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Julia Ioffe is why I do not trust the Covid-19 statistics in the press

Julia Ioffe is why I do not trust the Covid-19 statistics in the press

Let me first say that I am not a member of some alleged cult as left-wingers call anyone who might agree with President Trump on anything.  I do not take my information on the Covid-19 pandemic from Trump OR the anti-Trump politicians and press people.  I find it necessary to do my own research.

I also do not take seriously the disinformation that spews from the mouths of so-called journalists like Julia Ioffe – a writer for GQ Magazine.  For me, she personifies the problem of dubious claims and mendaciously constructed statistics.  It is not always what they say but what they do not say.

(Incidentally, Ioffe is Russian born.  Hmmm.  Does that make her a Russian asset or agent?  Is she part of a Russian disinformation campaign to disrupt American comity?  I am joking, of course – but such a contention would be in line with the dubious claims of Trump being a Russian asset or an agent. If Ioffe were working for Trump, you can bet that the press would see it as Russian collaboration.  But I digress.)

Ioffe was introduced by Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe.”  She was asked about her difficult recovery from Covid-19.  Weeeell … Ioffe waxed on how she had a severe case.  She had to go to the emergency room.  She was eventually prescribed steroids.  After she thought she had recovered, she said she had a relapse.  She suffered for more than five weeks.

She then said something rather remarkable.  Her pity story took a strange turn. She alleged that her case showed that you can have Covid-19 and never test positive.  WHAT??  She never tested positive?  Not before she became symptomatic, during her convalescence and after her recovery?  She said she always tested negative.

That means Ioffe had no way of knowing if she had the virus.  It is more than likely that she did not.  I had a similar experience as Ioffe – maybe worse.  It involved two consecutive trips to the emergency room.  I was suffering from violent coughing spells and almost incapable of getting out of bed.  Could not eat.  It dragged on unabated for days.  In my second trip to the hospital doctors said that I may not have survived if I stayed at home any longer.

The emergency room was overflowing.  There were gurneys lining the hallways and patients were actually being treated in the waiting room.  There was no bed available in the entire hospital, so I spent the night on a gurney in an emergency storage room.

After returning home, I felt a bit better, but the coughing continued.  I was finally prescribed steroids and my lungs cleared up in a week.  My several-week ordeal was over – and I have felt fine ever since.

Oh … I think I forget to mention.  I did not have Covid-19.  My illness occurred last year – long before we heard of the Wuhan flu (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

To me, the Ioffe interview seemed like just another attempt by the biased media to create fear based on false narratives and the misuse of statistics.  It goes along with a number of facts that the anti-Trump news media refuse to include in the daily propaganda reports.  I have written about some of this stuff in the past, but apparently it needs updating.

The infected population

If you follow the press, they give the impression that there are 9 million people running around with Covid-19 infecting their fellow citizens.  The real number is about 2.9 million with 5.9 million having recovered.

The seriously ill

Over the course of the past month or so, the number of individuals considered to be “serious/critical” – according to official government designation and statistics — has risen from approximately 14,000 to the current level of 16,000 across the entire nation.  And most of those will recover.

Residual complications

We hear a lot about what some would call permanent residual complications.  There are such cases, but they are very very few in terms of those who come down with Covid-19.  Similar complications are also found in some individuals who contract other forms of corona flu viruses.

Dr. Fauci

In addition to the raw data, I follow the words of the top medical professionals – especially Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Center for Disease Control.  I believe in both cases; they are knowledgeable and well-intentioned in their reports.  But I also remember the history of those reports – something the news media wants folks to forget.

In the early days of the virus, Fauci is on the record as saying that the Covid-19 virus will NOT be a major problem for the United States.  He said it was unlikely to impact hard in America.  That is what Fauci was saying at the time when Trump was saying pretty much the same thing.

I recall watching Fauci advising people against wearing masks in public.  When asked if he would be wearing a mask, he was dismissive in his response. “Why would I wear a mask?  I have no symptoms.”  That from a man in the high-risk category.

I remember not long ago when Fauci was asked about Trump’s response to professional advice.  Fauci said that the President listened to their (the White House Task Force) advice and implemented it.  Fauci’s opinion has changed in more recent weeks, but it is noteworthy that the President was listening to the professionals in the early months of the Pandemic.

We also must keep in mind that Fauci is myopically focused on the Covid-19 pandemic.  He is not empowered to address the severe impact on the economy or on the wellbeing of the hundreds of millions of Americans impacted more by the shutdowns – and the surge in the loss of lives and reduction in health due to shutdowns.

