SANDERS: Cooper administration is vague on COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths

RALEIGH – One of the scariest things in the initial weeks of Pandemic Panic was the uncertainty of it all. Was the virus lurking around every corner, a stealth and swift killer? does that sore throat portend a hospital stay? does that sniffle mean you can’t work?

In the interim, we have learned an awful lot about the coronavirus that should have calmed the fearful responses from policymakers and politicians. However, in North Carolina, the Cooper regime has maintained the panic with the help of presenting vague data and keeping science subject to political whims.

That creates a ‘fog,’ according to John Locke Foundation’s Jon Sanders, who breaks down just how vague the Cooper administration is on COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

From JLF’s Lockerroom Blog:

“One of the problems with the Cooper administration’s data regarding COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths is when they use those terms, they  don’t carry the same meaning as when people use those terms in regular conversation.

It’s part of the fog of COVID data in NC


Take cases, for example. In regular conversation, to have a case of COVID-19 is to be sick with the virus with potential for spreading the infection to others.

In Cooper’s NC, however, to have a case of COVID-19 means to have received a “positive” test result that doesn’t:

    • differentiate living virus from unviable genetic fragments
    • tell if there is even enough virus material present to constitute an actual infection
    • stay within the research consensus of the threshold limits of the test, but instead is made highly sensitive by going several levels past any meaningful threshold limit

See Friday’s Research Brief, The Fog of COVID-19 Data: How many cases aren’t even cases?, for more information.


In regular conversation, a hospitalized COVID-19 patient would mean someone whose COVID infection is so bad it’s put him in the hospital.

To Cooper’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), however, it means someone who is in the hospital for any reason and who has tested positive for COVID-19. That’s not the same at all.

As discussed in today’s Research Brief, The Fog of Covid-19 Data: Hospitalizations and Deaths:

DHHS admits no distinction between a hospitalization for COVID and hospitalization with COVID. Hospitalizations for COVID are the dangerous infections people rightly worry about. Hospitalizations with COVID are when people are in the hospital for other reasons — a chest ailment, a car accident, a medical procedure, etc. — and as part of the routine clinical assessment, they test positive for COVID.

How many people are in one group and not the next? It’s hard to tell from this vantage point. Counting the two groups together, however, only inflates the number and gives the impression that dangerous infections are higher than they are. How much higher, who can tell?


In regular conversation, a death from COVID-19 has occurred when a COVID infection caused the medical events that brought about death.

Cooper’s DHHS seems to treat deaths similar to how it treats hospitalizations: death from COVID, death with COVID, it all “counts”:

Here again, counting the two groups together inflates the number of deaths and gives the impression that fatal COVID infections are higher than they are. How much higher, again, who can tell?

If someone died from COVID, you would think it would be known. But what if someone died with COVID? The Cooper administration’s death reporting is notoriously bad — worst in the country. But even that doesn’t explain why DHHS seems to keep finding COVID deaths months after the fact.

A day’s report of “new” COVID deaths frequently contains deaths from several weeks prior. On September 15, DHHS suddenly reported a “new” COVID death — from April 14! It’s not as if DHHS just learned of those deaths, but something has changed, weeks if not months after the fact, that causes DHHS to list those deaths as COVID deaths. […]”

And the media, Sanders says, is seemingly helping to maintain the fog, instead of helping to clear it with pointed questions aimed at discovering the truth. Shouldn’t reporters want to know, and to report to viewers or readers, that the cycle threshold for tests in North Carolina is so sensitive that it could be overstating *cases* by 50 percent or more?

That would inform viewers; it would reduce fear; it would reassure us that normalcy can be achieved. Why wouldn’t the media want that?

Read the rest of Sanders piece to understand even more ways the media is complicit in keeping North Carolinians in the fog of Pandemic Panic, here.

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