re-purposed when most dangerous infectious deseases were halted by vaxinations in the 50s & 60s.
      Now Isolation is in small Units within general hospitals.
      They didn’t even have the sense to use all the Private Hispitals for general patients, nor the new Nightingale hospitals, preferring to keep them all as reserves for COVID19.
      So we now have the situation that many non COVID19 patients are dying or will die due to lack of health care while many hospitals have empty wards with idle doctors & nurses.

      Added to the lack of early Quarantine of visitors and the lack of preparedness after reports telling them we weren’t prepared for an epidemic years ago it, their current actions are nothing less than scandalous bordering on Negligent homicide.

  10. In Germany- Normal overall mortality in Germany about 2600 people and in Italy about 1800 people per day. Influenza mortality in the US is up to 80,000, in Germany and Italy up to 25,000, and in Switzerland up to 1500 people per winter.
    Germany has had 5000 deaths so far. Far less than Flu.

    “New data of German authorities show that in Germany, too, the reproduction rate of Covid19 had already fallen below the critical value of 1 before the lockdown. General hygiene measures were therefore sufficient to prevent the exponential spread. This had already been shown by the ETH Zurich for Switzerland as well’

    IN the UK , 50,000 died from flu. So far in the UK 17,336 have died with Corona though we still do no know the numbers that died “with” or “of ” corona.

    A report in the medical magazine Lancet comes to the conclusion that school closures to contain corona viruses have no or only a minimal effect.

    In confined spaces the virus is no worse than flu-

    “On a French aircraft carrier 1081 soldiers tested positive. So far, almost 50% of them remained symptom-free and about 50% showed mild symptoms. 24 soldiers were hospitalized, one of them is in intensive care (previous illnesses unknown)”

    “It can be assumed that by the end of 2020, Covid19 will not be visible in the Swedish overall mortality. The Swedish example shows that „lockdowns“ were medically unnecessary or even counterproductive as well as socially and economically devastating’

    • “New data of German authorities show that in Germany, too, the reproduction rate of Covid19 had already fallen below the critical value of 1 before the lockdown. General hygiene measures were therefore sufficient to prevent the exponential spread.
      Since yesterday, the reproduction rate is increasing again, from 0,7 over 0,8 to 0,9 yesterday

    • Army personnel is usually young and have no underlaying health problems. A heavily biased sample not representative of the general population.

      • But you should not compare that incident to general population. Instead you should compare that to similar incident of influenza or flu. If there was a strong influenza virus that spreads to the carrier, I believe those same numbers could be very well possible. About 25 of 1000 hospitalized and one in intensive.

        • Also I think the situation wiht COVID-19 could lead to more hospitalizations. It is quit possible that they take in people who wouldn’t be hospitalized if symptoms were caused by flu.

    • “A 2018 review of 31 studies that addressed whether school closure had a quantifiable effect on influenza transmission reported that school closure reduced the peak of the related outbreak by a mean of 29·7% and delayed the peak by a median of 11 days. They also reported that earlier school closure predicted a greater reduction in the outbreak peak, although these estimates did not come from formal meta-analyses.”

  11. In the UK, many deaths attributed to Covid-19 are Nosocomial; originating or taking place in a hospital, acquired in a hospital, especially in reference to an infection.

    Dr. Richard North writes:

    Typically, without the pressure of the covid-19 epidemic, NHS district hospitals generate nosocomial infection rates of around ten percent, rendering them the largest single source of infection within the communities they serve. And although many infections are minor, and suppressed with doses of antibiotics, many are not, leading to ward closures and sometimes the closure of whole hospitals.

    With that as the normal background, the idea that the highly infectious SARS-Cov-2 virus can be contained in a district general hospital is absurd – and demonstrably so. In my earlier piece I recorded that the Chinese had abandoned the practice of treating victims in general hospitals. Instead, they had built so-called shelter hospitals in open areas such as stadiums or exhibition centres – with spectacularly successful results.

    But not only is the NHS apparently failing to learn from this experience, we also have the double whammy of patients who urgently need treatment for issues unrelated to Covid-19 being unable to get care, either because it is unsafe for them to do so, or because the facilities have been diverted to the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

      • The govts policy, from the start, has been to hasten the demise of the old, sick and disabled.
        Covid is the next policy after austerity!

    • The UK is still in panic response mode. There is no evidence as yet of a well thought-out exit strategy. UK testing on aggregate to 21st April amounts to 31% positive tests. Towards the end of March, the daily rate was running at around 60% positive tests with a daily capacity of only some 10,000 tests. I believe that the maximim daily capacity is still only around 20,000 tests. All of this means that testing is limited largely to confirmation of hospital diagnoses. This is woefully inadequate to get any handle at all on the true extent of infection. It means that the UK cannot run randomised representative testing for another month or two, and a trace and contact strategy is even futher away. Aggressive build of lab capacity AND access to the necessary reagents for rt-PCR are essential prerequisites for any intelligent response.

      Antibody testing as the major platform for a grand solution is and always has been a forlorn hope. A really good test might still yield 2% false positives on calibration, which means that you still can’t give someone a “passport” into a superspreader role, like healthcare or transport, solely on the basis of a positive antibody test. Actually, most of the currently available tests are not getting even close to a 2% false positive, which means that they may be useful today for broad-brush epidemiological data, but are useless as a tool for giving any individual a goldcard.

      Additionally, and more disturbingly, the testing in S Korea and China is revealing an increasingly large number of recovered COVID 19 patients who are relapsing upto 35 days after being “cured” of the virus (confirmed by multiple negative rt-PCR tests). It is not known whether this is because of reactivation, reinfection or multiple false negatives on the original tests of recovery. The former is looking like the most likely candidate. This suggests, inter alia, that even if you are carrying antibodies to the virus after initial infection, you may not have a window of immunity, and you may be able to transmit the infection at some stage in the future. We still do not understand the pathogenesis of this virus.

      So what is the UK government doing apart from failing to meet its own targets for supply of PPE and testing capacity?

      The first thing that the UK government can do is TO CHANGE ITS TIME-HORIZON in thinking about this damn thing. It is not going to go away in the next two weeks even if the daily cases and fatalities keep on decreasing. It is not going to go away even over a 3-month time horizon. Can the UK continue with the present lockdown for another 3 months or even for another two weeks?

      A clear plan is required to cover the next three to six months, with full recognition of contingencies as data and information improve, and first and foremost that requires clarity on objectives. This should not be drawn up by medical personnel, even though their advice is essential. It is not just a medical problem. It should be obvious to all by now that the mission objective MUST NOT BE to minimise the number of deaths with or from COVID-19, nor even to save the NHS from being overwhelmed. With these objectives, the UK is doomed. It must be about preserving the health of the nation as a whole, and the nation is getting sicker day by day.

      This requires expertise in logistics, supply, resource management, economics and political leadership. This must involve releasing people from the lockdown on a rolling basis, by region and by prioritisation of essential production and services, a plan to physically segregate COVID-19 treatment from other medical activities, including sequestering some large properties for COVID-19 quarantine and recovery hospitals to allow NHS hospitals to resume some semblance of normal service, mobilising private plant and people to produce PPE, swabs, reagents and ICU equipment.

      There is no risk-free way forwards from this, and so any plan must also have an established control body which can modify its elements as the data dictates.

      I would add one other thing. As long as there remains no proven effective treatment for COVID-19, I would suggest that all patients admitted with COVID-19 and who are compos mentis should be invited after consultation to sign a form requesting no intubation. Speaking from a personal perspective, I don’t want to take up an ICU bed when my most likely outcome is death or chronic organ damage.

