Wednesday, August 19, 2009

figures, statistics and lies

Today, I got an "alternate health" ad in the mail. It claimed that the number 36,000 deaths a year from flu was a false figure and in fact only about 750 people died a year from the flu and "that was from the CDC".

I didn't believe it. I had never questioned the 36,000 deaths a year from the flu and had quoted the figure myself because it came from the CDC.

But the ad got my curiosity going. Easy enough to look up. I looked up "FLU DEATHS" CDC" and got this page.

As you can see, it IS on the CDC website. Turns out that the truth (according to the CDC) is no one KNOWS how many die from the flu so the estimations were made from a percentage of those who die from respiratory disease deaths and other mathematical constructs.

The CDC writes:

Does CDC know the exact number of people who die from flu each year?

CDC does not know exactly how many people die from flu each year. There are several reasons for this: First, states are not required to report individual flu cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age to CDC. Second, influenza is infrequently listed on death certificates of people who die from flu-related complications [12]. Third, many flu-related deaths occur one or two weeks after a person’s initial infection, either because the person may develop a secondary bacterial co-infection (such as a staph infection) [1,8,11] or because influenza can aggravate an existing chronic illness (such as congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) [3]. Also, most people who die from flu-related complications are not tested for flu, or they seek medical care later in their illness when influenza can no longer be detected from respiratory samples. Influenza tests are only likely to detect influenza if performed within a week after onset of illness. For these reasons, many flu-related deaths may not be recorded on death certificates. These are some of the reasons that CDC and other public health agencies in the United States and other countries use statistical models to estimate the annual number of flu-related deaths. ***

Oh - that's enlightening! No one KNOWS so they use a mathematical model to come up with the 36,000 deaths a year from the flu. Here is it, right from the horse's mouth! But when this figure is quoted, have you ever heard they say they really DO NOT KNOW how many a year die from the flu and that the deaths are usually from something else? hmmmm

This even shocked ME....Somehow I had never questioned the 36,000 deaths they were claiming...

So why DOES the CDC "ESTIMATE" the number of deaths from flu (and puff it up... hmmm)

Here is their answer to that one:

Why does CDC estimate deaths associated with flu?

CDC feels it is important to convey the full burden of flu to the public. Flu is a serious disease that causes illness and deaths nearly every year in the United States. CDC estimates of annual influenza-associated deaths in the United States are made using well-established scientific methods that have been reviewed by scientists outside of CDC [10]. CDC feels that these estimates are a timely representation of the current burden of flu on the United States.

But these numbers are used by the media etc to scare folks into getting the vaccine which is BIG MONEY for the manufacturers....

Enlightening. That's why it's good to read EVERYTHING. I didn't believe the alternate health ad but that claim was bold enough for me to question something I might have never questioned and which, I guess, should have been questioned in the first place.

So let's talk about the proposed Health Care program. Obama tells us that the concerns of the public are all because of the evil Republicans and all a bunch of lies.

For example, abortion won't be paid for in the Health care bill, he tells us. But the bill says different. ALL SURGERIES are paid for and abortion is a surgery. So some Democrats and Republicans tried to introduce amendments that made sure abortion was EXCEPTED out of surgeries. And the amendments failed.

If abortion is not paid for, why didn't the amendments pass? We all remember the youtube video how Obama promised Planned Parenthood that he would not deviate from his total abortion stance (from conception to birth).

Seniors are concerned that the Health Care bill might mean rationing of care for seniors. Obama answers us with "there is no rationing in the bill" and that seniors are not to worry but seniors were not born yesterday. Treating seniors is expensive and they suspect unless there is an amendment which GUARANTEES them treatment, they don't trust Obama's reassurance, especially when he admitted that it was right to not give his grandmother a joint replacement and has talked about how expensive it was to treat seniors when they might only have a few years of life left. Seniors know that the expensive health care program has to be paid for in some manner and that in other plans, care IS rationed to save bucks.

This is not the "evil Republicans" or "insurance companies". This is just people finally beginning to do what they should have done in the first place. Question - everything and trust - no one.

You know the old "In God we trust - all others pay cash" idea?

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