Much has been said about how we calculate coronavirus death rates. One way is to divide Covid-19 deaths by the number of cases. Another is to divide Covid-19 deaths by the number of infections. The results can be wildly different.
There is another subtlety that affects the calculation: How deaths are reported.
Imagine a population in which 50 million people die each year of all causes. If that number spiked by 5,000 in a given year, would you be concerned enough to suspect the emergence of a new disease agent? For a 0.0001 spike, probably not.
The opposite effect also applies. Suppose you fabricate an new cause of death — Z — and doctors start using it on death certificates. It may seem that Z accounts for some or all of the 5,000 spike when in fact the spike is statistically insignificant (you can’t attribute it to Z).
And if the rules for reporting Z are slightly different for different populations, you run into a whole new set of problems, particularly when attempting to compare Z in one place with Z in another.
Dr. Lee addresses this notable issue, among others, in his Spectator piece.
It is not the point that Covid-19 is a hoax but, rather, that the maturity of the science is extremely low at present. Dr. Lee says (speaking of Britain), “We have decided on policies of extraordinary magnitude without concrete evidence of excess harm already occurring, and without proper scrutiny of the science used to justify them.”