      • “As long as there remains no proven effective treatment for COVID-19…”

        While true that there is currently no conclusive scientific evidence of one or more effective treatment options, it is hardly the case that there is no information and no strong indications of an effective treatment.
        It is also the case that even the most grim stats on this metric, intubation, still leave a 20% chance at the very least, of making a recovery and walking out of the hospital alive.
        And this 20% figure is a backward looking stat, and that as time goes by, the learning curve and experience of the health care professional attending to patients is steadily improving the odds of a favorable outcome, even without any of the experimental treatments improving one’s individual odds of survival.
        Even the worst off of patients have a decent shot of a good outcome at this point, especially for those who avail themselves of one of the more effective experimental treatments.
        My personal advice is to remain alive as long as possible, since now, as ever, where there is life, there is hope.

        • Why Nicholas, I do believe you are trying to cheer me up! I thank you for your words.

          I promise you that I have no wish to hasten my end. I have had a wonderful life to date and I have a lot of unfinished business with my children and grandchildren. I would very much like to continue it in good health.

          However, I also recognise that ending the lockdown, even if it is done intelligently, is going to release the monster on an unpredictable trajectory. If I am going to advocate for it – as I have now decided after much consideration that I must – then I also need to accept some personal responsibility for the consequences. My generation will have to suffer a lot more than we have done so far. Well so be it. I am not expressing a death wish, nor any desire to sacrifice myself, just that I will personally not be scrambling over women and children to get to the last ventilator.

          It’s not a Sydney Carton moment, more a Sid James. Given the current level of treatment efficacy, I suspect that my chances of actually walking out of a hospital are slim even if I were to survive ventilation. Allowing individuals to state this preference should free up limited facilities, it should lift some of the burden of soul-destroying decision-making from hard-pressed medical staff, and perhaps allow some of us longer-toothed characters to die with a greater sense of self-respect and dignity.

      • If you’re over 70, with multiple co-morbidities, you won’t be taking-up an ICU bed.
        You’ll get A bed, but not an ICU bed!

  12. Lord Monckton-san:

    Looking at the statistics of the Wuhan flu, it is worse than the average flu (0.1% fatality rate), but it does look eerily similar to the 1957 and 1968 world flu pandemics.

    Both the 1957 and 1968 flu pandemics had fatality rates of around 0.2% and killed 1~4 million worldwide (when the global population was 50% less). Wuhan flu’s fatality rate will also likely be around 0.2%, and like the 1968 pandemic, is mostly fatal to the 65+ demographic.

    None of these pandemics come close to the terrible 1918 pandemic, which had a fatality rate ranging from 3%~10%, with approximately 50~100 million deaths worldwide, and affected every demographic, especially the young.

    During the 1957 and 1968 flu pandemics, the world’s economies weren’t locked down, which is why I still believe the Swedish model is likely what all countries should follow.

    Given recent Wuhan flu antibody test results conducted around the world, it seems very likely over 300 million have already been infected by the Wuhan flu, so at this stage, it isn’t possible to prevent its spread, and only common sense social distancing and sanitation protocols are necessary to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

    If we continue much longer with this insane global economic shutdown, we’ll have a concurrent pandemic and a global economic collapse, which could cause global fatalities to reach 1918 pandemic levels.

    Stay safe.

    The 1918

    • In response to Samurai-sensei, lockdowns were necessary in countries which a) had failed to follow the South Koreans’ active test-isolate-trace-repeat strategy and b) had been slow to introduce Swedish-style light control measures; and c) had urban centers with very high population density.

      In most places where lockdowns were introduced, they have done their work. The hospitals that would otherwise have been overwhelmed have been spared that fate. Now there needs to be a plan to get out of the lockdowns without causing a second and far worse spike in infections. Kribaez, a little further up this thread, has outlined the sort of strategy that governments should be putting in place.

      HM Government will not introduce any easing of restrictions until the compound daily growth rate in cumulative cases falls considerably from where it is now.

    • Astonishing that already this year 3.5 million have died of communicable diseases and nobody cares and we shut down the world for a virus about the level of a bad influenza.

      The third world must look on astonished.

  13. “A handful of these are attributable to suicide and other adverse consequences of the lockdown…”


    A tad dismissive I would say, although credit for at least confessing that the lockdown itself is also killing people.

    Is anyone in a position to convert ‘handful’ into S.I. units?

    • “A handful of these are attributable to suicide and other adverse consequences of the lockdown”
      ….Just a “handful”.
      I was thinking the same thing. Christopher shows signs of making it up as he goes along. The subject draws confirmation bias like moths attracted to bright lights.

    • Before the Coronavirus outbreak, there were typically over 6000 suicides per year in the UK, and about 1 in 5 people experienced a mental health episode in the form of anxiety or depression. I would guess that the lockdown has led to rather more than a handful of suicides.
      Another element which is not accounted for here is the number of excess deaths caused by the fact that people cannot (or will not) access medical help when they really do need it. (There are a large number of people in the UK at the moment suffering extreme dental pain, which may be a proxy.) This must be a significant number, again unknown. Or people with chronic problems find their medication is interrupted with lethal consequences. This may be a significant number.
      Overall, it seems unsafe to conclude : ” A handful of these are attributable to suicide and other adverse consequences of the lockdown: inferentially, nearly all the rest are uncounted Chinese-virus deaths.”

      • In response to Kribaez, the Office for National Statistics estimated about a week back that there had been about five deaths attributable to the mental stress caused by the lockdowns.

  14. “Sweden has 175 deaths per million population, compared with 64 per million in Denmark, 34 in Norway and 25 in Finland”

    The population of Sweden is the same as Norway and Denmark combined and has about the same amount of cases as both countries combined with no lock down. So lock down makes no difference there.

    Why there are more deaths has to be established.

    • This is false because the population of Sweden is twice as large as both Denmark and Norway, Sweden has the same size population as Portugal who are doing better as regards deaths per million but how the numbers are produced could be very different, think of Belgium.

      • Or Sweden’s population is bigger than Switzerland – 28,063 cases

        Sweden – 15,322 cases.

        • Or Sweden’s population is bigger than Switzerland – 28,063 cases
          Sweden – 15,322 cases.

          Geography could have something to do with this. Sweden is relatively isolated and thinly populated; Switzerland is landlocked and adjacent, among other places, to the most infected area of Italy.

          • once a virus is in the country it’s there. Best to get it over and done as it will be back round to harvest up later. Do we want another lock down?

          • Richard has already declared his prejudice against lockdowns multiple times. Responsible governments, however, are paying no attention: they have to act on the basis of reason, not prejudice.

          • And once again fails to mention South Korea and Japan. Japan being the second country effected after China.

            This is some weird kind of cherry picking.

            As I have said- I fear, Mr Monckton, has become a baggage carrier for the government’s strategy which was foolish from the start.

        • Sweden actually has an amusing set of figures to look at, it is much more up and down than almost any other country. I suspect in years to come it will be studied because I suspect you will be able to connect the spikes to events in the country days earlier.

          My view has always been that each country should be able to do whatever the majority in the country want to do. There are many arguments arguments which cross many different areas of peoples lives. I have no issue with what any of you believe but please stop trying to force what you believe on me and acting like you have Attention deficit disorder because I disagree with your belief.

          • That’s called democracy or two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner. No thanks I’ll take a constitutional republic instead please.

      • donald
        As long as the hospitals are not being overrun, then the critical measure is the total deaths per million population, not the peak rate of infection. From the very beginning, the rationale for flattening the cure was to spread out the infections over time, with the expectation that the totals would be the same.

    • Sweden reported last week that the virus was disproportionally affecting foreign born residents. For example in Helsinki 200 out of 1,000 Somali’s tested positive & that percentage may have gone up in the interim. Iraquis were the next most afflicted group, but I couldn’t decipher numbers from published graph on this tablet’s screen.

      • Immigrants from both of those countries have high tuberculosis loads (much higher than in Swedes), both active multi-drug resistant TB and latent TB. Probably a significant co-factor/co-morbidity.

