THE LIE That Started The COVID-19 Pandemic...

5 months ago

Memory Hole: The Original Covid-19 Lie
By Matt Orfalea
August 23, 2023

The COVID-19 lie that started it all -- before lockdowns and mandates -- was the lie that the virus was more deadly than it actually was. On March 3, 2020, the media cited the World Health Organization to spread the misinformation that the global death rate of COVID-19 was 3.4%. Years later, the WHO's much-expanded dataset now shows the real global case fatality rate is less than 1%. However, at the time, when the President of the United States correctly pointed out the figure was inflated, he was viciously attacked for "downplaying" the virus, as the WHO's misleading statistic was regurgitated in the press.

"WHO says the death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought" - CNBC

"The death rate now estimated at 3.4% for anyone afflicted with this virus" - FOX News

"3.4% of people who get coronavirus die from it." - USA TODAY

The WHO's death rate was severely inflated because most COVID-19 cases are mild with no symptoms and are therefore never reported. In fact, Dr. Fauci and the Director of the CDC, Dr. Redfield predicted as much just three days prior to the WHO's misleading 3.4% death rate. In the New England Journal of Medicine, Fauci and Redfield concluded the number could be "considerably less than 1%". This contradiction between US public health officials and the WHO went mostly ignored. The media was only triggered into a response when Donald Trump used the same scientific reasoning on FOX News with Sean Hannity.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: "Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number. Now, this is just my hunch, but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it's very mild. They will get better very rapidly. They don't even see a doctor. They don't even call a doctor. You never hear about those people."

Trump repeated his reasoning for clarity, although his full explanation was later deleted from nearly all mainstream news segments which criticized him for sharing thoughts "based on nothing" (John Berman, "CNN New Day", CNN, 3/5/20).

PRESIDENT TRUMP: "When you do have a death . . . all of a sudden, it seems like three or four percent, which is a very high number, as opposed to a fraction of one percent. But, again, they don't know about the easy cases, because the easy cases don't go to the hospital. They don't report to doctors or the hospital in many cases. So I think that that number is very high. I think the number -- personally, I would say the number is way under 1 percent.


Former Vox reporter and special guest to the Biden White House, Aaron Rupar, reflexively attacked Trump's rational, and ultimately correct, take on the WHO death rate, as "astoundingly irresponsible".

Over the following days, Trump was mocked on nearly every major television channel (CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, & Comedy Central), where he was accused of lying.

MSNBC hosts and experts labeled Trump's correct take on the death rate as "not correct", "not true", "dishonest", and "disinformation" (Andrea Mitchell, Ben Rhodes, and Geoff Bennett on "Andrea Mitchell Reports"); "false information", (Chris Jansing on "Live with Hallie Jackson"); and "misinformation" ("Live with Velshi and Ruhle").

CNN's reporters and pundits did the same, calling Trump's informed skepticism "disinformation" (Brian Stelter, "CNN Newsroom"); "misinformation" (Anderson Cooper, "Anderson Cooper 360"); and "sketchy information" (Jim Acosta, "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer").

(NOTE: This is only a small sample of the false accusations.)

After the news set the narrative, late-night hosts took their cues and obediently forwarded the message that WHO's word reigns supreme and therefore Trump is crazy to question it.

"Trump has a hunch that coronavirus is not as deadly as people think. In fact, he personally has a feeling that the death rate is lower than 1 percent. What the fuck is that?!" - Trevor Noah, "The Daily Show" (Comedy Central, 3/6/20)

"One percent . . . Will someone put a mozzarella stick in his stupid hole before he gets us all killed?" - Jimmy Kimmel, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (ABC, 3/6/20)

"[Trump] lied about the most recent World Health Organization estimates." - Stephen Colbert, "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" (CBS, 3/6/20)

"Trump lied to viewers about the mortality rate." - Seth Meyers, "Late Night with Seth Meyers" (NBC, 3/6/20)

The media narrative was that Trump's "less than 1%" figure was not supported by scientists, doctors, or data, but it was. The nation's top doctors, health authorities (CDC), and data from South Korea -- the country with the most COVID testing per capita, which calculated the death rate to be 0.6% -- all supported Trump's take.


The public was told that it was not only crazy to question WHO authority but dangerous. "Is there danger in Donald Trump going on FOX News and telling that network's viewers that, 'I don't believe the WHO"? . . . I mean, is it dangerous to have conflicting messages out there...?," asked former George W. Bush admin communications director Nicolle Wallace on her MSNBC show. "It's certainly not helpful," replied Democrat Congresswoman Lauren Underwood.

Several more pundits affirmed Wallace's Orwellian notion that the mere existence of a second opinion was "dangerous". The newscasters and their experts told Americans it was "dangerous" to have a hunch -- that it was "dangerous" to think.

"I think we're in a very dangerous period if the President continus to hunch about scientific facts." - Kathleen Sebelius, "AM Joy", MSNBC (3/7/20)

"President Trumps's weaknesses -- a disdain for expertise . . . that is very dangerous in a pandemic, and so what I would like to see now is an effort to get the experts front and center." - Ben Rhodes, "Andrea Mitchell Reports", MSNBC (3/5/20)

"These interviews with Sean Hannity on FOX…can be dangerous . . . when [Trump] is spreading misinformation and disinformation . . . When the POTUS spreads misinformation . . . that can be dangerous . . . and for the record, right now, WHO says 3.4%." - Brian Stelter, "CNN Newsroom", CNN (3/5/20)

It was during this fear-mongering of both the virus and independent thought that destructive lockdown policies were adopted across the United States.

Later, on March 23, 2020, with lockdowns already in effect, after nearly every show on CNN attacked Trump for questioning the WHO's 3.4% death rate, CNN's own expert, Dr. John Ioannidis, expressed the same skepticism as Trump, live on CNN.

"Initially, WHO released estimates of 3.4% of the cases dying, The true infection fatality rate is likely to be far, far less. It may be in the range of seasonal influenza." - Dr. John Ioannidis, "Out Front with Erin Burnett", CNN (3/23/20)

The death rate for seasonal influenza is way under 1%.

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