Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

How Dangerous is Covid Now? Los Angeles County Health Department Claims They Don't Know

Meanwhile, significant data, such as how many Covid deaths involve underlying conditions, are removed from public scrutiny

September 6, 2023 - The Los Angeles County Health Department claims they have no idea how deadly Covid-19 is any more. "We are unable to calculate the case fatality rate for COVID-19 using our disease surveillance data because many cases are not reported to Public Health," they wrote in response to a media query. Health officials say that, because of home testing kits, they have no idea how many people actually have had Covid and therefore do not have an accurate denominator to use in order to calculate what percent of them then go on to die from the disease.

Oddly, the health department still has a case counter on their LA County Covid-19 Data webpage. According to today's webpage, there have been a total of 3,783,352 cases of Covid-19 reported through June 7, 2023. It is unclear why the health department is publicly reporting case counts when they simultaneously claim not to know how many cases are occurring. It is believable that the 3,783,352 number is a serious under count since the number of known cases as of July 26, 2022, a little over a year ago was 3,272,097, a difference of only 511,255 cases.

On the other hand, the county health department, headed by Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, has terminated the publication of other significant information, data that could help the public determine the risks to currently associate with the Covid-19 disease. For example, the number of Covid deaths that involve underlying conditions is no longer given. Last summer, it was possible to calculate that roughly 87.7 percent of listed Covid deaths also involved other underlying conditions. But that sort of information is no longer available to the public. In fact, in response to a media query, the health department wrote that "we don't have data analyzed" showing the percent of Covid deaths with underlying conditions. It is patently unbelievable the health department does not have the information necessary to make that calculation.

Obviously, Covid becomes a largely non-fatal disease for the healthy if it is only individuals with other underlying conditions who are dying from it. But for some reason, we are not allowed to know if that is the case.

On top of this lack of information regarding the influence of underlying conditions in Covid deaths, the LADPH has changed the definition of "Covid death" over the course of the pandemic. As of last August, Covid only needed to "contribute" to the death in order for the death to go into the Covid death count. At that time, health officials admitted that "it is likely that some of those deaths [those reported as from Covid] are not the result of Covid."

The hospitalization rate, one the county uses to determine the severity of an outbreak, is also a slippery number. Not everyone counted as a "Covid hospitalization" is actually hospitalized specifically because of Covid. According to LADPH data, as many as 52 percent of "Covid" hospitalizations last week were actually of people who only incidentally tested positive for the disease and were in the hospital for other reasons. But the health department does not mention this lower number of actual Covid-related hospitalizations in their press releases.

The department charged with managing public health is withholding factual data that would enable residents of the county to be able to determine their true risk from contracting Covid. This makes it impossible for residents to make decisions regarding the costs versus benefits of avoiding gatherings or travel, putting on a mask, or accepting yet another Covid shot.

It is probably unnecessary to add that the LADPH has also removed data on their website that indicates the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the Covid vaccine.


Reader Comments(0)