      • Sweden’s high COVID with dark-skinned immigrants from high-sunshine countries suggests that a major part of the problem is lack of vitamin D. Swedes are VERY pale white because of latitude.
        In that case, the lockdowns should be ended as soon as possible now that we have high sunshine. People will get over the illness and die less and we will get our “herd immunity” under favorable conditions.

    • Main factor in the number of cases is the amount of testing, and where testing is done. If testing is done only in hospitals, then there will be more cases.

      So without better knowledge of each countries testing practices, the number of cases is really poor measure for anything.

    • The logic of lockdown provides the answer to why Sweden has a higher normalized death rate than Norway and Denmark at this point in time. If lockdown really is more effective at slowing the spread than Sweden’s model, then Norway and Denmark are saving up their deaths for a few weeks or months later at the expense of cratering their economies, while Sweden is keeping the economy running to the extent possible and getting the inevitable pain over with as quickly as possible. If a cure comes on line in the next couple of months, that might prove short-sighted, or at least tragic for the individuals who might have avoided an early death, but more likely it’s an optimum solution for Sweden on net deaths, and for other jurisdictions that don’t have excessive population density. (Like most of North America)

      • Population Density is very important, people have tried to compare Stockholm to London.
        The problem with that is Stckholm has a total population of less than 1 million.
        London has a population of 9+ million with another 1 million visiting & working.
        To put it in to perspective everyday day, twice a day there are over twice as many of the popultion of Stockholm riding the Tube. That is what you call population density.

        • Mr Osborn is right. It would have been impossible to avoid a lockdown in the UK once the South Korean strategy of track and trace had not been implemented effectively. The population density in London and many other cities is very high: in London it is four times that of Stockholm. Worse, the south-east of England has a higher population density than any other region on the planet except Bangladesh.

          High population density means that, without a lockdown, there is a high transmission rate.

      • Rich Davis,

        This doctor agrees with you.

        People should watch this video about lockdowns. Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists, advisor to the Swedish Government (he hired Anders Tegnell who is currently directing Swedish strategy), the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO.

  15. There has been a lack of testing in the UK generally so who knows what is happening , I am going back to work tomorrow but I have never been tested. The WHO say that everyone with the virus and then dies should be categorised as dying from this virus but could we not do this with flu also and are we including those who are coming into this country with the virus who should appear on the mortality rate of the country they come from not the UK.

  16. So, 20 years ago we had the same level. Was that a ‘flu epidemic?

    Would be nice to see a graph from say 1930 onwards against another graph of population. This could show whether humans are winning the race, or not.

    • TonyN

      The UK has some 5 million more people than at the start of the century

      Also I note that in the UK the numbers of men over 80 has risen by 50% in the last 15 years and for women over 80 the numbers have risen by 25%

      So many more elderly men and women than in the past, many of whom will have several serious illnesses and who will unfortunately fall easy prey to such illnesses as flu or CV.

      The last serious flu epidemic was in 2017, so the 2018 and 2019 flu seasons would fortunately not have killed too many of this cohort, which presumably means a greater proportion were going to be susceptible in 2020 to something

      So with a much larger population and a far greater number who are susceptible to the virus, covid 19 does not exceed the figures of 20 years ago. We need to wait until the entire 2020 stats are in to see what has been happening in context


  17. Milord!

    I don’t quite get those numbers:

    Of the 7996 excess deaths, 6213 had the Chinese virus registered on the death certificate, leaving 1783 unexplained excess deaths.

    According to what I see at the BBC article cumulative non-coronavirus related ‘excess’ deaths in April is at least 3 thousands if not more.

    • Paramenter, you are looking at all of April. Monckton of Brenchley is discussing the figures for ONS week 15 (i.e. only one week of April).

      • Iseewhatyamean! Taking that chart I provided cumulative, by eyeballing, since end of March there is ~10k deaths related to covid and ~5k deaths ‘excess deaths’ not related to covid. So yes covid is killing much more than ordinary flu. Alas, looks like lockdown is killing too.

        • No not lockdown, lack of Quarantine/Isolation of COVID patients stopping normal patients getting the treatment they require.

          • It’s more than that – people are afraid going to hospitals, dying from cardiac failures and strokes in homes plus some numbers of suicides and mental breakdowns what may cause troubles further down the line. Mr Whitty few days ago made a plea not to be afraid calling for help if anyone thinks is in need. Still, we’re in relatively early stages. Full impact – both positive and negative – is still to be seen. Assuming of course we survive till that time!

        • Perfect argument to release the lockdown then and go for gold in the Covid19 olympics.
          I am sure we could make up special categories besides most deaths, most people killed that can linked back to a single event could be an interesting one.

          • If the argument is perfect that depends on the alternative. If the alternative is much more deaths and disruption the argument is far from perfect. I merely pointed to the fact that lockdown may have unintended consequences which manifests themselves also in the number of non-covid related deaths, and this number is not trivial. Still, lockdown is seen as lesser of two evils.

          • Ideally we would re-arrange the hospital patients so that certain hospitals only dealt with COVID and the others dealt only with normal patients, after a deep clean of the hospitals currently containing COVID patients of course.
            With Social Distancing, face masks, glasses & gloves people should be able to at least go out again.
            Socaia distancing in some work places could be a problem though.

  18. “In the United Kingdom, total excess deaths are now causing real alarm among statisticians. The 18,516 deaths recorded in England and Wales in the week to April 10 are the highest weekly total since winter 2000”

    Alarm – no it isn’t, it’s only the ignorant and those with an agenda scaring the gullible.

    It’s only marginally higher than the 15000-16500 deaths per week maintained over several weeks in 2015 from flu – also said to be the the worst since……….. and targeted the elderly – and there was no flu cull this year to speak off and the winter was very mild, so CV19 is taking out the normal winter excess that unusually survived.

    Why are so many people so determined to spread fear and explode the dangers of this virus out of all proportion to reality?

    CV19 hasn’t even restored the death rate to the ‘norm’ only 20-40 years ago when it used to be significantly higher. At the moment UK deaths have been ‘bunched up’, but in the long term it will even out and it certainly is not a disaster or even that concerning.

    It’s all irrelevant anyway. No vaccination will arrive in time (despite the crazy optimistic news coverage on current developments), and regardless of daft lockdown policies or not, it will only abate when the vast majority of the population has been exposed. Fortunately in the aftermath it will become evident just how low the death rate is, but sadly, how insane the political response was.

    • It’s only marginally higher than the 15000-16500 deaths per week maintained over several weeks in 2015 from flu

      I’ve had a quick stab on the mortality across the year (weekly) for the period 2010-2020. It is a sharp, unusual spike in March and April. Graph here.

      But yes, comparing longer term data, starting from sixties or seventies would be useful too to put things into perspective.

      • You can see there is a bit of an artifact in the week 1/2 and week 52 data. Obviously the Christmas and New Year holidays delays the date of registered death hence the very low week 52 figures and high week 1/2 figures to some extent.

        Nicely done graph.

      • Yes, yet we must remember that the defensive protocols also dropped other deaths, yet still the spoke. Flu deaths and penumonia deaths dropped far more rapidly then normal after the defensive protocols were implemented.

    • Good comment
      The concept of ” bunching” may be crucial in determining actual cost of the virus.
      If say a elderly citizen was likely to die in two years but COVID killed them this year, that is only two years- lost DALYs

    • Only a few countries have official Value of statistical life VSL, Daily Life Adjusted Years DALYS and Quality life adjusted years QALYS

      I’m guessing UK VSL only 2m pounds and QALY only 60000 pounds.
      If random child, teenager, adult or retired person gets killed by drunk driver the cost to community is 2m pounds.
      If aged care resident dies two years prematurely due to COVID the cost to community is 120000 pounds.
      AFAIK this is how burden of disease is calculated.
      So cost of 20000 dying could be of the order of 2.4 B pounds.
      This is what must be calculated to justify the hit to the economy.

      • Not so as one must also compare the cost of business as usual, and overwhelmed hospitals, and a death rate up to one magnitude higher.

