I have been studying developments in the COVID-19 pandemic since the day it started to gain attention.
Death Vs Death by a Specific Cause
Death (or mortality) can be attributed to a specific cause, such as heart disease, cancer, gun shot wound, motor-vehicle-collision injury, and so forth. Making a specific determination of death (death attribution), however, is not always a straightforward task.
When looking at the Covid-19 crisis, focusing on all-cause death seems to be a useful strategy to avoid complications with the often gray area of death attribution. The official label for this quantity, all-cause mortality, of course, means the total number of deaths that occur in a population, regardless of the cause. Death, in general, is more certain than any one cause of it, and so assessing all-cause mortality can tell us whether an unusual number of deaths is actually occurring in a given time.
Such is the strategy used by physicist and independent researcher, Denis Rancourt, in a paper that challenges the mainstream narrative about COVID-19, the disease associated with the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus.
Rancourt is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Known for applications of physics education research, he has published over 100 scientific articles in the areas of metal physics, materials science, measurement methods, and earth and environmental science. In addition he has written many social commentary essays, as well as the book, Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism.
In the paper titled, All-Cause Mortality during COVID-19: No Plague and a Likely Signature of Mass Homicide by Government Response, he challenges the very concept of a COVID-19 pandemic, in the true sense of the word.
Did Panic Cause The Pandemic? – Did Lockdowns Do Any Good?
The most outstanding revelation in Rancourt's paper is that, in distantly separated regions of the world (particularly the Americas and Europe), the time when the number of COVID-19 cases began to skyrocket is the same time when the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Remarkably, this is also the same time when world governments instituted mandatory lockdowns or major restrictions.
Notable features in Figure 3 are Sweden and Austria. Compared to the other regions illustrated, these two cases would seem to defeat any argument that outcomes would have been worse, if lockdowns had not happened.
Specifically, Sweden did not impose strict measures, yet an uptick in COVID-19 deaths occurred at the same time that other regions with strict measures experienced the same sort of uptick. Austria, on the other hand, imposed strict measures, yet the uptick in deaths was not from COVID-19 deaths. New York imposed a city lockdown, and the uptick in COVID-19 deaths was huge.
In other words, judging from these graphs, a person might argue that lockdowns caused some of the death, or that lockdowns (where instituted) had no effect. I am not averse to the idea that such strict measures caused some of both, depending on the region and the particular circumstances within a given region.
Look again at the previous two figures, and notice that the thin red vertical line in Figure 2 occurs at the same point in time as the thin vertical lines in all the graphs of Figure 3.
Rancourt points out that either this was the most remarkable public health forecast ever made or something else might explain the sharp peak in all-cause mortality immediately following the pandemic declaration.
Infection at a Distance
Logic dictates that there would be a delay between the date when one region experienced accelerating case growth and the date when another region (far removed from the first) experienced accelerating case growth. As I interpret the information, however, WHO’s pandemic-declaration date marked the beginning of accelerating COVID-19 case growth all over the world, as if the viral infection, on that date, instantaneously invaded everywhere at once.
In Rancourt’s words:
- For example, it is difficult to interpret the synchronicity of the WHO
declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic and the onset of the observed
surge in reported COVID-19 cases and deaths as being the product of
either coincidence or extraordinary forecasting ability of the global
He goes on to say:
- … it is more likely that this remarkable synchronicity phenomenon
arises from biased reporting, in the flexible context of using urgently manufactured laboratory tests that are not validated, clinical assessments
of a generic array of symptoms, and tentative cause-of-death assignations
of complex comorbidity circumstances.
In other words, a widespread, professionally-promoted bias of attributing illness and death to the newly discovered virus (SARS-CoV-2) took hold because of three mutually reinforcing factors:
- unproven tests rushed into mass production and mass distribution,
- physician judgment calls based on symptoms related to a number of different ailments, and
- death certifications made even less straightforward by multiple diseases present in the same patient at the same time.
I would further suggest:
- 4. the additional manic pursuit of news media to feed a seemingly insatiable need in readers to consume sensationalized, emotionalized information, in an age when the flow of knowledge and shaping of awareness occur at speeds never known before.
I would also be so bold as to suggest that information about a virus, not a single viral infection itself, is what has traveled nearly instantaneously around the world. If anything (and I am being bold again), I suggest that conditions were already favorable worldwide for a spike in respiratory illness, and that human overreactions to knowing about the virus caused some, if not a great deal of the deaths (as Rancourt suggests) associated with the novel virus.
What has gone viral, more than a new viral disease itself, is awareness of a new virus added to other seasonal viruses that infect humans. This viral awareness consists of amplified fear, uncertainty, and the awakening of ignorance in an unprecedented number of people who have never bothered to learn about viruses or who have never tried to think rationally about contamination.
Key Takeaways from Rancourt's Paper
- The number of deaths that regularly happen during winter in mid-latitude nations is robustly regular.
- An anomaly worthy of panic and worthy of harmful global socioeconomic engineering would need to indicate a naturally caused yearly winter-number of deaths that is statistically greater than the norm. This has not happened since the unique flu pandemic of 1918.
- A 2010 landmark study showed that the seasonal pattern of excess mortality in respiratory diseases can be explained quantitatively on the sole basis of how absolute humidity controls the transmission of airborne pathogens.
- All viral respiratory diseases that seasonally plague populations in temperate climates are extremely contagious for two reasons:
- They are transmitted by small aerosol particles (2.5 microns) that are part of the fluid air and fill virtually all enclosed air spaces occupied by humans, and
- A single such aerosol particle carries the minimal infective dose (MID) sufficient to cause infection in a person, if breathed into the lungs, where the infection is initiated.
- There are professional rewards for identifying new viral pathogens and describing new diseases.
Rancourt makes critical observations about what he calls a COVID peak that appears at an unusual place in the regular cycle of seasonal deaths. Below, I have reproduced one of his charts illustrating this peak:
His striking conclusion, quoted exactly as he writes it is:
- I postulate that the “COVID peak” represents an accelerated mass homicide of immune-vulnerable individuals, and individuals made more immune-vulnerable, by government and institutional actions, rather than being an epidemiological signature of a novel virus, irrespective of the degree to which the virus is novel from the perspective of viral speciation.