On That Censored Johns Hopkins All-Cause Death Analysis

On That Censored Johns Hopkins All-Cause Death Analysis

Update Welcome Lifesite readers! I am saddened to learn that I am billed as “former statistician William M. Briggs”. I’m not sure what Lifesite knows, but I am checking with my lawyer about my will today, just in case.

You’d think by now our rulers would stop the anemic way they censor what they consider dangerous information. Their blundering attempts only highlight what they want to hide.

It’s particularly silly with coronadoom censorship. Take the Johns Hopkins blog post “A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19” detailing some work by a lady named Briand. It was up, it was circulated, then it was deemed dangerous and pulled down. The Wayback Machine still has it, of course.

If it weren’t for the censorship, I wouldn’t have got the dozens and dozens of requests to look at it. Now everybody is sure Johns Hopkins is hiding something. Hilarious.

The reason it was censored it particularly stupid, too: “… it was brought to our attention that our coverage of Genevieve Briand’s presentation ‘COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data’ has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic.”

Yeah, sure. Ninety percent of the population is racing in every direction like extras in a Toho Godzilla movie, only in masks. Johns Hopkins thinks this level of abject irrational terror is just about right. Besides, everybody knows science means only have one unchangeable opinion on every matter.

Funniest thing: they forgot, at least of this writing, to censor the YouTube video where Briand gives a talk.


Anyway, to Briand’s work itself. I appreciate the spirit, but don’t think there’s as much to it as some are hoping.

For starters, stacked bar charts are a mortal sin. She uses one to show the number of attributed coronadoom deaths by age (CDC data).

Here’s another way to do it, the percent of all weekly deaths by age “involving” (CDC’s word, to paper over all difficulties) COVID.

The legend goes top to bottom, but the data runs bottom to top. There isn’t any kind of coronadoom signal until you get to 25-34 year olds, and even for them it is weak and diminishing. As we knew for months, those at the most risk are the oldest—and sickest.

Anyway, you can see that this chart, which can be made prettier, is still more informative than the stacked bar chart.

Two important words of caution. CDC and everybody else counts deaths “involving” coronadoom as fast as possible, but ordinary deaths can take weeks before they’re fully tallied. That means the percentages shown in later weeks are exaggerations: the denominators are too small. The shape will in the ballpark, though. Finally, even doom deaths come in slower than desired, so the drop off at the end of all these pictures is purely an artifact of late counting.

We’ve seen this next chart, which I call the Perspective Plot. All cause deaths, those “involving” COVID, and flu + pneumonia. In early summer CDC stopped separate counts of flu + pneumonia because, we suppose, of the difficulty telling these deaths from doom deaths.

Another way to look at all cause deaths is this, where the black line is an estimate of where deaths would be absent the doom.

It is a mistake, as I always say, and Briand agrees, to imagine that bump is all coronadoom deaths. Not so. It includes others, as we’ll see.

Here’s an estimate of the total cumulative “excess” deaths, updated as of last Monday. The very last point is the estimate for the year so far.

Ignore the late-counting drop off. We’re maybe at 220,000 “excess” deaths this year, a number that may well go down. Again, do not think all these are all doom deaths. They are not.

Here’s two ways to look at that claim (CDC data).

First is number of weekly deaths of the top killers. Note the log scale!

Top two are heart disease and cancer. COPD and stroke battle it out for third and fourth place. Without the doom, that is. The peaking yellow line are mystery diseases (“What should I put down on the form?” “How do I know: don’t bother me”).

Problem with this plot is it exaggerates the doom. These are only the top killers, not all of them. Put all of them together and you get the Perspective Plot.

Now Briand says certain deaths are lower this year in order to boost coronadoom totals. That’s sort of true in some cases, but with some twists. Here’s another way to look at it, breaking each of the top diseases out and plotting one line for 2019 and one for 2020.

The “Natural Cause” is what CDC calls all-cause in this data, so it’s a repeat. Note the changing y-axes!

Late counting explains the red line drop offs. But we also expect, all things equal, the red line to be about 4% or so higher because of population increase.

See septicemia? It peaked in April. Any late counting (not likely for deaths in April) would not remove the bump. I put it to a physician that the explanation for this bump was iatrogenic, i.e. aggressive intubations in the early phase of the panic when the cure-all was thought to be ventilators, ventilators for everybody! He changed the subject.

Well, 2 to 4 thousand people killed by sepsis is still small next to the total 220 thousand—but they are part of it.