  19. I have seen a graph of deaths from 1963 to 2018 which shows that the number of deaths in the UK has fallen since the sixties but have started to rise again in the last 20 years because of the flu epidemics. What has caused the flu virus to become more aggressive ?

    • donald
      More aggressive, or more effective at transmission? If the latter, one should look to population density, and possibly the influx of poor immigrants crowded together.

  20. There are also numerous reports of people recoving from Covid19 but with damaged liver, kidneys, heart etc.
    The impact of this disease is not only the number of deaths.

    • “In other reports, possible effects on various organs such as kidneys, liver or brain are highlighted, without mentioning that many of the patients affected were already very old and had severe chronic pre-existing conditions”

    • Spending weeks on a ventilator and taking experimental anti-viral drugs that damage the liver can and will do that.

  21. Unmentioned here is that only 38 per cent of the Covid-19 deaths that week recorded death as from pneumonia. So what did they really die of?

    Also three quarters of the extra deaths in private homes and two thirds in care homes were not recorded with Covid-19. What’s killing them?

    If Sweden is compared with UK, France, Italy and Spain it is doing very well without lockdown. The data now shows that new infections in Germany and Switzerland plateaued before the lockdown just as they plateaued without lockdown in Sweden so lockdown was not necessary to stop the virus.

    These posts are very biased and don’t draw on all the data available.

    • Actually, CoB’s posts are factual and accurate.

      If you have followed this series, you know your assertions have been discussed at length.

      Infection rates and subsequent deaths in individual nations and population segments are a product of numerous confounding variables, including:

      Population density, residents per household, initial penetration before restrictions, compliance with restrictions, and medical care quality and availability.

      Accordingly, your comparisons and subsequent conclusions are either born of ignorance, or it is you who are biased.

      WTF can’t people on a Science Blog understand these axiomatic concepts!

  22. I am sorry, if you want to compare deaths with annual flu, then you have to take the average death rate (weekly/daily/monthly/whatever) of the one or two peak months of each epidemic. The peak is different depending of the year.
    For instance, in France, for the season oct-2016 till sept-2017 the peak was from December till February, for 2018-19 it was January-February.
    You cannot just compare the months of March/April of an epidemic who’s peak is on March (like the one of coronavirus) with another year where the peak was on January and get a *valid* result.

    • … and to give a additional hint to my previous comment, I forward the analysis we can read on the INSEE website, for the last three years. They say (my translation):

      “In total, the number of deaths between January 1 and April 6, 2020 stands at 183,841; it is higher than the same period in 2019 (179,893) or 2018 (182,952”.

      As you can see, there’s only 2,2% rise compared to previous year and 0.5% compared to 2018. So, the deaths of coronavirus are quite comparable to the ones of seasonal flu.

      • Themis, a small tweak on your point:
        You should not compare the current peak in April vs the flu peak in January.
        You should actually consider the excess deaths in the week of the flu peak vs the excess deaths now. Excess deaths are calculated against the 5 year average for that particular week

        Right now, the 5 year average per week is about 10,000 so the excess deaths are around 8,000
        The average death rate in January will be higher than 10,000, so the excess deaths for Flu in January 2015 will be lower.

        I don’t think your YTD calculations are relevant yet because the 2020 figures only include about 2 weeks of deaths since the outbreak of Covid19

        • Well, Andy, I agree that if you want to know the excess deaths of an epidemic, then you compare the deaths peak month of the epidemic, compared to the average deaths.
          Nevertheless, if you want to compare two epidemics, you should compare what is comparable, that is their respective peak deaths.
          No, the YTD calculations (which are not mine, btw, but the ones of the nations statistic institute) include 5 weeks of deaths (up to april 4th), since in France the epidemic started beginning of march: The gathering restrictions were forbidden on march 4th and total lockdown on march 14th.

          • Themis
            I disagree with this
            >you should compare what is comparable, that is their respective peak deaths.
            the comparible measure is the respective *excess* deaths above the baseline for that period, not simply the peak deaths which are heavily influenced by the time of year.

            I still think YTD is a poor comparison as it includes at least 2 months before even the first death, plus several weeks of low but increasing deaths. If you want to count from the beginning of March, when the outbreak started, that would be more reasonable.

          • Andy, “the peak [excess] deaths that are heavily influenced by the period of the year” has a name for winter season in France : they are called “seasonal respiratory infection deaths” or -more simply- “flu deaths”.
            So, if we want to compare the excess deaths from flu with the excess deaths from SARS-COV-2 then let’s compare January+February 2018 with March+April 2020. Do you agree ?

  23. I wonder what the graphs will look like in 6 months. This virus seems to be attacking mostly the elderly (with underlying health issues), those of all ages with underlying health issues (sometimes/mostly hidden) and those with a massive exposure to the virus (healthworkers – again, some with health/obesity problems). Could the majority of these case reasonably have been expected to pass away in the near future but C-19 has expedited their demise (apart from the healthy healthworkers). In other words, will the 2020 line dip under the average, once the pandemic is under control, until these premature deaths are fully ‘used up’?

    • What’s expediting their demise are the treatments they receive, the most damaging probably being ventilators. Doctors are slowly starting to recognize the problem and change their treatments, and it appears that deaths are dropping as a result.

  24. Since Covid-19 is like flu, why do staff in infectious hospitals use “space” overalls and numerous airlocks when entering the infectious ward?
    Why does the doctor wear 3 pairs of gloves at the same time?
    A patient who leaves the hospital does not recognize the people who treated him because he cannot see their face.

    • When the doctor enters the room with Covid-19 patients, the patients put on their masks and keep their distance from the doctor. They are very careful not to infect the medical staff.

      • not sure why-

        “New data from the Swiss Canton of Zurich shows that about 50% of all Covid19-related deaths occurred in retirement or nursing homes. Nevertheless, even there about 40% of all test-positive people showed no symptoms. The median age of test-positive deaths in Switzerland is currently about 84 years’

    • Because they do not know how dangerous it is, yet. That’s what the stats are suppose to show/hint.
      If the stats (later on) conclude that Covid-19 is no more dangerous than flu, they will stop using additional protection.

      • I’m sorry, but “statistics” do not work in infectious wards, but experienced medical staff.

    • “ren April 22, 2020 at 2:08 am

      Why does the doctor wear 3 pairs of gloves at the same time?”

      Because they are thin and wear quickly. The second layer protects when the outer first layer fails. The inner most layer protects the best.

  25. Excess deaths are shown in country after country. Many comments here have a wishful thinking bias, even with the claim that there are less COVID-19 deaths than reported, as more people die with corona than by corona.
    So, just get down to earth.

    • It is unclear what exactly you are cautioning about, NK.
      There seem to be three basic schools of thought that I have identified: One sees the whole thing as greatly exaggerated, in terms of the severity of the disease and the danger to health it represents (the economic danger/catastrophe is another matter entirely and I am not referring to this, personally), while another group see the danger as greater than is being widely considered the case, and yet a third group of people seem to be taking a more or less balanced approach.
      It is unclear from this comment, as written, to whom you are suggesting needs to get down to Earth.

      In any case, it is not just the number of cases and the number of deaths that are uncertain and contested.
      Also in doubt is exactly how valid are comparisons of recent deaths to historical tallies of such.
      The unprecedented nature of the many changes in behavior has certainly changed the number of all cause deaths for a variety of reasons, as well as thrown into doubt the reliability of recent statistics of deaths from any particular cause and for all causes on the whole.
      Large numbers of workers in all sectors, public and private, are not working regular schedules and many are not working at all, while still others are working from home as best they can.
      As well, we are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, both medically and economically, and it is reasonable to suppose that priorities have been altered, lines of communication are less reliable than is typical, and basically people have other things to worry about than diligent and timely reportage of statistics. Different sets of individuals report the numbers than those who have the job of compiling and disseminating them, and people can only report what they have available to report.
      On top of all of this, is it widely recognized that very recent statistics are at best guesstimates, and nearly all such stats are revised over time, with reliable data only taken to be available after a considerable period of such revisions. Many real time statistics are little more than estimates based on past trends and numbers.

