Facebook ‘fact-checkers’ take aim at WorldTribune Covid story

by WorldTribune Staff, September 1, 2020

WorldTribune.com was notified by Facebook that an article posted on Aug. 30 headlined “Unreported CDC numbers: Only 6 percent of 153,504 virus deaths were solely from covid” was flagged as “partly false.”

“Independent fact-checkers at Science Feedback say information in your post is partly false. To stop the spread of false news, we’ve added a notice to your post,” the Facebook message said.

The Aug. 30 WorldTribune report cited CDC data which showed, of the 153,504 coronavirus deaths recorded from Feb. 1 through Aug. 19, only 9,210 (6 percent) listed covid as the only cause of death. The other 94 percent had, on average, “2.6 additional conditions or causes per death,” the CDC report said in its section headed Comorbidities.

Related: Report: 18 of 20 members of Facebook’s ‘ideologically’ diverse fact-check board have Soros ties, Aug. 30, 2020

The fact-checkers at Health Feedback claimed in their statement that reports on the CDC numbers used “flawed reasoning” in reporting on the CDC data. The statement was signed by Pablo Rougerie.

The Health Feedback fact checker lists among its donors and sponsors:  Facebook, University of California Merced, Ashoka. The only individual donor of more than $5,000 is Eric Michelman.

According to Influence Watch,

Eric Michelman is a computer scientist and angel investor who is also a left-of-center activist. Michelman is the creator of the Climate Change Education Project and the More Than Scientists organization and project. …

Michelman is also a noted Democratic donor, donating money to the Presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Michelman is also a climate change activist, founding a climate change advocacy organization and publicly supporting a carbon tax.

“I don’t think the ‘fact checkers’ laid a glove on our story,” WorldTribune.com Editor and Publisher Robert Morton said. They are verbose where the CDC statement is succinct.”

Morton added that the fact-checkers headline, “False claim shared by President Trump that only 6% of CDC-reported deaths are from COVID-19 is based on flawed reasoning”, is biased.

The fact-checkers claim of reports citing the 6 percent number:

• Flawed reasoning: Because 94% of COVID-19 death certificates listed comorbidities, the author of the claim incorrectly reasons that only 6% of the deaths currently attributed to COVID-19 were actually caused by the disease. It is incorrect to assume that every patient who had COVID-19 in addition to other medical conditions died from the medical conditions and not from COVID-19.

• Misleading: Comorbidities are medical conditions that weaken the patient and may lower their chance of surviving COVID-19 but are not the underlying cause of death. The claim fails to consider that doctors assess the entire chain of clinical events leading to the death of a patient in order to determine the cause. For deaths to be attributed to COVID-19, the clinical events assessed must be compatible with known COVID-19 symptoms.

Morton noted that the fact-checkers seem “to claim that news reports read more into the CDC’s statement than was there. Well no, I don’t think our report did.”

Intelligence Brief __________ Replace The Media