by Cam Slater, Insight: Politics Podcast, The BFD, 26 October 2020
Cam Slater says, in his introduction: “I will challenge Tova O’Brien with some facts that seem to have escaped her slanted view of the world.
“She will, no doubt, dismiss it as fake news. The information doesn’t come from their usual sources like CNN or the Guardian or the mouth of Jacinda Ardern.
“Journalists do us all a disservice when they let their egos get in the way of facts.”
“Tova O’Brien, one of the more shrill media shills for the Ardern government is currently drunk on self promotion after her interview with Jami-lee Ross.
It was an interview where she showed personal animus towards the interviewee and utter bias in distorting and then shutting down key information about the Chinese plague, simply because it didn’t suit her narrative.
Here (attached) is the relevant bit of the interview, where she asks a question then shuts down the answer:
You have to wonder why she even asked the question in the first place.
Then after a storm of publicity, she then wrote a wanky self-justifying article in that left-wing rag called The Guardian, leaving us in no doubt about her underlying political ideology.
No self-respecting conservative would ever deign to read The Guardian, much less write for it.
She starts the article with some bold and, as it turns out, factually incorrect claims.
“Like the families of 1.14 million people worldwide, our family has lost people we love to Covid-19. They are people who would not have died were it not for this deadly, hyper-contagious virus. We are in a global pandemic that is at least 15 times more fatal than seasonal influenza.”
There is no context to such an emotive and baseless claim.
Is she seriously stating that the 25 people who have died in New Zealand, even though 11 weren’t even tested for the Wu Pox, wouldn’t have died but for the virus?
That’s a stretch. We now have the sad and ironic situation where more people have died on our roads this year than from the plague, but the difference is we haven’t had the Prime Minister and Ashley Bloomfield announcing every road death like they have from the Chinese plague.
But her boldest claim is that the Wu Flu is 15 times more fatal that seasonal flu.
Well is it?
The short answer is no, it is not.
We have basically used the sledgehammer of lockdowns to break the shelled peanut that is COVID-19.
We’ve wrecked our economy for the seasonal flu.
Even the WHO says as much. They now say that lockdowns aren’t the way to go.
And it is WHO that now says that COVID-19 is about as deadly as the seasonal flu.
Dr Sebastion Rushworth points this out in a recent column:
“In August, I wrote an article where I proposed that the mortality for covid is only 0.12%, roughly the same as influenza. That number was based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation. I figured that, since the death rate had dropped continuously for months and was at very low levels, Sweden must have reached a point where it had herd immunity. And I figured that at least 50% of the population must have been infected for herd immunity to have been reached. 50% of Sweden’s population is five million people. 6,000 / 5,000,000 = 0.12%”
“At the beginning of October, one of the World Health Organisation’s executive directors, Mike Ryan, said that the WHO estimated that 750 million people had so far been infected with covid. At that point, one million people had died of the disease. That gives a death rate for covid of 0.13% . So the WHO said that the death rate is 0.13%.”
The WHO has completed a study by John Iaoannidis.
Dr Rushwoth examines this and says:
“This analysis was based on seroprevalance data, i.e. data on how many people were shown to have antibodies to covid in their bloodstream at different times in different countries, which was correlated with the number of deaths in those countries. Through this analysis, professor Ioannidis reached the conclusion that covid has an overall mortality rate of around 0.23% (in other words, one in 434 infected people die of the disease). For people under the age of seventy, the mortality rate was estimated at 0.05% (in other words, one in 2,000 infected people under the age of 70 die of the disease).”
None of that suggests even remotely that the Chinese flu is 15 times more deadly than seasonal flu.
Again Dr Rushworth comments:
“But even if the antibody based number is the correct number, then covid still is not a very deadly disease. For comparison, the 1918 flu pandemic is thought to have had an infection fatality rate of 2.5%, i.e. one in forty infected people died. So the 1918 flu was 11 times more deadly than covid if you go by professor Ioannidis antibody based numbers, and 19 times more deadly than covid if you go by the fatality rate provided 12 days earlier by the WHO’s Mike Ryan.”
‘And this is missing one big point about covid. The average person who dies from covid is over 80 years old and has multiple underlying health conditions. In other words, their life expectancy is very short. The average person who died in the 1918 pandemic was in their late 20’s. So each death in the 1918 pandemic actually meant around 50 years more of life lost per person than each death in the covid pandemic. Multiply that by the fact that it had a 19 times higher death rate, and the 1918 flu was in fact 950 times more deadly than covid, in terms its capacity to shorten people’s lives.”
Which is exactly what I recently said.
And the numbers are now not going to change. Viruses don’t suddenly become more virulent, they are what they are and there is now plenty of real evidence out there that COVID-19 isn’t the mass killer it was purported to be. More cases and and deaths aren’t going to change the statistics.
We now know categorically that COVID-19 is a bad flu. That’s it.
Which is precisely what Jami-lee Ross was trying to say when Tova O’Brien shut him down. Her self-congratulatory Guardian column is also a big lie.
As you’ve seen the Wu Pox isn’t 15 times more deadly than seasonal flu. And again we can look at Sweden, with little or no controls over the population:
“September 2020 was the least deadly month in Swedish history, in terms of number of deaths per 100,000 population. Ever. And I don’t mean the least deadly September, I mean the least deadly month. Ever. To me, this is pretty clear evidence of two things. First, that covid is not a very deadly disease. And second, that Sweden has herd immunity.”
Dr Rushworth continues:
“When I posted this information on my twitter feed, the response from proponents of further lockdown was that the reason September was such an un-deadly month, was because everyone has already died earlier in the pandemic. To me, that seems like a pretty self-defeating argument. Why?
Because 6,000 people have died of covid in Sweden, a country with a population of 10,000,000 people. 6,000 people is 0.06% of the population. If it is enough for that tiny a fraction of a population to die of a pandemic for the pandemic to peter out so completely that a country can have its least deadly month ever, then the pandemic was never that deadly to begin with.”
Which brings me back to Tova OBrien’s grandiose and false claims.
She states near the end of her column:
“I was just doing my job that morning and the interview did not happen in a vacuum. Journalists all over the world have been calling out lies relating to Covid-19, especially when they’re adopted by powerful figures attempting to legitimise falsehoods.”
Well, what happens, Tova, when powerful media figures lie and are caught out?
Who holds you to account?
Little wonder that Newshub is now rated as one of the most biased news organisations in New Zealand, and The BFD one of the least biased.
Perhaps we need to rewrite that paragraph.
“Honest scientists and citizens all over the world have been calling out lies related to COVID-19, especially when they’re adopted by biased Mainstream Media journalists attempting to legitimise dodgy lying Prime Ministers”.
There, fixed, you’re welcome Tova dear.”
(Thanks to Carol Sawyer for putting this together. We know Tova O’Brien even turns off some Labour supporters.)