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Last Updated June 18, 2021, 3:37 pm
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Mathematical Ineptitude

We all make mistakes, but we now live in an age where massive ineptitude abounds in the media. As any person competent in mathematics or science would readily know, an Infection Fatality Ratio of 0.054 means that there's one death out of every 18.5 people. In other words, it's a 5.4% death rate in that age group (70+) among those who were infected.
To get the 18.5 number, calculate 100 / 5.4
In other words, covid-19 is killing 5.4% of the people it infects who are over the age of 70. That's much, much higher than fatality rates from the flu.
But Fox News, which is staffed by functionally illiterate so called journalists, reported the death rate for the 70+ age group as 0.054%. In other words, they just slapped a "%" sign onto the end of the fatality ratio numbers, with no understanding of the CDC's reported numbers. A death rate of 0.054% means it only kills 1 in every 1,850 people, and that's off by a factor of a hundred!
Here's the fake news graphic they produced and broadcast:

Spread the Fake News without Checking

From here, numerous conservative and independent media outlets took this erroneous Fox News graphic and used it in their own reporting, claiming that Covid-19 only kills 0.0002% of people in the 20-49 age group, for example, or only 0.054% of people in the 70+ age group.
They're all off by a factor of 100. This is the same magnitude of error as reporting that "2 + 2 = 400." But no one seems to notice.
Even when you explain the error, they still don't get it. It's like trying to teach pigeons to play chess. lichess.org leonwool
This underscores the importance of getting your information from people who are mathematically literate and have some sort of science background. Clueless fools happily repeat utterly false information as long as it fits their narrative. So called fact-checkers seem no better. All are more interested in the narrative than the facts.

Why this matters

Wouldn't it be a great idea if someone could develop a method whereby statistics could be analysed in isolation from the subject matter, so that objective assessments can be made devoid of political bias.
If you're going to argue against climate change with any sense of effectiveness, you can't be mathematically illiterate and have any credibility in your arguments. When you have dozens of talking heads suddenly declaring themselves "virology experts" this year, claiming they alone have a monopoly on truth about the pandemic, it doesn't help if you can't understand the data. The level of incompitence has reached ridiculous levels. A growing number of outlets now claim there's no such thing as a virus, and that coronavirus does not even exist. This "Flat Earth theory of epidemiology." has made huge gains recently under the "question everything" banner which also leads people to absurdly believe viruses and bacteria are fictional too.
We are now live in a world that is increasingly dominated by people who are hopelessly ignorant. Thanks to the new phenomenon of "factual relativism," everybody thinks they are entitled to their own "reality," even if it conflicts with actual reality. In this way, surprisingly, alt-right media has something in common with LGBT transgenderism indoctrination: They both believe your "reality" is whatever you claim it to be.
So when it's said that there's no such thing as a virus, that's equivalent to claiming biological men can have babies. It's just as delusional and insane, Yet both lies are backed by a circle of "consensus" in their own thought bubbles.
But fairy tales aren't real, and the hallucinations of LGBT pushers as well as covid denialists are all false. Facts are stubborn things, as John Adams once said, and you can weave your fairy tales in your protected Wonderland, but you can't change the laws of physics, chemistry or mathematics just because you feel like doing so.
Flatly stated, some of the most popular alt media networks, podcasts and talking heads are run by people who can't do basic maths and are living in a land of self-delusion. I've had numerous private conversations with many of these people, and they refuse to listen to reason. They aren't interested in being accurate; only in being sensational in their fake news broadcasts. "See? No one is dying from covid! The CDC numbers prove it!"
It's beyond pathetic. It's dangerous.
It's made even more frustrating by the fact that the mainstream media is lying, too, but in the other direction. They're claiming the pandemic is far worse than it actually is, mostly to hype up mail-in voting while destroying the Trump economy as best they can.
So encountering honest, accurate, scientifically-literate reporting on the coronavirus pandemic is nearly impossible. Almost everyone puts their political agenda ahead of scientific integrity.
I hear from the indy media now is that the CDC "admitted" covid-19 isn't deadly to anyone, and that's blatantly false. The CDC's data show covid-19 is a very serious threat to people 50 and over, and it's extremely dangerous to those over 70.
As I've said over and over again in covering this, it's critical to get this right. And as much as I've tried to correct other publishers, pundits and talking heads across the independent media, I've given up on that after learning that, frankly, they don't care about being accurate. This is why we should not believe everything we hear.
And when the CDC reported a few weeks ago that 94% of covid death victims also had underlying health conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and so on, virtually the entire independent media falsely reported that "only 6% actually died from covid," claiming the CDC just admitted that 94% of people "died from something else," which is not at all what the CDC said. In truth, almost everybody who dies has underlying health conditions at the moment of death, for the simple reason that perfectly healthy people rarely die at all. Yet this logic escapes the indy media pundits.
Scientific illiteracy is a huge problem across the media. When it comes to discussing technical issues such as epidemiology, virology and statistics, you flat-out can't trust them at all. They are totally clueless. But they exude extreme confidence in their reporting, even while they refuse to correct anything they say, so to the feeble minded, it all seems rather convincing.
So we've arrived at a scary moment in history where people "believe" whatever they choose to believe, regardless of what the data shows, because nobody can analyse data anyway (and in many cases, the data are faked by snake-like corporations such as Monsanto or Bayer). We have arrived at what's called a "post-truth era" where each individual "decides" their personal "truth" based entirely on emotions, not information.
And the voices of reason are all censored, because rationality has been outlawed, and reason is treason. The average person is now mentally whiplashed between the lies of the mainstream media and the lies of the alt media, and there's little truth to be found in either one when it comes to a highly politicised subject such as covid.
No wonder people are so confused. There's almost nowhere you can go that's reporting honest, accurate, information. We must be reasonable and cautious if we hope to get through our lives with our sanity intact.

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