Medical Misinformation, Malpractice?
by Collin Wynter
“Your risk from COVID 19 is not determined by age, fitness level, or your community…” Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) tweeted out Monday, October 18, 2021, in an apparent attempt to convince people to get vaccinated. They completed their messaging with a statement that about 78% of cases and hospitalizations for covid 19 were unvaccinated. Putting the latter aside for a moment, it is important to state that the first part of their premise is incorrect.
Facts on covid 19 related deaths and illness all point towards the following factors: older age, obesity and other comorbidities. Males and having lower vitamin D may also contribute to negative covid 19 outcomes. This information contradicts the belief that age, fitness, and “community” play no role.
After tweeting out the above, SHA turned off their comments section. Assumedly, this is because they were being ratio’d for the apparent misinformation they were providing. However, the re-tweet quote function was still in operation. The vast majority of re-tweets pointed out the false claim made by PHA. Biologist and renowned American podcaster, Heather Heying commented:
“So all those data on risk factors- such as age and comorbidities like obesity-are…fake news? Misinformation? Disinformation? Nope. It’s the Health Authority that is promoting disinformation.”
Misinformation is the proliferation of statements that are untrue but not known to be. While disinformation is spreading falsehoods intentionally.
Calls for @twittersaftey to label this tweet as misleading, were made. As of this writing, the tweet still remains visible with no warning label.
This is not the only misinformation that has been spread by Canadian governments and health bureaucrats. Who can forget the claim by then Health Minister Patty Hajdu, that Vitamin D was “fake news.” Responding to a question by independent MP Derek Sloan about vitamin D supplementation, Hajdu encouraged “the member opposite to not fall prey to the myriad of fake news articles that are circulating around the Internet.”
Alberta Health Minister Deena Henshaw has twice been found to be spreading misinformation about covid 19 in the past two months.
In September, Henshaw stated that when a student stays home from school, they will be counted as a covid case, unless they take a covid test and receive a negative result. At a press conference, Henshaw stated:
“[I]f individuals choose not to get tested for covid but are home with an illness they’re now counted in that list as being part of the outbreak and so it’s less dependent on needing a test to be apart of identifying where there is an issue.”
Not only is this disinformation, wherein covid numbers are being inflated by policy measures of the government, but when Rebel News reported on this story, the Alberta government claimed that Rebel were the ones spreading misinformation.
More tragic was the death of a 14 year old boy who succumbed to brain cancer. This was used to proliferate the narrative that covid 19 presents an imminent threat to a young person’s life. Henshaw pronounced that his death was due to covid 19 along with “complex, pre-existing medical conditions.” It was left up to family members to rectify the disinformation. Two sisters took to social media to re-tweet news articles with corrections: That the boy had been admitted to hospital for brain cancer and two days before he died, he tested positive for covid. Henshaw was then required to correct the record:
“While the initial report of the death of the 14-year-old included COVID as a secondary cause, we have now received additional information that indicates COVID was not a cause of death.”
The right of a family to grieve in private is sacred. I am unsure if the above correction or Henshaw’s apology would make amends for that. But at least it has been publicly acknowledged. Hopefully this will stop governments and medical bureaucrats from propagandizing tragedy.
A comedic interlude.
CBC News Edmonton has been caught using footage of a mannequin in a piece about covid 19 patients in intensive care units.
Being charitable, one cannot conclude that using a mannequin means that there are not actual covid 19 patients in ICU. You could also point out that doctors and nurses hardly want intrusive journalists filming in their ward. Also, video editors often use footage for multiple pieces. Perhaps they were not aware that the ‘person’ was in fact a dummy.
Was this misinformation or disinformation? Were they sharing news that was unintentionally or intentionally a falsehood? This is unsure. It is dependent on if anyone knew that it was a dummy. If so, it should have been labelled as such. It would be doubtful, though, a such reputable news organization as the CBC would be required to use a re-enactment. There are patients who have been in the ICU from covid 19 and have been intubated, as they editor may have simply made an error. They did apologize for it. The desire to use the video footage possibly stemmed from the above reasons, along with the producer’s desire to manufacture yet another covid piece that would elicit an emotional reaction from the public. Clickbait for the masses.
We must return to the second premise of the SHA tweet. That “~78% of cases & hospitalizations in #Sask in Sept were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people.” This is a present meant to be unpacked by anyone inclined to analyze the statistics. However, for this piece, simply parsing the language will be enough.
They confound variables, placing cases and hospitalizations together. A case may be asymptomatic, or be so mild that no medical professional would take note. Hospitalizations may be recorded as someone who was retired to check in and was immediately discharged, or required a lengthier stay. To what degree of medical care they required, is obfuscated. They also do not differentiate between unvaccinated persons with or without natural immunity from prior infection. They do not mention deaths at all. Could this possibly be because they have become infinitesimally low so as not to elicit a reaction from the public? How to Lie with Statistics is an excellent read.
This has been a brief analysis of some of the nonsense perpetuated by so called “legacy institutions.” The government, the health authority and the media. These organizations are meant to be held up as a shining example of what Canadian society has achieved. Transparency, universal health care, investigative reporting. But they are failing. Day by day they take another step into despotism. They tweet out another falsehood. They stand in front of the public to apologize for getting caught in another lie. They continue to take their salaries and condemn others for wanting to do the same- which is to work. These are no longer establishments of acclaim. No, they have sold themselves out. They are medical media managers. Seeking to control and manipulate society to their own benefit. At the expense of yours.