Why is Good News on COVID-19 Bad?

Why is Good News on COVID-19 Bad?

There seems to be a pattern emerging to push back on any new information that suggests COVID-19 may not be as severe as initially believed, even if that new information comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is unclear why, although one might speculate that it could have something to do with government lockdown policies and the rush to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to market before the end of this year, which requires everyone to have a sense of fear and urgency to maintain public support for continued lockdowns and fast tracked vaccines.

On May 20, 2020, the CDC published a document titled COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios, which, among other things, estimated the infection fatality rate (IFR) for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) at 0.26 percent—slightly higher than the 0.1 percent estimated death rate for seasonal influenza.1 2 3

The new IFR is far lower than the death rate for COVID-19 previously estimated by U.S. health officials. On Mar. 11, 2020, for example, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told Congress that he believed COVID-19 was at least 10 times “more lethal” than seasonal influenza. Prior to that, the WHO had estimated that COVID-19 might be 20 times more deadly than influenza.4 5

CDC’s Estimated COVID-19 Death Rate Called “Too Low”

The immediate media response to the CDC’s much lower COVID-19 IFR estimate included headlines suggesting that many—if not most—public health professionals believed the mortality figure to be “too low.” A sub-headline in BuzzFeed News read: “Public health experts are accusing the CDC of bending under political pressure to say the coronavirus is less deadly.”6

In that article, Andrew Noymer, PhD, associate professor of population health at the University of California at Irvine, was quoted as saying:

This is terrible. This is way too optimistic. With this document, the CDC is determined to smash its credibility with the public health community of which it is supposedly a leader. These estimates are doing a disservice to policy because it’s not a realistic estimate of the risk.6

In the same article, epidemiologist Carl Bergstrom, PhD of the University of Washington in Seattle referred to the CDC’s lower COVID-19 rate as “deeply problematic” because it “underestimate[s] fatality by a substantial margin compared to current scientific consensus.”6

Bear in mind that these comments are directed at the CDC, not a dissident scientist or non-governmental organization branded as “anti-science.”

Epidemiologist William Hanage, PhD of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health characterized the CDC’s new COVID-19 mortality figure as “obviously lowball estimates.”7

Interestingly, the 0.26 IFR is consistent with two relatively recent studies conducted by researchers associated with Stanford University Medical School and the University of Southern California (USC). Both studies estimated the IFR for COVID-19 at 0.1 to 0.2 percent. Compared to these studies, the CDC’s new IFR would not be a lowball estimate but, rather, would be on the high side.8 9

WHO Pressed to “Clarify” Statement on Asymptomatic Spread of Coronavirus

The latest pushback on positive information related to lower mortality associated with COVID-19 infections has come in response to comments made by epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, MD of the WHO on June 8.10 11 12 Speaking about transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by infected persons who test positive for the virus but do not show clinical symptoms, Dr Van Kerkove said:

From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual. We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing. They’re following asymptomatic cases, they’re following contacts and they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It is very rare—and much of that is not published in the literature. We are constantly looking at this data and we’re trying to get more information from countries to truly answer this question. It still appears to be rare that an asymptomatic individual actually transmits onward.10 11 12

These were clearly not flippant statements made in passing by Dr. Van Kerkhove, who is the WHO’s “technical lead” on COVID-19. This was a focused and precise statement given at a press briefing at United Nations (UN) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. There was no mistaking what Dr. Van Kerkhove meant, and yet the following day she found it necessary to “clarify” her words. An article by STAT noted:

The clarification comes after the WHO’s original comments incited strong pushback from outside public health experts, who suggested the agency had erred, or at least miscommunicated, when it said people who didn’t show symptoms were unlikely to spread the virus.13

Dr. Van Kerkhove clarified by saying, “The majority of transmission that we know about is that people who have symptoms transmit the virus to other people through infectious droplets. But there are a subset of people who don’t develop symptoms, and to truly understand how many people don’t have symptoms, we don’t actually have that answer yet.”13

In short, Dr. Van Kerkhove was pressured to backtrack and say something to the effect of, “Well, perhaps I misspoke. We really don’t know.” The June 9 STAT article quoted the following e-mail from the Harvard Global Health Institute:

The WHO created confusion yesterday when it reported that asymptomatic patients rarely spread the disease. All of the best evidence suggests that people without symptoms can and do readily spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In fact, some evidence suggests that people may be most infectious in the days before they become symptomatic—that is, in the presymptomatic phase when they feel well, have no symptoms, but may be shedding substantial amounts of virus.13

Harvard Researchers Collaborating with J&J on COVID-19 Vaccine with $1B Federal Funding

