MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

On this blog and elsewhere, I have heard many strange arguments against COVID-19 vaccinations. I get the impression that most proponents of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) hold or sympathize with such notions. Here is a list of those arguments that have come up most frequently together with my (very short) comments:

COVID is not dangerous

It’s just a flu and nothing to be really afraid of, they say. Therefore, no good reason exists for getting vaccinated. This, I think, is easily countered by pointing out that to date about 5.5 million people have died of COVID-19. In addition, I fear that the issues of ‘long-COVID’ is omitted in such discussions

It’s only the oldies who die

As an oldie myself, I find this argument quite distasteful. More importantly, it is simply not correct.

Vaccines don’t work

True they do not protect us 100% from the infection. But they very dramatically reduce the likelihood of severe illness or death from COVID-19.

Vaccines are unsafe

We have now administered almost 10 billion vaccinations worldwide. Thus we know a lot about the risks. In absolute terms, there is a vast amount of cases, and it would be very odd otherwise; just think of the rate of nocebo effects that must be expected. However, the risks are mostly minor, and serious ones are very rare. Some anti-vaxxers predicted that, by last September, the vaccinated population would be dead. This did not happen, did it? The fact is that the benefits of these vaccinations hugely outweigh the risks.

Vaccines are a vicious tracking system

Some claim that ‘they‘ use vaccines to be able to trace the vaccinated people. Who are ‘they‘, and why would anyone want to trace me when my credit card, mobile phone, etc. already could do that?

Vaccines are used for population control

They‘ want to reduce the world population through deadly vaccines to ~5 billion, some anti-vaxxers say. Again, who are ‘they‘ and would ‘they‘ want to do that? Presumably ‘they‘ need us to pay taxes and buy their goods and services.

There has not been enough research

If those who make this argument would bother to go on Medline and look for COVID-related research, they might see how ill-informed this argument is. Since 2021, more than 200 000 papers on the subject have emerged.

I trust my immune system

This is just daft. I am triple-vaccinated and also hope that I can trust my immune system – this is why I got vaccinated in the first place. Vaccinations rely on the immune system to work.

It’s all about making money

Yes, the pharma industry aims to make money; this is a sad reality. But does that really mean that their products are useless? I don’t see the logic here.

People should have the choice

I am all for it! But if someone’s poor choice endangers my life, I do object. For instance, I expect other people not to smoke in public places, stop at red traffic lights and drive on the correct side of the street.

Most COVID patients in hospitals have been vaccinated

If a large percentage of the population has been vaccinated and the vaccine conveys not 100% protection, it would be most surprising, if it were otherwise.

I have a friend who…

All sorts of anecdotes are in circulation. The thing to remember here is that the plural of anecdote is anecdotes and not evidence.

SCAM works just as well

Of course, that argument had to be expected from SCAM proponents. The best response here is this: SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE! In response SCAM fans have so far only been able to produce ‘studies’ that are unconvincing or outright laughable.

In conclusion, the arguments put forward by anti-vaxxers or vaccination-hesitant people are rubbish. It is time they inform themselves better and consider information that originates from outside their bubble. It is time they realize that their attitude is endangering others.

 

26 Responses to Anti-vax arguments used by proponents of SCAM are stupid, or wrong, or both

  • Trying to talk to anti-vaxxers, or worse, trying to convince them, is useless.
    Mark Twain: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

  • I trust my immune system

    Refusing vaccination because you trust your immune system is like refusing to go to school because you trust your brain.

    Yes, the pharma industry aims to make money; this is a sad reality. But does that really mean that their products are useless?

    By far the easiest and best way to make LOTS of money is simply making good, trustworthy products. The best way to end up broke and in jail is to make useless and even unsafe products, and then lie to your customers about it(*).

    *: Although strangely, many SCAM providers employ this exact ‘business model'(**) yet manage to get away with it …

    **: Which may explain why it is predominantly providers and supporters of SCAM making all these claims like ‘we’re being lied to’ in the first place: they lie to people about their products and services all the time, so they expect others to do likewise.

  • hello friends, i wonder if the arguments by Peter Doshi stand to reason? I think it is only fair to say that nobody can rule out adverse effects surfacing in the long run.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n1244

    https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/bitstream/handle/10713/16065/Doshi-2021-VRBPAC-OPH-slides-Jun-10.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

    https://www.fda.gov/media/148542/download

    And not to forget: “Vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts.”