      When all of this started, I had inferred that things like auto accidents, workplaces accidents, and other types of deaths would decline sharply, given that far fewer people were out driving and going to work.
      Since that time I have read reports from ER physicians and other doctors than this is indeed the case…far few people are showing up in hospitals after being injured or killed in accidents.
      Those doctors have also reported something else I had speculated on: That deaths from many other causes would be lower than is typically the case. These doctors have said people showing up in ERs with heart attacks and strokes are down by over half the usual numbers.
      No one is really sure what to make of this. It may be people are dying at home and such deaths have not decreased, but it is also possible that people sitting at home watching TV are having less heart attacks and strokes than people engaged in typical daily activities.

      In addition to such medical causes of deaths, I have also speculated that deaths due to many sorts of crime may be greatly reduced, as well as such causes as drug overdoses.
      Since that time, I have seen numerous accounts confirming that global crime rates are down substantially, and are now a fraction of typical numbers.
      Other accounts seem to confirm that the global and local drug trades are being greatly disrupted, for numerous reasons: It is hard for people to smuggle stuff by air, for example, when planes are not flying.
      It is harder to drive contraband across borders when borders are closed, and harder to get away with simply driving around while doing illegal stuff when few drivers are on the road to provide cover and to blend into the midst of.
      Also, supply lines for ancillary materials and chemicals used in processing have been severed. Many drugs and precursors apparently have been coming from China for many years, and the flow of such materials has, by these accounts, come to a halt or at least been greatly diminished.

      On top of all of this, social distancing and enforced or voluntary quarantines and isolation could be expected to have greatly disrupted transmission of all causes of infectious diseases, and not just the ‘Rona.
      People sitting at home being health conscious could be expected to lead to less people dying than when these same people are going about normal everyday routines, and all of the factors noted above and perhaps some others not thought of could be have a huge impact on the numbers of people dying in the normal course of daily events.
      Combine that with spotty data recording and reporting, and any attempt to get at the severity of the disease by comparing statistics in real time, is very likely, in my view, to be confounded.

      • “Combine that with spotty data recording and reporting, and any attempt to get at the severity of the disease by comparing statistics in real time, is very likely, in my view, to be confounded.”

        I think this lack of data is what needs to be addressed more than anything. Governments are falling down on the job of collecting readily avialable data. We are walking around in the dark without adequate data. Governments could correct this situation if they would focus on this problem. The data is out there, they just need to gather it all into one place and make it available.

        • From the beginning i have had the feeling that all of the information and statistics being disseminated needs to be taken with a large grain of salt.
          Lot’s of specific reasons for thinking so can be identified at this point, but at the beginning I was not thinking of any specific thing, but simply the general observation that, during some crisis, such as an earthquake or a hurricane, the information that emerges during and even immediately after the event is very often of poor quality.
          There will surely be undercounts, and also overcounts. Some deaths may be double counted.
          Some dead people will not be found for some time.
          Some that died will be misidentified as being caused by the event, on both sides of the ledger.

          Just one example from a different sort of event: In a bad snowstorm or blizzard, anyone who dies on the road is likely to be counted as a death caused by the storm. But this ignores that on any given day, lots of people are injured and die in traffic accidents, both motorists and pedestrians, etc. And in fact with most people avoiding travel, the overall number of such injuries and fatalities may be greatly reduced during a snow event. So how to decide if a traffic death is due to the storm, or due to the fact that whatever is going on, some people are going to have accidents and some of them will die?

          • Consider a large multiday snowstorm that paralyzes the northeastern US for several days, and curtails travel and business for several more days.
            It might be, for example, that five people die in road accidents that are blamed on the storm over these several states and several days.
            But it might also be the case that within this same area and number of days when there is NOT a snowstorm, on average perhaps 100 people could be expected to die in road accidents, statistically speaking.
            So, overall five people died because of the storm, but is it not also the case that 95 people lived because of the storm?

  26. Can I just say, Im proud of Australia and New Zealand for stopping COVID in its tracks (at this stage). NZ went harder with a slightly stronger lockdown, but both countries have comparable death/population ratios. Australia with a population of 25m has just 74 deaths (the far majority being nosocomial) with only ~40 in intensive care currently. Approx just 25-30 cases are now being identified each day now, despite one of the worlds most rigorous testing regimes ongoing.

    Australia has allowed public transport, most shops and shopping malls to open on regular hours, many small businesses to continue to operate,no face mask directive, freight, couriers and mail operating as normal, cafes and restaurants staying open with take away service, as well as about 35-40% of manufacturing and construction still continuing. The aviation, tourism and education sectors are completely shut. Public services are all operating close to normal as well. And as a result the economy has a faint heartbeat. A living wage is now being provided for six months too. Many are quick to joke about Australia and NZ being a little bit behind the rest of the world, but right now they are leading the world.

    • Until it has worked its way through the population, Mr Corona, will be back. They haven’t stopped anything.

      Sweden made the right choice.

      • In response to Richard, it is not yet clear whether Sweden made the right choice, as opposed to the choice Richard prefers.

        Sweden’s rate of growth in deaths is among the highest we are tracking. Let us hope that that comparatively high rate of growth comes down.

  27. Please compare total 2020 deaths from all causes with three other plots of total deaths.

    1. Average of last ten years
    2. Lowest deaths in last 10 years
    3. Highest deaths in last 10 years

    I don’t have this data. But I have little tolerance for things like “excess” deaths. There can be significant differences in deaths between good and bad flu years.

    Note that if we see total deaths from all causes, we can divide by population of each year to get total deaths per million.

    We have to make decisions about when to end lockdowns. Knowing total deaths will help us make decisions for a second wave in the fall.

    • Joe Long: “Please compare total 2020 deaths from all causes”
      Yes, that`s right. But we have to wait 8 months to do that.
      By now we can take a week to week and a month to month comparison.

    • Please compare total 2020 deaths from all causes with three other plots of total deaths.

      I’ve got weekly mortality rate across the year for last 10 years – no min-max and avg though but the trends can be easily seen:

      Mortality rate per week

      • I think the telling data will be if and how far this year’s trend falls below the aggregate data in the coming months. The question is are the deaths simply changed in distribution rather than quantity over the longer term.

        • Indeed, we need to see longer term trend – whether those deaths are simply accumulation in one month deaths otherwise distributed more evenly or there is persistent higher mortality.

  28. Many have speculated that the virus was spreading and sickening people considerably earlier than the officially recognized timeline would indicate.
    This morning I was reading an account which has placed the first US deaths due to the virus considerably earlier in time than what had been seen to be the case.
    In addition to extending backward the timeline, and also shifting the geographical focus southward into California, this new report also seems to lend credence to the idea that many people are dying of the virus in their homes, and thus have not been included in the official tallies.
    The net effect of all of the implications of this story, if confirmed, is that there are not only more cases than have been counted, which I do not think anyone really disputes, but that the number of deaths is greater than what has been included in official tallies. Since many have assumed that a larger number of cases means the CFR is lower than has been estimated, a large number of uncounted deaths muddies the picture greatly.
    IOW…we do not know the number of cases, and we also do not know the number of deaths. If the CFR is 1%, there would only need to be 1 uncounted death for every 100 uncounted cases, to keep this figure intact.
    But since no one really knows with any great accuracy the number of deaths or cases, numerical analysis of the pandemic ought to really be placed into the context of a large degree of uncertainty.

    The article I am referring to, here:

    • Thank you for the reference.
      A good confirmation of undercounting, both of cases and deaths.