A team of researchers at Harvard led by Dan Barouch, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, is currently collaborating with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Harvard/Janssen joint venture plans to begin human clinical trials on their vaccine this fall. “We want to move as fast as we possibly can, because we think the world needs a vaccine,” said Dr. Barouch, who is also director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.14

The effort on a COVID-19 vaccine by Harvard and Janssen is being funded through a $1 billion deal struck by Johnson & Johnson and the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in March. 15


1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios. May 20, 2020.
2 TVR Staff. CDC Reduces COVID-19 Fatality Rate to 0.26 Percent. The Vaccine Reaction June 1, 2020.
3 Payne D. CDC: Coronavirus fatality rate could be as low as 0.26%. Just the News May 29, 2020.
4 Higgins-Dunn N, Lovelace B. Top US health official says the coronavirus is 10 times ‘more lethal’ than the seasonal flu. CNBC Mar. 11, 2020.
5 Lovelace B, Higgins-Dunn N. WHO says coronavirus death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought. CNBC Mar. 3, 2020.
6 Lee SM, Vergano, D. The CDC Released New Death Rate Estimates For The Coronavirus. Many Scientists Say They’re Too Low. BuzzFeed News May 28, 2020.
7 Whyte LE. Scientists Say New, Lower CDC Estimates For Severity Of COVID-19 Are Optimistic. NPR May 22, 2020.
8 Cáceres B. Stanford Study Suggests COVID-19 Mortality Rate Similar to Flu. The Vaccine Reaction Apr. 19, 2020.
9 Cáceres B.. Study Estimates CA COVID-19 Mortality Rate Under One Percent. The Vaccine Reaction May 3, 2020.
10 Feuer W, Higgins-Dunn N. Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says. CNBC June 8, 2020.
11 Howard J. Coronavirus spread by asymptomatic people ‘appears to be rare,’ WHO official says. CNN June 9, 2020.
12 Sullivan P. WHO official: Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus ‘very rare’. The Hill June 8, 2020.
13 Joseph A. We don’t actually have that answer yet’: WHO clarifies comments on asymptomatic spread of Covid-19. STAT June 9, 2020.
14 Siliezar J. Global race to a COVID-19 vaccine. The Harvard Gazette Apr. 13, 2020.
15 Press Release. Johnson & Johnson Announces a Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19; Landmark New Partnership with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and Commitment to Supply One Billion Vaccines Worldwide for Emergency Pandemic Use. Johnson & Johnson Mar. 30, 2020.

Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.


24 Responses to "Why is Good News on COVID-19 Bad?"

  1. Mary   June 22, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    I read that one guy who received the present vaccine had some side effects. He also said he would do it again.

    Personally, I will avoid any vaccine I possibly can.

    • blue horizons   June 23, 2020 at 2:12 am

      Not just vaccines. Contact tracing is big agenda right now. Which explains why ardent vaccine advocates such as Hotez and Offit have been voicing their skepticism about the likelihood a safe and effective vaccine will be developed. No vaccine and no effective treatments allowed, then the only option is continuous tracking [for AI surveillance].

      Contact tracing is the gateway to creating a surveillance society for an authoritarian Technocracy.

      This ties into ‘defund or reform the police’ memes. The replacement being contact tracers, ‘mental health’ trackers, and China-style policy enforcers. Worse, these replacements could be privatized and then we see the likes of Dyncorp (sex slave trafficker) which was given social service contracts.

      Excellent analysis about where contact tracing fits in: A discussion between Mary Holland and Catherine Austin Fitts. > youtube.com/watch?v=GTYl_dmX_Kw

  2. Vijay Gupta   June 22, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    There is a very simple test to prove the safety and efficacy of any new Covid-19 vaccine.

    All the top executives of the company that makes the vaccine and all the FDA panelists who approve the vaccine should be required to take the vaccine themselves in a publicly televised ceremony. Then after enough time to develop immunity has passed, they should all expose themselves to the virus and show that the vaccine works. That is it.

    With such foolproof evidence of vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, it would be hard for anybody to deny themselves the clear benefits of the Covid vaccine.

    • Son Tal   June 22, 2020 at 9:29 pm

      Hey, Just like the guy who worked for the leaded gas company. He said it was so safe he washed his lands in the leaded gas. He died shortly thereafter of guess what? Lead poisoning.

    • K   June 22, 2020 at 9:32 pm

      Totally agree

    • Kriswithatee   June 22, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      So perfectly stated. We would definitely have to have clear & present evidence that they are in fact injected the live attenuated aborted fetal tissues, monkey brains & kidneys and not just injecting a saline solution!! Any of them with children, should also proudly display ther children being vaccinated, I mean what an amazing accomplishment this would be & no better way, then to show the ones profitting of these vaccine how very much they believe in them. What has it been +/- 70 or 90 yrs pharma’s failed with influenza vacc & they essentially miss the mark year after year significantly, but they’re going to pull CV19 off in less than 2 yrs. FOLLOW THE MONEY! BIG PHARMA = BIG CORRUPTION

    • Timo   June 23, 2020 at 7:03 am

      I like that idea, but let’s include Fauci and B.& M. Gates.