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00648-4/fulltext

    • true, nobody can rule out AEs in the long run. yet are they likely, plausible, or just speculation?
      “Vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts.” that might also be true, but is it a good reason not to vaccinate?

      • At least they are likely enough for having to discharge the producer from his liabilities, which is in itself an understandable reason to grant the average person some doubt, I think.

        Of course, it all hinges on a good database, large studies, to properly assess the benefit risk ratio, but for instance VAERS has been shown to record only about 1% of actual vaccine adverse events in the past. And it seems neither are such studies done nor planned.

        Some small scale studies are at least interesting:

        Pathologists like Prof. Schirmacher form Heidelberg holds that at least 30-40% of the ppl dying shortly after vaccination vaccination to be the main cause.

        https://www.sott.net/article/456538-Media-blackout-Renowned-German-pathologists-vaccine-autopsy-data-is-shocking-and-being-censored.

        Prof. Arne Burkhardt as well sees in the post-mortem cases he assessed often a high probability for vaccination being a causal effect for death; let alone some of the autoimmune reactions, which he holds to be a possible regular feature of all vaccinated people yet to a lesser degree due to better down regulation capabilities of the immune systems.

        Based on the emergence of evidence like from the Pfizer confidential study

        https://www.pmda.go.jp/drugs/2021/P20210212001/672212000_30300AMX00231_I100_1.pdf

        , etc., (some of which could possibly testify to the immune reactions found by the pathologists) Kostoff et al. regard mid-term and long term adverse effects as possible, pls check out the list on page 1669:

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221475002100161X?via%3Dihub

        It has to be considered in any case what constitutes this crisis in general that is considering results like Kostoff et al. came up with: “We can’t say for sure that many/most died from COVID-19 because of: 1) how the PCR tests were manipulated to give copious false positives and 2) how deaths were arbitrarily attributed to COVID-19 in the presence of myriad comorbidities.”

        So basically the whole numbers from the word go are based on a PCR test prone to give false positive results, which, i think, is even acknowledged by the WHO. There are deaths falsely attributed to covid, we have slender safety data with short duration trials of a new generation vaccine and at the same time producers shying away from liabilities. The mortality rates of 2020 compared to 2021 after the vaccination in Germany for instance are rather unimpressive. There a lot of breakthrough infections plus enough reported adverse effects which allow for doubt or say a negative stance against mandatory vaccination, especially for children who are per capita negligible among covid deaths as Kostoff et al. point out.

        • are you trying to convince us that the risks of any of the vaccines that are on the market outweigh the benefit?
          I am not surprised that, with currently ~ 216 000 papers listed in Medline on COVID, you can find some concerning findings. I would, however, argue that it is wise to focus on the consensus.

          • Peter Doshi tries to convince you that the harms outweighed benefits in Pfizer’s trial of 12-15 year olds; that benefits were rare & short term side effects were common and that nothing is known about long term effects, but we have reason to be cautious: narcolepsy/Pandemrix, myocarditis/mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, and biodistribution studies:

            https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/bitstream/handle/10713/16065/Doshi-2021-VRBPAC-OPH-slides-Jun-10.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

            I focused on the general consensus on which you agreed and the producer does as well: “nobody can rule out (mid or) long term adverse effects“, and, the reported ones are sufficient ground to think twice or even refuse vaccination, I would think.

            S. Seneff, G. Nigh, Worse than the disease? Reviewing some possible unintended consequences of the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, Int. J. Vacc. Theory Practice Res. 2 (1) (2021) 38–79.

            The likelihood of getting myocarditis in young male for instance is increasing disproportionately per shot. The potential consequences for these youngsters having little risk of covid effects can only in such case range apparently from normal recovery to loss of heart muscle up to death. So, I believe it to be a legitimate position that those who are at minimal risk of death should be allowed for immunity through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at a high risk.

            @ Richard Rasker

            Government consultant Prof. Matthias Schrappe: “…With a continuous
            highly sensitive method such as PCR, there is not only a risk of obtaining
            too many false-positive results, but also of predictably overloading useful
            systems such as tracking (public health departments) to overload.”

