Busting the “Covid Myth Busters”

Read Time:7 Minutes

By David Fletcher

On Friday the Independent published a piece by Dr David Oliver [1], supposedly refuting seven “coronavirus myths”. Oliver has made himself quite a media profile, having written columns for most major newspapers and appearing on BBC and Sky TV, making him an ideal “human face” for the establishment propaganda campaign. But as I will show, these so-called refutations are a mixture of sleight-of-hand, half-truths and straight up lies. For now, let’s start with the first alleged myth:

People are dying with Covid, not from Covid 

The doc says: “This is a wilful misunderstanding of how doctors certify cause of death … The certificate must be completed by a doctor who was responsible for the care of the person during their final illness to ‘the best of your knowledge and belief’. It is based on the course of the person’s clinical picture, investigations, treatment, and their previous medical history. For deaths in hospital, certificates are also discussed with a doctor who is an independent medical examiner of deaths. Cremation papers are also scrutinised for accuracy.”

Straight off the bat Oliver delivers three outright falsehoods. Let’s break it down:

The [death] certificate must be completed by a doctor who was responsible for the care of the person during their final illness to ‘the best of your knowledge and belief’.” 

Wrong. According to a freedom of information request that was responded to last month by the government: “During the emergency period for the pandemic, the attending doctor may have cared for the deceased during their last illness in person (as normal times) or via video or visual consultation.” [2] [my emphasis]

So there is no guarantee for the “attending doctor” to have actually seen the patient in person, they just may have. Well, I may be a Martian. Probably the greatest Martian in the universe. It gets worse:

Furthermore, if the doctor who would normally certify the cause of death is not able to complete the MCCD [death certificate], as the result of sickness, self-isolation or some other reason, another doctor can complete the certificate as long as they can certify the cause to the best of their knowledge and belief. However, if there is no doctor who can certify the cause, or the cause appears to be unknown, the registrar will be obliged to refer the death to the coroner before they can register the death.” [ibid]

So despite what Oliver claims, it is in fact any other doctor, who perhaps did not even see the patient at all, not necessarily one “who was responsible for the care of the person during their final illness”, that “can certify the cause to the best of their knowledge and belief”.

The ONS describes more: “If a doctor was awaiting test results to determine whether a patient had the coronavirus (COVID-19), in order to avoid delay in registration they are able to circle ‘Option 2’ in the MCCD (‘information from post-mortem may be available later’) or tick ‘Box B’ on the reverse of the MCCD for ante-mortem investigations.

In cases where the patient has displayed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but had no swab taken, it is acceptable for the doctor completing the MCCD to apply their clinical judgment and record COVID-19 on the death certificate.” [3] [my emphasis]

When in doubt, have a stout. Or mark it down as covid-19.

If the Doctor’s on a sickie, the coroner has the final say. What does the coroner do? Essentially the Chief Coroner’s Summary says “attendance after death must be in person” [4].

Normally, “Under the Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019, a registered medical practitioner must notify the coroner where: it is reasonably believed that there is no attending medical practitioner required to sign the MCCD; or it is reasonably believed that the attending medical practitioner required to sign the MCCD is not available to do so within a reasonable time of the person’s death.”

However: The Coronavirus Act 2020 disapplies the above for the duration of the Act to give effect to the MCCD Guidance set out above.” [4] [my emphasis] 

So all the usual protocols are gone. In the situation that the doctor can’t certify for whatever reason, it is literally up to the coroner alone, purely by looking at the body of the deceased, to declare if it were a covid death or not. Any chance of a post-mortem? Not likely guv’nor:

Dr Mike Osborn, consultant histopathologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and chair of the Royal College’s death investigations committee … said a good number of medical post-mortems would be around 1,000 for the whole country, but he estimated only around 30 had been done so far, leading to a lack of tissue in labs.” [5] [my emphasis]

How about the Doc’s claim that “[c]remation papers are also scrutinised for accuracy”? Again, we refer to the Chief Coroner:

The requirements for a confirmatory certificate (Cremation Form 5) is suspended with one medical certificate (Cremation Form 4) required. Any medical practitioner can complete Cremation Form 4, without seeing the deceased … The crematorium medical referee may also accept a Cremation Form 4 where the deceased was not seen in the terms set out above, where the death has been registered with an MCCD supported by a form 100A from a coroner.” [4] [my emphasis]

So for the purposes of cremating the body, the doctor doesn’t actually have to see the deceased if the coroner fills an 100A form. What’s a 100A form?

When a doctor has informed a coroner of the death but the doctor has been given permission by the coroner to issue a Medical Certificate, you will receive the Medical Certificate and Formal Notice in the same way as detailed above. There may also be an ‘A’ certificate. This is a form from the coroner informing the registrar that they are aware of the death but no further investigation is necessary and permission has been given to the doctor to issue the Medical Certificate.” [6] [my emphasis]

So the doctor can inform the coroner of the death without seeing the body, and the coroner can inform the registrar of the death without seeing the body as well!

The ONS shows that out of all covid deaths, just 0.2% were subject to a post-mortem certified by a coroner inquest for those aged under 65, and only 0.1% in the case of those aged 65 or above. 83% of covid deaths in the under 65’s were certified by the doctor without a post-mortem, rising to 91% in those aged 65 and above [3].

Thus the vast majority of death’s were certified at the doctors’ discretion. As for the cremation of the covid deceased, this is made explicit in the Coronavirus Act 2020 under the self-explanatory heading “Confirmatory medical certificate not required for cremations: England and Wales” [7] [my emphasis].

If medical certificates aren’t required for cremations, it seems pretty meaningless to “scrutinise [them] for accuracy”.

By this point Dr Pinocchio’s nose must be longer than Boris Johnson’s parliamentary bar tab. But he makes one last point: 

In 90 per cent of cases for which Covid-19 is recorded on a certificate, it features as an ‘underlying cause of death’.”

We’ve already shown that doctors can basically make a judgement on cause of death without even seeing the patient, and that the vast majority of deaths are determined at the doctors’ discretion where the patient displays “symptoms consistent with COVID-19”. So what is their main diagnostic method? According to the WHO guidelines, where someone dies with respiratory related issues and has a positive PCR result, this is proof enough to put the underlying cause of death as covid [8].

And the ONS admit, “[a]round three-quarters of deaths involving COVID-19 linked to a record of a positive test result (79.2% in England, Public Health England data, 70.4% in Wales, Public Health Wales data).” [3]

So once again, we’re back to the PCR test being used as the primary (and often only) diagnostic method employed! No wonder the flu has “disappeared” this winter.


[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/covid19-deaths-pandemic-myths-b1793642.html

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/freedomofinformationfoi/howdeathsfromcovid19arerecordedbyons

[3] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/qualityofmortalitydataduringthecoronaviruspandemicenglandandwales/2020

[4] https://www.wardhadaway.com/updates/chief-coroners-summary-of-the-coronavirus-act-2020/

[5] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-post-mortem-pathologists-covid-deaths-a9524286.html

[6] https://www.bereavementadvice.org/topics/death-certificate-and-coroners-inquest/when-a-coroner-is-involved/

[7] https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/section/19/enacted

[8] https://www.who.int/classifications/icd/Guidelines_Cause_of_Death_COVID-19.pdf?ua=1

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