All this is very tricky. Can cancer deaths really be down this year? Well, yes: if the deaths are instead tallied, sometimes, as coronadoom deaths. But then look at diabetes, a nice sharp peak same time as the doom peaked. Same with Alzheimers. Both kill a lot of old people, traditionally. The combination of the doom and the chaotic hospital situation (missed treatments etc.) for many of these sick people was one IV tube too many.

Like in this way:

Some deaths are down, like flu and pneumonia now. And COPD starting in summer.

Sorting all this out, as I’ve said over and again, will take years. Who died of what is not so easy. Medical data is a mess. This is why I have been insisting for months and months to look at the total all cause deaths to gauge the true severity of the situation.

The needle of that gauge is firmly on “DO NOT PANIC.”

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  1. Sheri

    “Top two are heart disease and cancer. COPD and stroke battle it out for third and fourth place.” YES! And these remain in top place for years and years. If we ever figure out a cure for either, deaths will drop, and COPD will take over as second place. (It’s fascinating that people often forget there will always be a top killer. No matter what diseases you wipe out. Total number of deaths may go down, but there is always a number one killer.)

    “Note the changing y-axes!” Standard practice since the dawn of global warming “science”, maybe before. You are not supposed to notice that. So stop it!!!!

  2. bloughlin

    Last night I went to the CDC website to look at the most current version of the causes data by week which Briand cites. Compare the pre-doom weeks ending 2/1 to 2/29 to the 5 most recent weeks one might consider reasonably complete by CDC standards (ending 10/17 – forget 10/24, it has obviously been doubled). First set – 295,088 deaths including 15 by COVID related. Second set – 285,596 including 21,607 COVID relates deaths. I state no conclusions, though I believe they are obvious.

  3. Spetzer86

    Don’t forget this story from Canada. Elderly woman couldn’t take another lock down, so she had the doctor take her out with her family surrounding her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0xdLMvTtA4&t=708s&ab_channel=Timcast

    If that isn’t about as sad a story as it gets. You can’t see your family if you want to live, but if you’re up to dying, they’ll put a party together for you.

  4. Dale

    William, didn’t you do an earlier primer on how ‘excess deaths’ are calculated ? Lots of folks are bandying about 300k. You say 220k and likely to decrease. Surely increase over 2019 will not suffice as that doesn’t account for population growth.

  5. Dean Ericson

    ”You’d think by now our rulers would stop the anemic way they censor what they consider dangerous information. Their blundering attempts only highlight what they want to hide.”

    Doesn’t seem to make any difference. People don’t care. They’ve been zombified. The rulers are enjoying rubbing our masks in it. We need a great reset alright, just not the kind the rulers have in mind.

    Meanwhile it’s a lovely Saturday and there are leaves to rake and other pleasant winterizing chores to enjoy. How could trees know how to make leaves out of dirt and sunshine? Such pretty things, and then they go and drop them all without a care and stand naked all the chilly winter long without complaining. And trees never panic, or play the fool. When you walk by them they are not in a rush to gossip and prattle but rather show an admirable reserve, hinting at mysterious depths. Good friends to have.

    I’m still laughing about Bruce Wineman’s anecdote, about his brother building a cabin with some Amish workmen. Brother asks Amish how they’re doing with the doom. Amish replies, “we can’t get that virus”. Can’t get it? — how can that be? Amish explains, “we don’t have TV.

    Told that one to my father. He got a good long laugh out of it.


    Matt, “DO NOT PANIC’, the pray tell how is one supposed to get rid of the Orange Man and usher in an era of no braying at the moon?

  7. Dennis

    Nothing matters anymore to those in charge. Evidence contrary to the decided Narrative will just be ignored, memory-holed, and those discussing it accused of endangering lives, etc.

    Have any governors or mayors backed off of insane mask rules because of the Danish mask study or other abundant evidence they don’t work? Of course not. I bet if asked they’d claim they’ve never even heard of it.

    Yesterday at the park, I saw a much higher percentage of masked park-goers than usual. The doom-mongering just gets worse and people act more brainless and zombie-like than ever in their embrace of this insanity. According to our governor and local media, we are in the midst of an alarming surge of cases (more properly called an alarming surge in unnecessary and in accurate PCR tests leading to a test-driven pseudo-surge), so I guess that’s why even people out walking the dog in the park are going around with muzzles on themselves. In one bizarro scene, I even saw an elderly couple walking with their two grandkids – kids were masked, grandparents not! I just want to punch all these masked morons I see (or in their case, the grandparents, who had it totally backwards. If anyone should be masked, it’s them not the kids! Sickening that kids are growing up muzzled and sapped of all joy, and taught that invisible life-threatening dangers lurk everywhere in the very air they breathe, making it dangerous to even go outside and play without a muzzle on).

