It will have to be some ‘statistical anomaly’ to narrow this fatal gap and save the Tories

From Sky News today:

The inquiry into the UK’s response to coronavirus will be brutal and it will be dirty. Scrapping for survival, the cast of characters thrust into the spotlight during the pandemic will be desperate to avoid being cast as the villain – and that may mean looking for an alternative candidate.

First in the firing line is Public Health England – and this week PHE has provided the ammunition itself.Advertisement Health Secretary Matt Hancock has asked for an “urgent review” over fears PHE’s data on coronavirus deaths is inaccurate. Researchers claim a “statistical anomaly” means if someone was previously diagnosed with COVID-19 but subsequently died of unrelated causes, their death would still be counted as part of PHE’s daily coronavirus death tally (unlike in Scotland and Wales).

The implication here is that maybe those oh-so-clever Jocks have not been that much better at saving lives with their Calvinist lock-down but, here’s the gap:

England does of course have ten times the population so, per head of population, the rate is ‘only‘ 80.6 times higher, not 806 times.

Of course, when BBC UK seeks comfort in comparisons with the death or infection rates in larger countries such as the USA or Brazil, the crude levels are much more newsworthy. Per head of population the death rate in the ‘UK’ is 30% higher than in the US.

10 thoughts on “It will have to be some ‘statistical anomaly’ to narrow this fatal gap and save the Tories”

  1. Nick Stripe
    Thread from the main ONS account on COVID deaths between March & June

    Note – this data is from death registrations and what certifying professionals record on death certificates. It is not dependent on testing data
    Quote Tweet

    Office for National Statistics (ONS)
    · Jul 17
    Between 1 March and 30 June 2020 (registered up to 4 July), there were 50,335 deaths involving #COVID19

    Black small square #COVID19 was the underlying cause for 46,736 deaths
    Black small square with at least one pre-existing condition in 91.1% of cases

    Rightwards arrow

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If Public Health England is an ineffectual organisation not fit for purpose, who set it up in the first place?

    Oh yeah, the Tories in the 2012 top-down reorganisation that no one even voted for!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But, blame it they will, because they can be sure that the media will not ask who set it up.

      Because its performance has been poor any person seeking to point out that the Tories were responsible will be accused of defending the indefensible.

      And, it will also be used as an example that public services do not work and so there has to be privatisation!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fionna O’Leary, 🕯
    Replying to
    It is also true that if someone’s FIRST test was a false negative and subsequently tested positive and died they were not counted as a COVID death either by the DHSC. So it worked both ways, esp as we know false negatives are not infrequently.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Since Cameron, then Johnson threatened the BBC, and its funding, it should be regarded as an extension of No10 Downing Street.
    It is certainly not an impartial source of news.
    Double this up for Scotland, where the BBC is a “player” not an innocent observer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jamie Jenkins

    This chart from
    provides clear evidence many people died because of Covid-19 but the cause of death was recorded as something else. The line chart is number of deaths in care homes in 2019 per week. The yellow bars show deaths in 2020 for causes not Covid-19.

    Jamie Jenkins
    3 Jul
    Replying to
    There is no reason other than Covid-19 to suggest deaths for other causes would be dramatically higher. The blue bars show deaths from Covid-19. This is why excess deaths are a better indicator of the impact of the pandemic rather than relying on what is recorded as cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The SG implemented the pandemic death recording system from March onwards. The system change was recommended as part of the 2015 Silverswan Pandemic response exercise. The system change was one 17 recommendations( not failures) made by the the review report. The other major recommendation concerned the supply of PPE, which as we know was in sufficient for our own needs and to help NHS England.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Blame PHE has been coming.
    On 5Live in June, Edwina Currie said that it was too early to start apportioning blame/mistakes. She had been asked about Govt. handling of pandemic.
    And then just as the. topic was being closed she chipped in that PHE would be in the firing line.
    The tactic was decided long before Hancock’s Anomaly.
    Currie is Tory mouthpiece on Nolan show.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Forget not that the Staticians Will for any enquiry ( IF IT ALLOWS THEM )
    be able to accurately explain the vast nos.of excess deaths and clearly attribute
    Such to Covid as a cause
    All they have to is extrapolate the major normal causes of such deaths and the the last 5 years then adjust accordingly
    Which shall leave a residual no.with no explanation other than that covid was a major contributing factor
    So watch out for the remit of the Enquiry
    Which has a high chance of NOT being allowed to be inclusive of such data
    After all they have form when it comes to
    Playing the enquiry came with a rigged pack to produce the results they want
    Hillsborough gives you a BIG BIG clue
    Know thy Foe

    Liked by 2 people

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