Excitable conspiracy theorists are triumphantly distributing this "revelation" that only 6000 people in the UK have EVER died of Covid-19. What's particularly odd is that they simultaneously believe that there's been a massive cover-up by the Government and that they've uncovered the secret by simply asking the Government for the information. I'll happily take on all comers in the Ridiculing Government Incompetence Games, but come on, seriously.
Because of course there is no cover-up or revelation here. The controversy is based on the obvious bollocks that "died of" and "died solely of" are the same thing, which they aren't remotely. The premise here is that having two things on a death certificate means that neither of those things is fatal. When of course their fatality is the reason they're on a death certificate.
The logic is puzzlingly unidirectional, too.
- "This person has covid and condition X on their death certificate; therefore condition X killed them and covid didn't."
- "This person has covid and condition X on their death certificate; therefore covid killed them and condition X didn't."
These two arguments are logically identical, yet the conspiracy theorists are only making one of them and regard the other as crazy.
Comorbidities are a thing. Two examples.
Firstly, diabetes is a comorbidity of covid. The conspiracy theorists claim that every diabetic person who died of covid in fact died of diabetes and merely happened to have completely non-fatal covid at the time. But diabetes doesn't kill you in weeks; it kills you in decades. When a forty-year-old with diabetes dies of covid, yes, it's technically true that they were going to die of diabetes "anyway" — in twenty-five to thirty-five years time. When some other disease accelerates that timeline to a month, the conventional way to describe the process is "killing".
Secondly, HIV. HIV screws up your immune system, causing you to eventually die of whatever ailment happens to come along. People with AIDS die of tuberculosis or cancer or meningitis or some other opportunistic infection. No-one has ever died of only HIV. By the exact same reasoning the conspiracy theorists are applying to the covid stats, the all-time worldwide fatality rate of HIV is zero.