            In case you’re interested in the false positive PCR test, p. 21 top graphic:

            https://schrappe.com/ms2/index_htm_files/fact_sheet_201008.pdf

            I would say, we don’t really need to wait because thwarted promises: the ridiculous breakthrough infections and short-lived protection (if at all because of the triggered immune response) with the great unknown ahead would make a conventional vaccine, in the eyes of many ppl out there, seem not unattractive.

            @ RPGNo1

            I guess you’re not up-to-date regarding Prof. Burkhardt’s and Prof. Lang’s work. Meanwhile, reassuring immune histology was done even more cases assessed everything seems to underpin the findings even more, the results were presented at an international symposium, they received positive feedback. Criticism by someone who is not a pathologist like the head of the STIKO I find rather unconvincing and btw Prof. Burkhardt is not a covid denier nor is he against vaccination in general.

          • Dear Prof. Ernst, i just like to list a few points which allow for some reticence towards the vaccination, i believe. Peter Doshi tries to convince you that harms outweighed benefits in Pfizer’s trial of 12-15 year olds; that benefits were rare & short term side effects were common and that nothing is known about long term effects, but we have reason to be cautious: narcolepsy/Pandemrix, myocarditis/mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, and biodistribution studies:

            https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/bitstream/handle/10713/16065/Doshi-2021-VRBPAC-OPH-slides-Jun-10.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

            I focused on the consensus on which you agreed and the producer as well: “nobody can rule out (mid or) long term adverse effects“, and, the reported ones are sufficient ground to think twice or even refuse vaccination, I would think.

            S. Seneff, G. Nigh, Worse than the disease? Reviewing some possible unintended consequences of the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, Int. J. Vacc. Theory Practice Res. 2 (1) (2021) 38–79.

            The likelihood of getting myocarditis in young male for instance is increasing disproportionately per shot. The potential consequences for these youngsters having little risk of covid 19 effects can merely in such case range apparently from normal recovery to loss of heart muscle up to death. I believe it to be a legitimate position that those who are at minimal risk of death by covid should be allowed for immunity through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at a high risk.

            @ Richard Rasker

            I don’t know where you get your figures from but VAERS for example has roughly 3,4 death/ 100.000, a factor that has to be multiplied considerably as a lot of the pathologies like myocarditis are very likely to be misdiagnosed or overlooked altogether even by experts, when not chased and lacking expertise. And often, if it not were for the doubtful relatives of the cases assessed, most likely the connection would have never been made. The small scale studies are remarkable enough and when outstanding experts like Prof. Schirmacher come up with such a high estimation range of 30-40% of causal relation, it is worth to take a closer look on a large scale in any case.

            Government consultant Prof. Matthias Schrappe: “…With a continuous
            highly sensitive method such as PCR, there is not only a risk of obtaining too many
            false-positive results, but also of predictably overloading useful
            systems such as tracking (public health departments) to overload.”

            In case you’re interested in the false positive PCR test, p. 21 top graphic:

            https://schrappe.com/ms2/index_htm_files/fact_sheet_201008.pdf

            I would say, we don’t really need to wait because thwarted promises: the ridiculous breakthrough infections and short-lived protection (if at all when considering the triggered immune response) with the great unknown ahead would make a conventional vaccine seem not unattractive in the eyes of many ppl out there.

            @ RPGNo1

            I guess you’re not up-to-date regarding Prof. Burkhardt’s and Prof. Lang’s work. Meanwhile, reassuring immune histology was done even more cases assessed everything seems to underpin the findings even more, the results were presented on an international symposium, they received positive feedback. Criticism by someone who is not a pathologist like the head of the STIKO I find rather unconvincing, and the STIKO was continuously heavily criticized and btw Burkhardt is neither a corona denier nor anti vaccination in general.

            May you all be happy and well!

          • @DanLucas

            S. Seneff ….

            Stephanie Seneff is not a legitimate source, to put it mildly. Seneff is a computer scientist who suffers from the delusion that her skills in data analysis give her god-like insights in almost all other areas of science – which often disagree completely with not only all other scientists out there, but even with reality.

            About false-positive PCR tests: those are relatively rare, and the chances of someone testing positive while never having been in contact with the virus are apparently between 0.7% and 4%. And even then, a simple repeated test can weed out most of those.
            And yes, even these low false positive rates can give a completely wrong picture of the number of infections in a population if test random samples, simply because at any given time, the number of randomly chosen people with an active infection is also very low. But this is not how testing takes place. Only people with a suspected infection and their close contacts are tested. And it turns out that PCR testing is quite a reliable tool for tracing infections when used wisely.

