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This is Why we Don't Believe Experts or the Media

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Worst Surge Ever

That's the warning over at our local Fox affiliate. After quoting doctors warning about surge upon surge and massive ramifications and not enough beds in the city, the article quotes Dr. Paul Calkins, the Associate Chief Medical Executive at IU Health:

“There may be a few people alive that saw the flu kill millions of people in 1918 but other than those people nobody has ever seen anything like this before,” Dr. Calkins said.

Oh really. Hospitalizations (both with and because of COVID) are surging, but deaths are not. 


To be charitable, maybe he's talking about the COVID pandemic in general and he was quoted out of context. But the article, with the headline about the WORST SURGE EVER (referring to Community Health's contingency plans) makes it sound like the pandemic is worse than ever right now. But anybody who goes to the state's coronavirus website can see that's a wild exaggeration. 

Regenstrief Institute Exaggerates Unvaccinated Deaths, Hospitalizations

The same article quotes Dr. Shaun Grannis, VP of Data and Analytics at the Regenstrief Institute, which runs Indiana's hospital dashboard. 

“99 percent of all hospitalizations are among unvaccinated individuals. 99 percent of all deaths related to COVID-19 are among unvaccinated individuals.”

Fact check: false. I've been keeping track of breakthroughs, since state dashboards make it otherwise impossible to tell what portion of the sick, the dead and the hospitalized they account for. In fact, breakthroughs have made up 19% to 39% of deaths per week over the past few months. They've made up 4% to 10% of hospitalizations and up to 36% of cases. 

Based on data from Indiana state and Regenstrief dashboards. Click to enlarge. 

My chart uses basic record-keeping and arithmetic, which a fifth grader should be able to do--let alone a vice president of data and analytics with a Dr. in front of his name. He's apparently a real Dr., not a doctor of funk--but a doctor of junk. 

Grannis was one of the authors of a study that purportedly showed vaccines prevented COVID reinfection better than recovery--five times better. That's relative risk (of course) of a positive test, and it's only looking at people who ended up in the hospital. They reached this conclusion by comparing hospitalized patients with COVID-like illness--again, not any of the 99% of the population who never went to the hospital. Here's the problem: they don't take into account how many people have recovered from COVID. The ones who went to the hospital with a reinfection may (probably) represent a tiny fraction of them. Just anecdotally, how many people do you know of who've recovered but gotten reinfected--and how many who've had a breakthrough?

I've been wondering about the low portion of vaccinated patients among Indiana's hospitalized compared to England, and with the above in mind, I'm wondering even more if Regenstrief's hospital data is correct.

False statistics like the ones quoted in the Fox59 article and junk studies that don't square with common experience are either deliberately misleading or show an astounding level of sloppiness or incompetence. Either way, when people can see they're being fed one line after another, no amount of "education" or scare stories are going to move them.


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