Are the numbers correct?

I am dubious.  We do know that a lot of people who are said to have died from Covid-19 are not scientifically or medically established.  That’s right.  In that number of deaths is a high percentage of what the government categorizes as “assumed.”  These are folks who have not been tested before or after death to determine if they even had Covid-19.

When I did research on the high number of deaths in New York nursing homes, I was surprised to find that the official accounting showed that 60 percent of those deaths were “assumed.”  That is an important statistic – like the number of people who have recovered – that the media refuses to report.

The issue of co-morbidity

This one is a bit more difficult in putting people into one category or another.  It is the question as to whether a person died “from” or “with” Covid-19.  This is a different population than the “assumed” deaths.

We have seen some abuses of the accounting system – a person with Covid who died in a traffic accident.  A suicide.  Patients in the last stages of a terminal illness.

Covid-19 may have been the coup d grace in the case of those with short-term survival prospects, but is it fair to set aside the terminal emphysema, cancer or liver failure and rank Covid-19 as THE cause of death?  We should at least be able to agree that there are good arguments on both sides of this.

Hospitalization rate

Like the number of cases itself, the number of hospitalizations is increasing.  That is not a nationwide issue.  It is limited to areas that are suffering spikes at any given time.  Viruses tend to move from community to community.  Covid-19 is no different in that regard.  The vast majority of hospitals will not be overrun by Covid-19 patients.  The reports we see in the media are largely isolated regions with spikes.  The reports of hospitals with no further capacity generally focus on a few hospitals in a region – maybe only one.

During the worst days of the Pandemic here in southern Florida – the most impacted area of the state – No hospital ran out of bed space, ventilators or personnel.  I know because I personally checked them out when the press was reporting we had run out of all the aforementioned.  We can also recall how the field medical facility in the Javits Center in Central Park and the hospital ship USN Comfort were never used even as reports suggested people would be dying without access to medical attention and ventilators.

Death rate is decreasing

While the nation is suffering a surge in cases, the death RATE is dropping.  The actual number of deaths will always go up when there are more cases because the number of deaths cannot decline.  Those who die do not recover.  The decline in the death rate is likely due to the fact that as we do more and more testing – increasing the number of found cases – they are more likely to be the younger or asymptomatic cases.

Over reporting

One of the other problems in the statistical data is overreporting.  It is exacerbated by the “dying with” issue.  Because government agencies provided special funding based on the number of Covid-19 cases, there is a financial benefit to reporting more rather than less cases.

To view that as a reason for higher numbers in the case count is not cynical skepticism.  It is human nature.  Virtually every doctor in every hospital in American knows that more Covid cases means more money.  If you do not think that would – even could – have an impact on diagnoses, I fear you are rather naive.

Most will recover

The good news is that the most enduring statistic is the fact that 80 percent of those who contract Covic-19 will have mild or no symptoms – and recover without the need for any intervention.  Even the majority of seniors with underlying conditions will recover.  I know that because I heard Dr. Fauci say so.

He said the seniors who are relatively healthy – even with some underlying conditions – will fare quite well.  He used himself as an example.  The concern is for those in the most advanced years with the most advanced chronic and deadly illnesses.  Yes, there are exceptions, but we must base policy – and our personal decisions – on the broader statistics, not the prattle from biased newsies, politicized paid-for media doctors and the politicians.

You should not even take this commentary at face value.  Go check out the statistics, the reporting and the real facts.  You just might be surprised that what I write is more accurate and informative than what you hear from the politicized press every day – and from people like Julia Ioffe.

By the way, you may recall that Ioffe was the gal recently bounced from Politico for an obscene tweet suggesting that Trump was having sex with his daughter Ivanka.  Apparently, nothing is too crude or lewd for her new bosses at The Atlantic when it comes to attacking Trump.

So, there ‘tis.



About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Audrey Jane Spaulding

    I have read enough about Fauci to know he isn’t a real Scientist. He knows nothing about what he thinks he knows and frankly– he looks like he is on Drugs and looks like he should be put out to pasture. I think he is nothing but a show piece for the Democrats. He has nothing to contribute to anyone on this planet. I am sorry but I disliked him from the start. He keeps telling people that the Worse is yet to come and he is nothing but a fear factor. I don’t care about him and I wish he would go away. I have been tested and I have not had the Virus and I don’t think I will ever have it. I don’t need it to know my health is already good. I am so glad that Obama Care is a thing of the past. Its too expensive and it really isn’t worth the money that many people have it. Julia Loffe said you can’t trust the Covid – 19 statistics, I just don’t trust the News to be accurate. I don’t trust that there is another wave of it. Too many doubts don’t make it viable.