  8. Aerthean

    Hi Briggs,

    I’ve wondered if you’ve come across any decent data sources on the “long-term” effects of a COVID-19 infection?
    I’ve seen plenty of scare stories, but not much in the way of solid data. From a risk standpoint it’s useful information, maybe COVID doesn’t kill you, but it makes it such that you lose a bunch of lung capacity, or get brain damage, etc.
    Or maybe it does nothing except in a very small percentage of cases.
    Hard to judge the risk accurately without decent data.

  9. Sheri

    Dean: “They’ve been zombified.” I like that term!

    DeeBee: One gets rid of the Orange Man by cheating. Everyone knows that. (Fear was not enough.)

    Dennis: Our governor tested positive for Covid, so it’s mask city if the health czar can keep his dictatorship. Studies do not matter. Never mind the governor is asymptomatic, as it stands now. Bet he wasn’t tested for flu, TB, HIV/AIDS or any other disease. How do we know he’s not a walking disease bomb???? Nothing but Covid matters. We stop those annoying tests like colonoscopies, mammograms, etc, because we are all going to die of Covid anyway. 🙂
    You’re going to see “failure to thrive” children en masse at the rate we are going. It was bad enough in daycare when you couldn’t hug a kid—now you have to be 6 feet from them. We have destroyed our future. The Chinese are laughing hysterically at our stupidity.

  10. Dean Ericson

    Ærthean: ”I’ve wondered if you’ve come across any decent data sources on the “long-term” effects of a COVID-19 infection?”

    I saw some data from the Center for Stupid Control (CSC), its director, Dr. Doomcough, published a graph with two plots; the red line showed stupid spiking, and the black line showed intelligence plummeting. Make of it what you will.

  11. BrianH

    Dennis, regarding the grandparents and grandkids, a likely explanation would be that the kid’s parents (Ken and Karen) would not allow them to take the kids unless they kept them masked.

  12. susan

    I wear a mask outside to be polite to my neighbors. I don’t want to be seen as a scary old crone.
    I’m not zombiefied. But if I didn’t wear a mask, it would not look like a brave statement that they are not necessary.

  13. Rogelio

    First of all, thank you very much for such a well balanced article in these times of total obscuration and neurosis.

    That said, I don´t know if you are aware of how the english government gets their “Covid deaths” stats. Until well into the pandemic development, they put the “Sars-Cov2 positive patients” who needed hospital care in a list. You never got out of the list, so if you got run by a car or got killed by a thief, your name, as a deceased person, would get cross checked with the “Sars-Cov2 positive patients” list. As you still were on this last list (remember you just don´t get out of it when you are no longer sick…) , the official cause of death would be “covid”.

    As this is pure insanity, the government decided to amend the error…by allowing you to be erased from the coronavirus list one month after you left the hospital. So if you got run by a car or killed by a thief within one month after your hospital departure…yes, you would also be on the “covid death” list…

    I am spanish, and I suspect the same is happening here, since basically everybody who died in a hospital from march to june with shortage of breath and fever was tagged as “covid death”.

    And for the ones favoring the compulsory masking of the population, let me tell you that Spain is a real-time laboratory on whether they work or not. We´ve been obliged to use them everyday, all of the time, since June. As simple as that. You live with a mask on. Well, take a look at spanish infection and reported covid-death lists. We have one of the worst results in the whole world…

  14. Walter Sobchak

    I figure it will be a couple of years before we can get all of the statistics in order to analyze the event.

    “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.”
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831)

  15. Douglas2

    In the “natural cause” deaths graph comparing 2019 and 2020, aren’t the Y axis numbers about double what they should be, if the X axis is weeks?

  16. Gail Finke

    Aerthean: I would like to know that too. Why, EIGHT MONTHS IN, do we have nothing, anywhere that tells people what a “typical” case looks like, how long it lasts, and what its effects are (lists of effects are so vague al;most anything might qualify) — as well as a rough estimate of how many people with symptoms need to be hospitalized, how long is a typical hospitalization and what is it for — and finally, what percentage of HOSPITALIZED PEOPLE have complications, what their age and physical conditions are going in, and which (if any) of the frightening complications ever written about are emerging as a pattern and not a fluke. Has anyone seen this anywhere???