      • One of the more surprising details included in this article was the comment from a doctor that in the early days of the spread of the virus, the CDC had such strict rules for doing virus testing, that doctors were not even allowed to test people they suspected may have become sick and even died from the virus, unless their was specific information that the patient in question has recently travelled to China or had a known close contact with another person already known to be infected.
        Such a rule makes it obvious that early instances of community transmission would necessarily be missed, and that in the case of someone who was too sick to be interviewed, even people who had travelled to China or who had been in contact with someone else who was known to be infected, there would be no way to know if either of these risk factors was present.
        To me this is yet another instance where the CDC can be shown to have been extremely negligent in their duties. It almost seems, in this case that they were possibly deliberately negligent.
        After all, if the only way anyone could know if the virus was present in the US and spreading via community transmission was to test people, and no one was being tested, and in fact testing of people was actively prohibited unless they had travelled or known to have been in contact with an infected traveler, there is not even any theoretical way community transmission could have been revealed to be occurring.

    • “IOW…we do not know the number of cases, and we also do not know the number of deaths.”

      What if in some cases people don’t experience the upper respiratory problems of the Wuhan virus, but instead, the virus attacks other organs in the body like the heart, liver and kidneys. Without the upper respiratory symptoms, the people might not even suspect they were sick with it. Just speculation on my part.

      • As more time goes by, it does seem to be becoming ever more clear that in many ways, this is a very unusual illness.
        I am hard pressed to think of any other disease which spares the youngest, or which causes a very mild illness and even in many no illness at all, but which effects a large number so severely.
        By severely I am referring to the number of people who wind up needing hospital care and who get viral pneumonia.
        But I think it is also the case that many infectious organisms do not cause disease in many of the people who are exposed and infected, and that this is just not that widely known and discussed.
        I am thinking that in the long run, this virus and this disease will advance medical knowledge, hospital care, and pandemic awareness and response to a very large degree…once it is all figured out.

  29. The medical statistics for 2020 in many countries continue to show the absence of good control numbers, thus causing much confusion. Planned experiments trump ad hoc data collection, surprise.
    This confusion has assisted those pushing the line that lockdowns are medically ineffective, but very destructive of national economies. Again, this is a claim made without a controlled comparison.
    Personally, I think that many countries were already on a big economic slippery dip. They were pushed into motion by this pandemic. National economies degrade when production of valuable, needed goods lessens in favour of non-essential frivolities like Hollywood epitomises. Creation of new wealth cannot be replaced by increased circulation of existing wealth.
    There is bound to be some reconstruction, with changes. The leftist State government where I live has already instigated/approved many changes as Christopher Heathcote outlines in a splendid article in Quadrant Online today. By any measure they are extreme and communistic.
    If you already expend personal effort, like MoB does, in suggesting future directions, maybe effort can be redirected from halting a pandemic to opposing governments salvating at this huge opportunity for a drastic set of policy changes. Geoff S

  30. It can no longer be argued that the Chinese virus is “no worse than the annual flu”.

    How many have been arguing that? So far, it can be argued that COVID-19 is on a par with a bad flu season. It certainly isn’t the feared once in a century mass killer for which it would be necessary to lockdown.

    Sir David would not have been so surprised if he had been tracking our daily graphs showing the compound daily growth rates…

    Indeed, and also the daily tallies coming from the NHS and others. Sir David doesn’t seem to have been paying attention. It should have been no shock at all; in fact the most surprising aspect is that it didn’t show up in the ONS figures sooner. But the reporting systems are normally glacial, and now disrupted. The ONS deaths figures have always been a dry backwater of government statistics and now they’ve suddenly got the world waiting for them. They’ve had to add personnel and they’ve changed their software recently.

    …leaving 1783 unexplained excess deaths. A handful of these are attributable to suicide and other adverse consequences of the lockdown: inferentially, nearly all the rest are uncounted Chinese-virus deaths.

    Total assumption. Monckton of Brenchley has pulled that “handful” out of his rear end and used it to conclude that most of the unexplained excess deaths are what he believes them to be.

    What do we know? We know that normal deaths occur with an approximate 50 / 50 split male and female. We know that COVID-19 deaths occur with an approximate split 60% male / 40% female.

    Of the total non-COVID-19 deaths for week 15 (12303) the split is normal: 49.8% male / 50.2% female. If the excess 1783 non-COVID-19 deaths were actually nearly all uncounted COVID-19 deaths, then they would also have the 60/40 split and would throw the total split over to the male side. This is not the case. Inferentially (from actual figures, not assumptions) the excess non-COVID-19 deaths are just that, non-COVID-19 deaths.

    Why are there excess non-COVID-19 deaths after weeks of normal health care being largely suspended due to the COVID-19 response? Can we infer?

    [With thanks to Hector Drummond for compiling the sex differentiated figures and highlighting this]

    • Your whole argument rolls around what you believe, it is no better or worse. So why is what he thinks any less valid than what you think?

      Even your stats are dubious you claim a 60%/40% covid death rate as a fact. That stat is currently garbage status it could simply be that in the whole world there are places men are more often exposed or more often grouped in large gatherings (plenty of examples like muslim countries). Then you try to use that statistic to a specific demographic. Science requires you to apply the look elsewhere application to statistics and that trash fails the basic test. The easiest person to fool is yourself.

      Now both views are equal, construct a valid argument and stop worrying about what people think and make sure you give careful thought to any use of statistics.

      • Even your stats are dubious you claim a 60%/40% covid death rate as a fact. That stat is currently garbage status…

        It isn’t garbage, it is a fact. For reasons not understood, across the world COVID-19 fatality is higher in men than women. In the UK the ratio is approx. 60/40. In some places it is higher still.

        Then you try to use that statistic to a specific demographic.

        You clearly have no idea how I applied the information.

        Science requires you to apply the look elsewhere application to statistics and that trash fails the basic test.

        Are you related to Joe Biden?

        The easiest person to fool is yourself.

        You appear to have fooled yourself that you have something worthwhile to say.

        • I did enjoy “it’s a fact”, “For reasons not understood” in my science statistics that aren’t understood are called data but hey it’s your version of science you go with it.

          As you then do the typical dummy spit rather than just dealing with the facts you win the true believer award …… you have beaten me into submission I am now a true believer and I believe anything you say. So you convinced me and I promise I won’t bother ever interacting with you ever again 🙂

    • In other important news, I can report that a detailed cursory analysis of a systematic random look at the most critical pandemic emergency crisis metric, has led me to conclude that we can sound the “All Clear” siren, as things are now back to normal.
      I am speaking, of course, of toilet paper availability.
      A few days ago, I wandered into a Walmart at a late evening hour, and found to my shock and surprise that the shelves were stocked brimful of toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizers, bleach, and all manner of other critical hoarding supplies.
      Furthermore, I found a large supply of pinto and black kidney beans, shelves full of rice, cases full of meat and cheeses, as well as all the cat food my cats could eat in a month of Sunday Brunches. If not more.

      Furthermore, I was able to grab me some of these rare supplies while not seeming to be in any danger of being trampled by housewives and stay-at-home dads.
      Of course, it may be I was the only one to have even bothered to check those aisles this week, and that at any moment someone else found these items, and incautiously let out some kind of whooping noise or other such signal, and alerted other shoppers of the presence of these goods, at which time a loud whooshing sound signaled the instantaneous disappearance of all such items.
      It is hard to say…I can only report I managed to make it out of the store in one piece, although I did cover my cart with several large opaque tarpaulins as a precaution once I had selected a package from each of these categories.

      • Clearly we know that is satire because we all know you need a sidekick to ride shotgun on the trolley because there can be unexpected ambush from the zombies out of any of the isle shelves.

  31. The test is bunkem, therefore we cannot rely on attributaion figures. [1]

    “A study [2] from the Department of Microbiology, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong found wild variations in RT-PCR accuracy. It was found to be between 22% – 80% reliable depending on how it was applied. This general unreliability has been confirmed [3] by other studies. Further studies show clear discrepancies [4] between RT-PCR test results and clinical indication from CT scans.

