One of the strangest events of the (soon-to-end) Covid crisis took place last month when a more than qualified researcher, Genevieve Briand, came out with a presentation titled, “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” which was reviewed for the November 22 Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Using government data, she made the claim that there was no evidence that the “Covid deaths” in fact added to the expected annual total death toll in the US.
This research said that most, if not all, of the Covid deaths were ginned up. She had all the numbers, and the newsletter went out with no concern. Just interesting research, no? There was an elaborate lecture by Briand that was posted on YouTube.
Then, within four days, the newsletter was retracted. Some conservative media folks heard about it and found a copy of the original at archive.org. The editors jumped into action and wrote up a reason for the takedown. Because it was now a known fact that the original was on archive.org, they reposted a PDF of the original newsletter with a disclaimer emblazoned across its contents. This was then posted:
“We decided on Nov. 26 to retract this article to stop the spread of misinformation, as we noted on social media. However, it is our responsibility as journalists to provide a historical record. We have chosen to take down the article from our website, but it is available here as a PDF.
“In accordance with our standards for transparency, we are sharing with our readers how we came to this decision. The News-Letter is an editorially and financially independent, student-run publication. Our articles and content are not endorsed by the University or the School of Medicine, and our decision to retract this article was made independently.
"Briand’s study should not be used exclusively in understanding the impact of COVID-19, but should be taken in context with the countless other data published by Hopkins, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
There was no real refutation of the data. And it was unclear who made the decision. Then the writer of the disclaimer, Yanni Gu, threw Briand under the bus with an odd ad hominem kiss off:
“As assistant director for the Master’s in Applied Economics program at Hopkins, Briand is neither a medical professional nor a disease researcher. At her talk, she herself stated that more research and data are needed to understand the effects of COVID-19 in the U.S.”
You can read this document for yourself here. See what you think.
The most embarrassing aspect of this was that it all came from Johns Hopkins, the institution that led the way with the death count and case count with its glamorous Covid maps and death tally. The information contained in the newsletter came from official government sources and Briand’s logic was impeccable. She managed to show how the deaths from Covid came at the expense of normal heart disease and other deaths, which declined for no apparent reason. As one declined the other went up by the same amount.
This document and its research feeds into an underground Covid narrative that has much anecdotal documentation, a majority of which ended up on YouTube to be then taken down. The basic narrative is that the pandemic was exaggerated on purpose, by the media. Examples abound, again on YouTube, showing empty hospitals at which the media exaggerated case loads just the day before. These videos appeared to be legitimate.
The counter to this narrative was that this was happening all over the world with people freaked out. How could a fake-information conspiracy of this magnitude exist on the global level? It made no sense.
This logical impasse soon evolved into a political separation with one side of the political spectrum more skeptical than the other. And this even varied from nation to nation with the right wing in the US demanding fewer lock-downs as the opposite was reported in Sweden with the right-wing wanting more lock-downs.
Whatever the political position, the important element was that a large segment of the population was skeptical as to the legitimacy of the pandemic, at least in Western countries unless public displeasure is punishable by jail time.
So as the vaccine was just around the corner and promised to cost taxpayers and the public billions of dollars, any documented idea that the whole Covid death count might be bogus or a bookkeeping issue was not welcome. Publishing this newsletter proving this point was not what anyone would call “good timing.”
So the report was buried to probably be used in a book a decade down the road when the truth will be revealed. Before that happens, billions of dollars will change hands, a new and promising type of “vaccine” will get a real test and things will be so messed up that the stupid notion of “build back better” might be employed. Nobody knows, though, what that means or if any such thing can be implemented in an economic depression. We will find out soon enough. — jcd
discussed on the No Agenda Show
Free to reprint with attribution. Details here.