  2. Dan Tyree

    Seeing that the commiecrats colluded with China to destroy Trump, I don’t believe that the number of deaths caused by Covid 19 is even close. Yes, I firmly believe that there was collusion. I’m not just spouting off to get a rise out of anyone. Just look at the rabid hatred for Trump by the commiecrats and so called news media. And some RINO republicans. But not even 1/2 of voters have voted yet. Trump will win and perhaps the Trump hating assholes will stfu.

  3. Charles R Jones, TECHNIDIGM

    All you really need to understand is that the Democrats are trying to make COVID-19 as dire as possible, anyway that they can. That is why the House inserted poison pills in their COVID-19 relief legislation proposal, knowing that the Senate would not bailout failed Democrat states and enclaves from their historic, long term failures. Once the voting is over, the checks will likely be in the mail to help individuals and mom-and-pop businesses. Extracting hype from complex data is not difficult, but it is pretty clear (I think) to most Americans that any claim Trump is not doing the absolute best confrontation of the COVID-19 possible is pure politics. Those who think otherwise are the problem, not the solution, no matter how loudly they may claim to be virtuous and infallible.

  4. Mike

    I totally agree with Dan above-the rate of death is not even close to what is published, it is much higher. If you look at the “excess deaths” in the US since the start of 2020, you will find that it is much greater than what has been reported at Covid deaths-excess deaths being the number of people who would be expected to die in a given period of time versus the actual deaths. Larry, your credibility on Covid is zero, you stated back in September that the US was rounding the corner on the virus-that was totally false back then, and obviously untrue now. Yes, fewer people are dying relative to those infected, the Doctors have learned a lot about Covid since the early days and how to treat people, and various medical treatments that are somewhat effective, but the simple truth is more people are dying than a month ago, even though the rate of death is less. There were many things said in the early days of the Pandemic, especially with regard to the wearing of masks. It was made clear at that point that the reason that Fauci was not recommending that people wear masks was because the supply was so woefully short for the medical care workers, and he didn’t want the public to be hoarding supplies that the first responders needed. Of course, that part of the story was lost on you Larry. Of course, even when Fauci determined that the mask supply was sufficient that people should start wearing masks, Trump did not advocate for mask wearing. He has turned this into a conservative versus liberal issue, when the simple truth is that masks do protect people from infection, both the people wearing them and those around them. I live in the second most densely populated city of size in the US, and our rate of infection is lower than any other major city, and I am sure that the reason is mainly due to basically universal wearing of masks. Bottom line, the infection rate doesn’t have to be as high as it is, we could have a President who encouraged people to do the right thing and wear masks, but we don’t. I know, people don’t like to wear masks, it is an inconvenience, but when faced with the alternatives, it is simply the right answer.
    You use the story of one particular individual on MSNBC to provide a reason why you don’t trust the media in reporting Covid. How about using the general statistics, which is what most of us rely on? You again (foolishly) make the point that not all the people who have been infected with Covid are active cases-anybody with half a brain knows that (but perhaps that needs to be made clear to your followers?) But the bottom line is-since we know so little about the disease, who will have complications, and what the long-term residual effects are, we do need to be concerned about the rate of infection. We also need to be concerned about rate of hospitalization (also increasing now). And of course the number of deaths is cause for concern. It is clear by the words that you write that you had your Trump supporter hat on when writing this piece, as opposed to objectivity. Perhaps you were trying to convince some who were wavering on their support for him due to his disastrous response to the Virus that they should still trust in trump? So there tis….

  5. Larry Kuhn

    Perhaps Covid 19 is God’s way of thinning the herd.

  6. victor

    I have one curiosity how many people actually died of the virus because plenty of people this year died of the flu but you don’t hear about it than other people died of natural causes you don’t hear about it how many of accidents I can set just curious

  7. Ray Berrian

    Dr. Fauci, if you look at jis record since January, has been wrong 62% of the time.
    Furthermore, by the CDC’s own stats? only six percent of deaths due to the Covid, are actually only Covid related deaths. The rest of the people, had underlying health conditions, or physical issues.
    More importantly?
    The CDC is NOT a government agency. It is in fact, a vaccine company, who holds the patents on dozens of vaccines and also stands to rake in billions, when a vaccine is produced.