    Most of these studies indicate RT-PCR failure to detect C19 in symptomatic patients, so-called “false negative” tests. When Chinese researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics School of Public Health conducted data analysis [5] of the RT-PCR tests of asymptomatic patients they also found an 80% false positive rate.

    Having passed peer review and publication the paper was subsequently withdrawn for what seem quite bizarre reasons. It was removed from the scientific literature because it “depended on theoretical deduction.” The paper was not testing an experimental hypothesis, it was an epidemiological analysis of the available statistical data. All such statistical analysis relies upon theoretical deduction. The claimed reason for withdrawal suggests that all data analysis is now considered to be completely useless.

    It seems scientific claims that C19 numbers are underestimated are fine, claims they are overestimated are not. Either way, whether false negative or false positive, there is plenty of evidence to question the reliability of the RT-PCR test for diagnosing COVID 19.

    The MSM has suggested [6] that enhanced RT-PCR testing can detect the virus SARS-CoV-2 and, in particular, the amount of it in the patient’s system, the viral load. This is disinformation.

    The Nobel winning scientist who devised PCR, Karry Mullis, speaking about the use of PCR [7] to detect HIV stated:

    “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron. PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers [viral load]…These tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all…The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves.”

    Reported C19 deaths can be registered without a test clearly diagnosing any coronavirus, let alone C19. The death can be signed off by a doctor who has never seen the patient and can then be registered by someone who has never met the deceased and was nowhere near them when they died.

    Further provision in the Coronavirus Act then allows for the body to be cremated, potentially against the family’s wishes, ensuring a confirmatory autopsy is impossible, though it is unlikely one will be conducted anyway.

    To say this raises questions about the official reported statistics is an understatement. Questions in no way allege either medical malpractice or negligence. Neither are required for significant confusion to occur because the potential for widespread misreporting of causes of death seems to be a core element of the C19 MCCD process the State has constructed.”


  32. Drat. Made a post earlier but forgot to avoid the k word in reference to COVID-19. Now in mod purgatory. The pain, William, the pain.

  33. I would be interested in knowing where, in the United Kingdom, are deaths occurring. Are they occurring in nursing homes (or whatever those are called in this part of the world)? Are they occurring in hospitals?

    And is there some other factor, caused by the lock downs, that could cause a spike in deaths in certain places?

    • In response to Mr Kernodle, the UK’s Chinese-virus mortality rates on which our graphs are based are for deaths in hospital only. As the head posting explains, at present deaths in care homes (which the Government has today announced had been undercounted by about 50%) account for most of the remaining deaths. The Government is going to try to produce proper, up-to-date mortality statistics that include all deaths of those infected with the Chinese virus. On the evidence to date, one should increase the daily hospital mortalities by 50 to 100% to obtain the true daily mortalities.

      The Office for National Statistics estimated last week that there had been approximately five deaths attributable to stress caused by the lockdowns. On the other side of the account, there are fewer deaths from flu and other infectious diseases, fewer industrial accidents, fewer road deaths.

  34. I’m sorry, but to me something called “excess deaths” sounds like a statistical stunt useful for “proving” that your theories are correct.

    • “Excess deaths” is a standard statistical concept. One takes the average weekly deaths for the week of the year in question, averaged over five years, and compares that with the number of weekly deaths in the current year. If the number of deaths is above the quinquennial average for that week, the additional deaths are known as “excess deaths”.

  35. Sweden and Norway have the worst number of recoveries per death of all countries (0.31 and 0.18 respectively). The country with the best ratio is Hong Kong – 169.5 recoveries for every death. Why on earth is there such a huge gulf in survivability between countries that should have similar outcomes ?

    • Paul, you’re wrong on Hong Kong. The Faeroe Islands have 185 cases, 178 recoveries and no deaths at all so far. Some countries are having difficulties counting recovered cases at all. The UK admitted they couldn’t do it a few days ago, and now it seems the Netherlands has followed suit.

      But your question is a good one. Population density (and most of all in the most crowded areas) may have something to do with it. Incompetence in the health system, and in its reporting, may be another factor. Cultural factors, like a Carnival festival in Catholic Europe at exactly the right time for the virus to spread, may be a third.

  36. I’ve been tracking the progress of COVID-19 by analyzing the Johns-Hopkins collected data. The metric I think reveals critical information for decision making is “running weekly death rate per million population”. This value is calculated as the least squares slope on seven consecutive daily deaths (a daily moving trend line). The resulting curves are unique for countries, regions, states, and cities. One unknown variable is number of deaths attributable to COVID-19. Most of the reported deaths are confirmed by tests in hospitals. It appears to me that in the US the data Johns-Hopkins collected were these deaths. However, about a week ago, I observed a large increase in death rates in New York State, California, and New York City. The New York City COVID-19 web site indicates they are now reporting deaths probably caused by COVID-19. These are deaths of individuals that did not occur in hospitals and had not been tested but were recorded as probable cause on death certificates.

    This metric can be used to decide when and which mitigation measures to relax. For example, this death rate in the US for flu averages between 1 and 3 deaths per week per million population during the flu season. The present COVID -19 metric for New York City is more than two orders of magnitude greater than three. NYC has peaked and is expected to continue to decline. NYC will have to decide at what level they are able to manage this death rate.

    Most low population density states have not peaked this metric and are expected to peak at a level much less than New York State. At what level will they be able manage or accept?

  37. In New Jersey, USA where I live we have a high number of positives and 4753 deaths as of yesterday. Here is the daily report from the state government They have a break out of positives and deaths for long term care facilities eg nursing homes. 43% of COVID
    deaths were in nursing home type facilities. If New Jersey is typical then that says volumes about who should be locked down

  38. Can Monkton certify that the figures quoting deaths are DIRECTLY from the corona
    Virus? We have heard that deaths from people testing positive for this virus are dying from other diseases present, or physiological problems, e.g. Heart conditions?,

    • In response to Mr Welsh, more than 90% of deaths caused by the Chinese virus are in people who are over 80 or have certain comorbidities, notably hypertension, diabetes, ischaemic heart disease and, in more recent studies, obesity, which did not show up as a risk factor in the first U.K. analysis of intensive-care deaths.

      Very nearly all of those in whom the virus was detected and who then died will have died as a result of the virus, and would not have died if they had not become infected.

  39. Lord Monckton
    i’m a bit late here so I’m not sure you’ll read this. While not disagreeing that the CV19 virus is a serious disease for certain sections of the community I’d like to make a few points. Using ONS data for England and Wales and years 2010-2020 up to week 15 (last week).
    The years 2010 t0 2014 had particularly low death rates, until this year 2018 was by far and away the worst year for deaths. A high proportion of the CV19 deaths are in locked down care homes, vulnerable people with underlying health issues confined together with poorly protected carers seems a recipe to wipe most of them out.
    These are weekly totals fir weeks 1 to 15 for 2018 and 2020

    2018 2020
    12,723 12,254
    15,050 14,058
    14,256 12,990
    13,935 11,856
    13,285 11,612
    12,495 10,986
    12,246 10,944
    12,142 10,841
    10,854 10,816
    12,997 10,895
    12,788 11,019
    11,913 10,645
    9,941 11,141
    10,794 16,387
    12,301 18,516

    As we know the UK Government doesn’t know its a4se from its elbow on this one, panicikng and expecting things to happen just because they’ve said they will. From the top down there’s not a single person capable of tackling a crisis.

    The more worrying aspect of this is athat 2018 wasn’t regarded as newsworthy, yet the average weekly deths for the first 15 weeks in England and Wales is the highest of the last 10 years.

    • In response to Ben Vorlich, the deaths in weeks 14 and 15 of 2020 are well above the mean for the time of year, notwithstanding that the lockdown has reduced flu deaths, road deaths and industrial-accident deaths. The problem is that the rate of growth in confirmed (i.e. more serious) cases and in deaths remains significant. Therefore, the excess deaths will be very likely to continue for some weeks, even with the lockdown, because the lockdown was imposed far too late for prudence.