            In fact, research suggests that PCR tests produce far more false negatives than false positives. If anything, the number of Covid-19 infections is almost certainly underestimated rather than overestimated.

        • Arne Burckhardt is a corona denier. The results of his so-called “investigations” have been refuted by experts and likewise professional societies.

          In a video, two retired pathologists [Arne Burckhardt, Walter Lang] claim: an analysis of ten autopsies shows that the people examined died due to vaccination against Covid-19. However, their statements are rejected by professional associations and colleagues as “scientifically unsound”.

          .

          Peter Schirmacher is reputable, but he was criticized for the statement that he feared a high number of unreported cases, for example by the head of the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko).

          https://correctiv.org/faktencheck/2021/09/25/mitglieder-der-pathologiekonferenz-verbreiten-unbelegte-behauptungen-ueber-covid-19-impfungen-und-todesfaelle/

          sott.net is an Internet portal notorious for pseudoscientific, esoteric, conspiracy-theory and right-wing populist content.

          Face it: All your “proofs” are for naught.

        • @DanLucas

          … for instance VAERS has been shown to record only about 1% of actual vaccine adverse events in the past.

          This figure of 1% is commonly used by dimwitted antivaccine people to ‘prove’ that vaccines are far more dangerous than scientists, doctors, healthcare workers, governments and pharmaceutical companies tell us. And it has been debunked LOTS of times.
          Yes, only 1% of adverse events (AE’s) is reported to VAERS. And the reason for this is simple: virtually all AE’s are both mild and expected – so these AE’s are only rarely reported. I had a bit of a tender arm the day after my vaccinations, and not one moment did it occur to me to report this to our national pharmacovigilance organization (the Lareb).
          However, the more serious AE’s are, the more they get reported. If someone dies shortly after vaccination and there is even the slightest suspicion that this death may be vaccine-related, then a report is almost certainly filed.

          Some small scale studies are at least interesting …

          So far, the results of these studies have not been confirmed in any way by larger studies. The vast majority of doctors and scientists agree that vaccines do not cause death in any significant numbers (i.e. less than 1 in every million vaccinations).

          So basically the whole numbers from the word go are based on a PCR test prone to give false positive results …

          And this is an outright lie from antivaccine people. PCR tests are ABSOLUTELY NOT ‘prone to give false positive results’. When e.g. Australia and New Zealand still managed to keep the Covid-19 virus out by completely closing their borders, virtually no positive PCR tests were recorded (and yes, lots of tests were performed). As soon as the virus broke through, the number of positive PCR tests rose in step with actual symptomatic cases. And in other countries the number of positive PCR tests also closely matched both the number of symptomatic cases and (1-2 weeks later) the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

          … how the PCR tests were manipulated to give copious false positives …

          This is yet another lie. Please come up with evidence for this accusation or stop spreading this kind of misinformaton.

          … how deaths were arbitrarily attributed to COVID-19 in the presence of myriad comorbidities.

          And this is yet another lie.

          About Korstoff et al. and vaccinating children:
          “Per capita COVID-19 deaths are negligible in children”: in the US alone, Covid-19 has killed 550 children. And it will kill hundreds more if children are not vaccinated. How many dead children do you find negligible or acceptable – especially since almost all those deaths can be prevented? If I murder a classroom with 20 kids (a ‘negligible number’), then I’m regarded as a most despicable human being – and rightly so. But if I deliberately try to prevent children from being vaccinated, and some 200 of those die as a result, then I’m a ‘Hero of Health Freedom’ in the eyes of antivaccine people and many right-wing adherents – even though I just killed 10 classrooms full of children.

          “Clinical trials did not address long-term effects most relevant to children”: this is a bit of a stupid argument for several reasons: 1) so far, there ARE no long-term effects, and none are expected either, and 2) it is logically impossible to look for long-term effects without testing for several years, and 3) mRNA vaccines have been tested on human volunteers for well over 10 years now, without any long-term adverse effects.

