PolitiFact and Facebook Spread Gravely Dangerous Falsehood About the Covid-19 Survival Rate

Source: Heartland Institute
by James Agresti

“PolitiFact calculates the C-19 death rate by dividing the number of people who ‘have died’ from C-19 by the number of ‘confirmed Covid-19 cases’ in the United States. Using data from August 6, 2021, this is 614,300 deaths divided by 35.2 million cases, which equals 1.7%. That simplistic calculation suffers from a fatal flaw that medical scholars have repeatedly refuted. For example, a 2020 paper published by Cambridge University Press warns that this approach produces a large ‘mortality overestimation’ for Covid-19 because it confuses two very different measures of mortality called the ‘case fatality rate’ and the ‘infection fatality rate.’ The first of these is the rate of death among confirmed cases of the disease, while the second is the rate among everyone who has had it, including people who were asymptomatic or never diagnosed with it.” (11/16/21)