Coronavirus Classifications: Why They Matter

South Carolina doctor says CDC “inflating” cases …

As we noted in a post yesterday, it has become impossible to cover the coronavirus pandemic without offending people. Some of our headlines have been slammed as alarmist, while others have been criticized as minimizing the threat the outbreak poses to our state and nation.

Our response to these criticisms? We are going to continue providing our readers with as much information as we possibly can regarding the virus … along with any relevant context for the data (and our best assessment of what it all means).

Beyond that, it is up to everyone to draw their own conclusions …

In the meantime, our microphone remains open to individuals wishing to share any information they find … along with any perspectives they wish to offer on the debate.

Anyway … as part of our ongoing role as a facilitator of discussion in the Palmetto State, we stumbled upon some interesting perspectives offered by Dr. Brian Class – a physician at the Life Essentials Health Center in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

A practitioner of holistic medicine – which seeks to treat the causes of ailments as opposed to their symptoms – Class recently published a twelve-minute video to his practice’s YouTube page raising questions about the way coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been classified.

Take a look …

(Click to view)

(Via: Life Essentials Health Center)

For those of you who don’t have twelve minutes to spare, Class’ basic point is that coronavirus testing in America may be drawing positive test results from a whole family of viruses and not just Covid-19 – the specific virus that originated in Wuhan, China last fall which precipitated the current global outbreak.

“What does a positive test actually indicate?” Class asked in the clip.

At this point, he refers his viewers to definitions provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to coronavirus antibody testing.

“A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC guidance noted. “However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.”

According to Class, “positive tests are actually being clumped together by the CDC” – which is leading to inflated totals.

“Obviously these numbers are very highly inflated and falsely so at this point,” Class noted in his video post.

Class claimed that during the month of June, the national narrative on the virus shifted abruptly from a focus on deaths to a focus on cases.

“Everyone went from talking about deaths related to Covid and they shifted to (talking about) case numbers related to Covid,” he said. “This happened because if they talk about death tolls right now, it is not going to motivate anyone to do anything.”

According to the physician, a discussion about the declining case fatality rate would have fed the narrative that the Covid curve had been successfully flattened.

“That’s not going to motivate change, or motivate us to follow mandates and ordinances,” he said. “However, if we shift our focus away from deaths and put it on cases numbers – and clump all the positives together – that’s going to motivate people to follow orders.”

Class said his goal in presenting this perspective is to get people to “understand the facts behind (Covid-19), and not just the fear that’s being pushed.”

Here again, Class cited CDC data showing a clear decline in deaths attributed to the virus …

(Click to view)

(Via: CDC)

Clearly deaths are a lagging indicator – and the CDC noted on its spreadsheet (above) that the data it updates on a daily basis is “incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed.”

“This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction and cause of death,” the agency noted.

Still, trend lines for the Covid-19 case fatality rate are very encouraging – declining from 6 percent to 4 percent nationally over the last two months. In South Carolina – one of the national “hot spots” for the virus – the case fatality rate has dropped from 4.5 percent to 1.65 percent over the same time period.

Obviously we will continue to keep a very close eye on these trend lines in light of the surging number of cases in the Palmetto State – checking to see whether the surge in new cases raises or lowers this key indicator.

What do you think? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …


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