          But tell me, how long should a vaccine be tested and on how many volunteers before you would approve it for general use? And on what criteria do you base this? And oh, as you apparently don’t trust both VAERS data and active monitoring as it is implemented now, how would you actually propose that safety information is collected and presented?

          Note that I have asked this question to several antivaccine people, and their answers usually meant that any new vaccine should only be released after 20 years of testing on dozens of millions of people, with very close, active monitoring of the health status of each of them by ‘independent organizations’ (i.e. without involvement of pharmaceutical companies, academical institutions or even pharmacologists). Which, if you do the financial math, would boil down to an investment in the order of ~$100 billion before a vaccine is approved. Who is going to pay for this? And of course at this point, almost all vulnerable people have already succumbed to the disease in question …

          • @ Richard Rasker

            With Stephanie or without, enough AE’s are known and reported, take those from the Pfizer trial…

            “…when used wisely”.

            Exactly, a point at issue, you probably know the pitfalls.

            “…a simple repeated test can weed out most of those.”

            I assume such weeding out is not taking place after death! After Ignazio Cassis head of state of Switzerland has revealed to the world on TV that everyone who is hospitalized for other reasons than covid, say car accident, with positive PCR and dying there is counted as covid death, regardless of the cause of death. According to the statesman himself the common global standard for sake of uniform counting enacted by the WHO. Isn’t that good to know?

            In case you understand German, here he says it himself: https://www.bitchute.com/video/CzagK3kLCF2o/

          • After Ignazio Cassis head of state of Switzerland has revealed to the world on TV that everyone who is hospitalized for other reasons than covid, say car accident, with positive PCR and dying there is counted as covid death, regardless of the cause of death. According to the statesman himself the common global standard for sake of uniform counting enacted by the WHO. Isn’t that good to know?

            It is public knowledge that this is how Covid deaths are counted, as this method is simple, unambiguous, does not require the judgement of individual clinicians and allows comparisons between different times and places. For the purposes of managing a pandemic it is more important to know how the situation is changing than to have precise numbers of cases. Of course this definition includes some people where Covid is not the cause of death and it misses others where it is, for instance deaths in the community where no PCR test was performed. By and large these balance out, but even if they didn’t it would not invalidate this definition.

            If you watch the BBC News you will notice that when they report the daily numbers of Covid deaths they always specify that this is deaths within 28 days of a positive test. This is hardly a secret.

          • @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle

            It is public knowledge that this [death within 28 days of a positive Covid test tesult] is how Covid deaths are counted

            If I interpret the following correctly, this is not strictly true, at least in the UK:
            https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/freedomofinformationfoi/whetherthosewhohavediedfromacaraccidentwithcovid19willbecountedinonsstatistics

            “It is extremely unlikely that a coroner would find that someone was involved in a traffic accident, or was the victim of violence, because of having COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test — so they would not mention COVID-19 on the death certificate.”
            and
            “Even if in an unusual case a death certificate mentioned both COVID-19 and a traffic accident (or other external causes), the World Health Organisation (WHO) rules for coding deaths mean that the traffic accident would be identified as the underlying cause of death in our data.”

            Anyway, I believe that DanLucas tries to claim that Covid-19 deaths are hugely overestimated, and that is simply not the case.

          • Richard,

            The cause of death given on a death certificate is used, among other things, for collecting mortality figures by the Office of National Statistics, and doctors (or coroners) are supposed to complete it as fully and as accurately as they can. In the case of a covid death this will be based on their knowledge of the history and their clinical judgement. However, for tracking the course of the pandemic, the method of counting covid deaths, i.e. death within 28 days of a positive test, takes no account of what is written on the death certificate.

            I suppose this means that a single death can therefore be recorded twice for different purposes, with a different cause of death given each time. Provided the data managers understand how the data is collected and what the figures mean, I don’t see a problem with that. So the person who dies in a road traffic accident within 28 days of a positive PCR test will be a Covid death as far as the pandemic statistics are concerned, but for UK mortality figures broken down by cause of death (as published by the ONS) they will be counted as a traffic accident.

            In other words, the way that things are counted depends on the reason why you are counting them. Isn’t that always the case when you are counting something?

          • JM-K wrote: “If you watch the BBC News you will notice that when they report the daily numbers of Covid deaths they always specify that this is deaths within 28 days of a positive test.” [my emphasis]

            If that is true, which I doubt, then the BBC is in error.