      The excess deaths would have been far greater without the lockdown, which has reduced person-to-person contact by 85-95%.

  40. Christopher Monckton claims “one can imagine how much worse the position might have been without a lockdown>

    Well, actually I cannot imagine that.
    Imagine taking all the old and ill folks in nursing homes and separating them. This is what was done with those on the cruise ship “The Grand Princess” [ not Diamond Princess – I did not know anyone on that one ]. Those that were taken off the Grand Princess were quarantined in nice quarters – quite different than being in lockdown (closed up).

    Now social and economic problems (bankrupt hospitals, organizations, and businesses)
    are increasing faster than an unchecked virus.
    Imagine that! Fully predictable.
    Panic 2020

    • Well , Mr Monckton, back in the day was calling on all people effected by AIDS it be quarantined for ever. So this is his way of thinking on everything. The same as Neil “500,00 for every virus” Ferguson- go big, go alarmist and then reign back the numbers before you look like the charlatan you are.

      • Mr Monckton continues his theme that lock down would have led to less deaths when we know that flu kills more and of every age , including healthy children and those countries without lock down have not experienced any greater threat.

        See- US Navy experiment.

    • Richard continues to be poisonously prejudiced. The reason for quarantining HIV patients was that if it was done right at the outset, when I was among those who advocated it, the 30-50 million deaths that subsequently occurred would have been prevented. The numbers quarantined would have been very small. However, a particular section of the community did not wish to spare the rest of humanity, so there was no quarantine and 30-50 million died.

      Same with the Chinese virus: if governments had acted as promptly and determinedly as the South Koreans, there would have been no need for lockdowns and the large number of deaths that this virus is causing could have been prevented.

  41. New data from the ONS yesterday revealed the number of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales up to April 10 was 41% higher. The ONS said 13,121 people in England and Wales had died by April 10 with mentions of Covid-19 on their death certificates, compared with 9,288 in the government’s daily toll. The FT said it came to a ‘conservative estimate’ of 41,102 UK deaths by analysing the relationship between the ONS figures and the daily hospital deaths, which it says have remained stabled during the pandemic.

    Read more:

  42. “It can no longer be argued that the Chinese virus is “no worse than the annual flu”. If these are the excess deaths even after a lockdown, one can imagine how much worse the position might have been without a lockdown.”

    Every year there is a vaccine produced for theannual flu.

    • Actually, it is a “best guess” (any one from four) vaccine. In the UK, 3 different types depending upon age!

    • In response to Mr White, there is indeed a vaccine for the flu, but there is no vaccine for the Chinese virus: therefore, if it had been left unchecked, it would have killed very large numbers indeed in those countries where population density is very high.

      • well not really. You first have to work out who died “of” and who died “with” the virus.

        You are heavy on alarmism and light on the numbers who actually died of the disease.

  43. Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at

    The coronavirus pandemic has already caused as many as 41,000 deaths in the UK, according to a Financial Times analysis of the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.

    The estimate is more than double the official figure of 17,337 released by ministers on Tuesday, which is updated daily and only counts those who have died in hospitals after testing positive for the virus.

    The FT extrapolation, based on figures from the ONS that were also published on Tuesday, includes deaths that occurred outside hospitals updated to reflect recent mortality trends.

    The analysis also supports emerging evidence that the peak of deaths in the UK occurred on April 8 with the mortality rate gradually trending lower since, despite the 823 hospital deaths announced on Tuesday, which were sharply up on the 449 in the previous 24 hours.

    The ONS data showed that deaths registered in the week ending April 10 were 75 per cent above normal in England and Wales, the highest level for more than 20 years.

  44. Milord,

    Sweden, with no lockdown, continues to track a little above the global daily growth rate in cumulative cases, and appreciably above it in cumulative deaths. Sweden has 175 deaths per million population, compared with 64 per million in Denmark, 34 in Norway and 25 in Finland.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but lockdown supposed to protect healthcare system from overloading due to sharp rise of serious cases following sharp rise of infected in wider population. Looks like neither is happening in Sweden. Infection rate is fairly stable, healthcare their system – as far as I’m aware – is not overwhelmed. Maybe then their relaxed lockdown so far works fine? Maybe Swedish approach is perfectly fine though may not be easily applicable in countries as the UK.

    • Paramenter may or may not be right that the Swedish approach is proportionate. At present, though, the rate of increase in deaths is among the highest we are tracking. If that were to continue for another week, i suspect that the Swedes would be asking for a lockdown (some already are).

      Sweden’s approach, which has been regularly discussed in this series since it is a striking counterexample to the lockdown countries, may (or may not) be suitable for a country whose capital city has a low population density: but it would certainly not have worked in London or New York, for instance.

  45. After reading comments, here, today, I am reminded of a famous quote:

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” — Mark Twain

  46. “Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, warns in a new article that the damage caused by the lockdown could be greater than that caused by the virus. The peak of the epidemic had already been reached in most countries before the lockdown, Professor Heneghan argues’

  47. A friend’s daughter working at a fairly large hospital is not allowed to talk about numbers or what is going on.

    Hmm now how do I read that?

    • If you are talking about the numbers regarding ongoing trials, it is considered unethical to do so.
      In the case of researchers involved with clinical trials of unapproved drugs, it is sometimes illegal to do so, depending on who is doing the talking.
      The idea is to keep the studies as unbiased as possible.

      If it is regarding numbers not having to do with clinical trials, there may be concerns regarding HIPAA.
      Doctors and others have a legal obligation to maintain the privacy of individuals.
      Besides for those concerns, I do not think there is any reason why what is going on cannot be spoken about or reported.
      Some statistical information on deaths and survival is discussed in press conferences, for example by the governor of New York, when he reported that 20% of intubated patients have been surviving in New York hospitals.
      There is other specific info on cases in New York compared here:

      And here:

        • I think that in general, in many public and private organizations and businesses, there is a general prohibition on disclosing things except by people who are specifically authorized and given permission to do so.

  48. What I heard today from a relative working in an nursing home for elderly where a complete floor all elderly, about 20 people, have been tested positive, no one, even one woman at 99, had symptoms, not even fever.

    Germany has passed the frontier of 150.00 confirmed cases while 99.400 recovered.

  49. Because they do not know how dangerous it is, yet. That’s what the stats are suppose to show/hint. 🙁
    If the stats conclude that Covid-19 is no more dangerous than flu, they will stop using additional protection.

  50. “The US Navy ran an experiment. An aircraft carrier was infected with C19. In this environment, people literally live on top of each other. No “such precautions” were taken.

    Now, they’ve collected data on this experiment.

    Here it is:

    4,800 people on the ship
    4,582/4,800 were tested for the virus
    3,872/4,582 people tested were NOT infected
    710/4,582 people tested were infected
    355+/710 infected with NO symptoms
    9/710 hospitalized
    2/710 hospitalized in ICU
    1/710 death with/by the virus

    The Navy reported that “…of the 600 or so that have been infected…a majority of those, 350 plus, are asymptomatic…”

    Summary: In this experiement, with people in an infected environment, on top of each other, we can assume that everyone on the ship was “exposed” to the virus.

    The vast majority of those exposed were NOT infected.
    The majority of those who were infected did NOT have symptoms.
    98% of those infected did NOT require hospitalization.
    Of those infected, 0.3% required Intensive Care in the hospital.
    Of those infected, 0.14% died.
    Of the total population exposed to the virus, 0.02% died.

    We now have excellent data. Can this virus really be regarded as a deadly scourge equivalent to the Black Plague? So deadly that the entire economic output of our country must be exterminated to deal with the virus?”

  51. [I wanted to let this through because we don’t censor based on point of view but…invalid email address-mod]

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