    Meanwhile… last week the WSJ did a heartrending front page article on how Covid is overwhelming a hospital at an Indian reservation. Not until well into it do you find that this hospital has 15 beds. Moreover, while it is obviously much harder emotionally for a people in a small population with strong extended family ties, the diseases isn’t actually hitting the community “harder” there in an objective sense, the workers are more upset because they are likely to know and care a lot about the people but they are not more people.

  17. Walter Sobchak

    If the virus is simply killing off people who would in the ordinary course die in the next year or two, shouldn’t we expect to see the a drop in deaths under their typical level once the pandemic ends?

  18. Briggs


    The typos my enemies inserted into the headers have been fixed!

  19. Can you please clarify which of your graphs are coming from which dataset? I think your first graph is coming from the source at the first CDC link (Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and Week), I’m not sure about the next three (not linked, I think? presumably because we’re all seeing these basic graphs everywhere), and all of the remaining graphs are based on the source at the second CDC link (Weekly Counts of Deaths by State and Select Causes, 2019-2020).

    I’m in conversation with friends, however, who believe you’ve used the first source for most of the graphs and that, therefore, you’re not using the same data as Briand.

  20. Rogelio

    Hello, Walter Sobchak. I think that is definetely going to be the case.

  21. What if the coronavirus is simply human cell produced exosomes?
    Perhaps some of the wise ones could correlate deaths with 5G roll-outs? The annual increase in densification of electrosmog appears to have been the cause of the seasonal flu in years past and present.
    Sites to look at:
    https://radiation dangers.com/5G
    The symptoms of NIR poisoning include those claimed for the surmised SARS COV2 derivative CV19 that is a computer model devised virus made fom bits assumed to be of a virus that are fitted to a template with the many missing bits added by the model. That is where the “virus” was produced.
    CV19 hotspots correlate with 5G roll-out zones. 5G is an order of magnitude densification of electrosmog.
    However the mm radio wavelength range used penetrates the skin up to ~8mm, there appears to be a domino effect due to its impact on O2. 4G reacts with H2O. Telecoms use 3G, 4G and 5G to reach the max number of phones, tablets, computers smart meters, cars and any other equipment that operates using those ranges.
    I’m sure diligent researchers with greater understanding of science language than me can fathom impacts but from what I have seen is that research on the impact has only been done on each specific range separately.
    China is reported to have used NIR to empty an Indian outpost in their border conflict. Wuhan is reported to have experienced an EMP in the mm range at the time people dropped dead in the street. People have been reported as blacking out with no symptoms that has been attributed to NIR and cell phone use.
    I’m doing my best to make the case that the CV19 theatre is simply a cover for the experimental 5G roll-out casualties.
    In the UK, the only meaningful spike in deaths has been clearly correlated with lockdowns,
    that could be correlated to increased exposure to NIR by increased use of phones, tablets etc. in stale air conditions that increase the load on the body’s immune-defence system(s) leaving the body less able to cope with the NIR poisoning.
    I would love to believe the virus fairytales but the fact is there has been no test for contagiousness since 1933 that is publicly available and no definitive proof that any virus harmful to humans exists. And a lot of reasons for continuing with symptoms based proof.
    Is the NIR poisoning theory strengthened or weakened by anything in these graphs, I guess is what I’m looking for.

  22. It would be a lot easier to investigate this if there were greater transparency about 5G rollouts. But it’s ridiculously difficult to get good information about when new 5G towers are installed or activated where, or when the frequency ranges or coverage are expanded.

  23. jennifer Wilkerson

    Is this objection to the Johns Hopkins paper valid:
    UPDATE: Robert Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch of the National Center for Health Statistics, also disputes Briand’s analysis. According to Anderson, Briand didn’t account for seasonal changes in deaths. “In the spring of 2020, during a period where we normally should be seeing declining mortality, deaths continued to increase and were at unusually high levels through the spring,” he told Lead Stories. “So, the comparison of the most lethal weeks in 2018 with the most lethal weeks of 2020 is not appropriate.”

    “In 2018, deaths followed the normal pattern (although at a higher level than normal). In 2020, deaths did not follow the normal pattern…they should have been declining in the spring, but instead increased substantially,” Anderson added.


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