    • Tamara B Beth Cornelius   June 23, 2020 at 4:14 pm

      Having the execs, CDC folks, etc take the vaccine first and prove it’s effectiveness is a no-nonsense way to show us that it works. THEY WILL NEVER DO IT!!!

  3. mmtn   June 22, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    No kidding. When I share with neighbors and online community (nextdoor, facebook) that C19 is not as bad as projected, providing references — anger, rage, condemnation and ensues.

    • JennyM   June 23, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      It’s like groupthink, no thinking at all. It’s been studied that when people are told X by authorities, then are later told by the same authorities that X information was wrong, most people will cling even tighter to the original wrong information.

      As Bertrand Russel said, “most people would rather die than think”. I see it al the time.

  4. Brian James   June 22, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    APRIL 09, 2020 Gates’ Globalist Vaccine Agenda: A Win-Win for Pharma and Mandatory Vaccination

    Vaccines, for Bill Gates, are a strategic philanthropy that feed his many vaccine-related businesses (including Microsoft’s ambition to control a global vaccination ID enterprise) and give him dictatorial control of global health policy.


    • blue horizons   June 23, 2020 at 2:15 am

      Brian James, check out what Mary Holland, attorney with Children’s Health Defense, and Catherine Austin Fitts discuss regarding contact tracing morphing into a Big Brother control and surveillance tool.


      A nasty Trojan horse that seems to be falling off the radar of vaccine freedom advocates.

  5. Eveline Grondin   June 22, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Vijay Gupta got it right. Put your money where your mouth is.

    • Nina Ben   June 23, 2020 at 1:23 am

      I agree with Vijay Gupta:)

  6. Patricia Regalia   June 22, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    The vaccine will be the shedding problem and spread the disease even further.

    • JennyM   June 23, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      That is their plan, of course. Anyone who can think Bill Gates the eugenicist is somehow interested in helping the global population to be “healthy” is in for a surprise.
      It’s telling that his cryptocurrency tattoo’s patent number is 060606.

  7. R Henry Steele   June 22, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    The purpose of a vacine is to create immunity. Why develop a vacine for a specific virus which may mutate or be replace by another pathogen by the time a vaccine is available. Why not use known immunity agents such as vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc which do work regardless?

    • Brad   June 23, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      R Henry Steele – the question you ask is a rhetorical one, answered readily by anyone who is “awake”. There is no REAL money in vit. D, C, A, zinc, etc. These cannot be patented and controlled. The pharma fascist cretin globalist ashkenazi’s agenda is worldwide control and ALL the wealth. One of their major tools to achieve this goal are vaccines, along with the 3D’s – Deceive, Distract, and Divide. They will only be defeated by countering these with knowledge, purposeful commitment, and actionable love for your “neighbor” – whatever their socioeconomic status/race/political viewpoint/etc.

  8. JennyM   June 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    This is so funny…they don’t want to be discredited by the facts that the covid panic’s death rates and transmission rates are lower than the seasonal flu.

  9. John.Russell Lemon   June 23, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    I believe that COVID-19 is a GMO virus. One part can cause a mild flu like reaction. The other part can cause blood the thicken. If you already have thick blood, this part can be fatal. http://opinion.fartoomuch.info/COVID19.html This is my opinion.

  10. Nancy Allen   June 24, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Be sure to read what happened in the Philippines after Sanofi Pasteur rushed out the Dengue vaccine in the Philippines. They said there were 30,000 in the safety trials. At least one experienced ( with Dengue) scientist looked at the safety data and felt there were issues, but his letters to editors were ignored. WHO mandated the vaccine for all kids ages 9-16. Disaster followed, and the vaccine was not safe.
    So, who are we going to believe ? Thank you Vaccine Reaction – one source I trust.

  11. Nadia   June 25, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Needs a math checker. .26 is 26 x .1. So that’s almost 30x more deadly than the flu. Decimals, I know!

  12. Kathy   June 25, 2020 at 9:42 am

    I agree with those who want vax execs, Gates, etc, to take the vaccine first, but how do we know they are not just injecting a syringe of saline? Would you trust them? Hell no!

  13. Mary Kay   June 27, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Kathy mentioned that she wanted to have Bill Gates take the vaccine first. Well this won’t be done. Just like the town of Palm Beach FL, his home town, does not have 5 G cell towers that the rest of FL has. Yes this rich town refused to have the 5 G cell towers put up. They probably knew about the horrible health problems that 5 G causes to humans.


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