            QUOTE
            Deaths within 28 days of a positive test

            Deaths of people who had a positive test result for COVID-19 and died with 28 days of their first positive test. [my emphasis]

            People who died more than 28 days after their first positive test are not included, whether or not COVID-19 was the cause of death. [my emphasis]

            https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/metrics/doc/newDeaths28DaysByDeathDate
            END of QUOTE [Last updated on 7 January 2022]

          • Pete Atkins,

            JM-K wrote: “If you watch the BBC News you will notice that when they report the daily numbers of Covid deaths they always specify that this is deaths within 28 days of a positive test.” [my emphasis]

            If that is true, which I doubt, then the BBC is in error

            The Government web site you link to has the heading:
            “New deaths within 28 days of a positive test by death date” which is the same wording that is used on the BBC news in their daily reports of UK coronavirus deaths. It then goes on to define this as referring to their FIRST positive PCR test, which is something I hadn’t realised.

            This definition, of course, will exclude anybody who has a second confirmed Covid infection and dies from any cause. It will also exclude anybody who has a PCR test at the beginning of a Covid infection and takes longer than 28 days to die from it. My original point stands, however, which is that the purpose of this definition is to allow comparison between different times and places, which means that those collecting the data have to have a clear, unambiguous definition which does not rely on the judgement of individuals doctors.

            Collecting accurate mortality statistics is the job of the Office fo National Statistics, and they use different methods, including death certificates, for this purpose.

          • This is something my wife and her ICU colleagues wonder about. They have a lot of COVID patients who remain in ICU for a lot longer than 28 days (they are known as slowVIDs) and a good proportion of them subsequently die. Their death is not of acute COVID but COVID is nonetheless the cause of their death.

  • @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle

    In other words, the way that things are counted depends on the reason why you are counting them. Isn’t that always the case when you are counting something?

    I gave this a bit of thought, and there is actually a lot more to this than meets the eye. In theory (and in particular in mathematics), the answer would be ‘no’, as counting particular items should be completely unambiguous, and always produce the exact same result, regardless of the method employed.
    But I agree that in our highly complex real world, where we also have to deal with things like efficiency, and where in/exclusion criteria are rarely perfectly defined, a certain amount of error and uncertainty must be accepted. Which is also where confusion creeps in, as evidenced by the preceding exchange.

    I haven’t dug further into what exact criteria are used for Covid-19 deaths among the different organizations mentioned (ONS, WHO, etc.) or the errors they may introduce, but I tend to agree with you that the overall margin of error seems small enough that the outcome deviates maybe 10% from the ‘real’ figure or thereabouts. After all, there aren’t really striking differences in numbers between the various organizations. And as already said, there is no reason to believe claims that Covid-19 deaths are hugely overestimated, as some critics of Covid-19 countermeasures claim.

  • @ Richard Rasker

    There might be even more than meets Richard’s eye…

    “In other words, the way that things are counted depends on the reason why you are counting them. Isn’t that always the case when you are counting something?”

    Exactly, also certain incentives forbid an exaggerated tidiness of the picture, let alone wrong handling of the test with whatever intention. Running high cts, of course, means more rewarding covid daily rates also for the often profit driven holdings under pressure for instance in Germany. Needless to say what the car wreck patient then preferably died from. In IC patients with high age on average and comorbidities, tested with high ct test when death is foreseeable, might die only with a positive result and so on. Even post mortem tests might be promising from that angle? The coding U07.2 can cause skewed numbers as well, as it seems, the contact with a positive is sufficient for that code raising the death rates and potentially generating cash flow, at least potentially. Don’t get me wrong, I am not imputing in general, but billing fraud in health care is not unheard of, the incentives known and lowered control mechansim during the crisis might be tempting even more?

    Last year in Germany at times 1.5 million tests per week, different labs apparently with different opaque working standards etc.. corona bonus rates for hospitals in October mysteriously coincided with testing sprees what led to 50% more corona cases within about 6 weeks…

    Be that as it may, may you be well!

  • correction: “Last year in Germany at times 1.5 million tests per week, different labs apparently with different opaque working standards etc.. corona bonus rates for hospitals in October mysteriously coincided with testing sprees what led to 50% more corona cases within about 6 weeks…” referes actually to year 2020.

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