Brad Mills
21 min readApr 7, 2020

9 Common COVID19 Misinformation Rebuttals.

The curve is flattening because of statism and it’s triggering a lot of smart people.

  • We must remain vigilant against government overreach and the erection of the surveillance state ✅
  • COVID19 is more like the flu than SARS ❌

4 things are certain:

  • SARS-CoV-2 is a real pandemic threat.
  • civil liberties are under seige.
  • governments waited until markets crashed before they acted.
  • governments acted inefficiently, using a sledge hammer rather than surgical tools.

Smart people are using data to show that COVID19 deaths are only 8 standard deviations above the norm (which is really bad, btw), showing that this happened before in the bad flu season of 2016.

Some very strong cognitive dissonance is being shown here as these people are not factoring in the strict lockdowns that were put in place to keep COVID19 from becoming 20 standard deviations above the norm. data

The false equivalency that the authoritarian statist response to COVID19 means COVID19 is no worse than the flu is hitting contrarian communities hard right now.

To be fair, there’s a contagious logical virus of advanced confirmation bias spreading on both sides.

People who are against statism want the death rate & impact of C19 to be closer to the flu, so they are seeking out sources to confirm their bias & spread that narrative.

People who called C19 early and who are still worried about C19 are amplifying information that confirms their bias that we need to take drastic action to stop the pandemic spread.

To make things worse, censorship has ramped up and a lot of the contrarian articles are being removed from Medium, which is adding fuel to the fire of conspiracy theories.

“Did you see Medium deleted that article that showed how Coronavirus death rate was more like the flu? It must be true if Medium finds it so dangerous that they have to remove it!” -Any logical person could think this.

I am not a statist. I’m a Bitcoiner. I’m pro-privacy, a free speech advocate. I am against the central banker bailouts of the 0.1% while the 99% are victims of high interest debt slavery & generational predatory banking.

I’m not a “crypto” guy either, I’m a Bitcoin guy … sure there’s some cryptocurrencies that I invest in as well to eventually increase my Bitcoin holdings, but I don’t promote altcoins to people…altcoins are a second thought to me.

The only cryptocurrency I’m emotionally invested in is Bitcoin. I’ve been a Bitcoiner since 2011, I was an activist Ron Paul supporter where I learned libertarian values & austrian economic theory.

If I’m a Bitcoin guy, why am I now being triggered by Bitcoiners?

It’s a fascinating thing… over the last few years there have been many arguments in the Bitcoin community that could be resolved rationally with minimal trolling, ad homenim attacks & blocking:

RussiaGate, Trump, identity politics debates, global warming debates, Universal Basic Income debates, aliens, etc.

None of this really appeared to split Bitcoiners like C19.

The last time Bitcoiners were split like this was in 2017 over the concept of upgrading Bitcoin via a hard fork or a soft fork…and the real issue wasn’t the technicalities, it boiled down to a war over control of the Bitcoin network going forward (Bitcoiners won. The crypto-statists forked off.)

I was an early [NO2X] activist bitcoiner on the winning side of soft fork upgrade, and I’m also one of the people who saw the novel coronavirus coming in mid January, and recognized how dangerous it was.

I saw that it was going to crash markets, and started getting prepared in early February.

When the reality of the coming freight train impact hit the markets on Black Thursday, Bitcoin was on the scene of the accident as well – it dropped almost exactly 50% like I was worried about.

(Bitcoin has since recovered a lot of that drop, and when you look at it on a log scale compared to Gold & the S&P 500, the drop was not nearly as precipitous, and it’s clear Bitcoin is still doing much better as an investment...albeit more volatile.)

Below Chart source:

After Black Thursday, a lot of Coronavirus skeptics started to appear within the Bitcoin community.

This made me think there’s 3 reasons why a lot of Bitcoiners all of a sudden started to push coronavirus misinformation.

1) Cognitive Dissonance (C19 crashed the markets, but one of Bitcoin’s memetic narratives is that it’s uncorrelated to macro markets, therefore there must be something wrong with the C19 narrative, not the uncorrelated narrative … logical dump of C19 in with central banks & statists.)

2) Contrarian thinking echo chamber (Bitcoin attracts contrarian thinkers, and most were not paying attention to C19 early. “If the MSM is pushing this agenda, it’s likely not true.”)

3) False Equivalency fallacy (Bitcoin attracts a lot of austrian economic thinkers, free market evangelists & anti-statism activist investors. Because shutting down borders & taking away civil liberties flattens the curve, activists are rallying against C19's case fatality rate rather than the governments.)

I should also identify my bias here since I’m assuming biases of everyone posting “just the flu” stats.

My wife has multiple autoimmune disorders caused by a rare gene polymorphism. She is taking immunosuppresent drugs which makes her immune compromised. She is one of the people most at risk, so I’m emotionally invested in the coronavirus debate.

So yes I’m aware that I’m suffering from confirmation bias as well, I’m afraid of COVID19. I’m looking for sources of information that confirms how dangerous this is, so I can take every precaution to avoid it.

However, I’m also actively looking for reliable data that proves the skeptics are true. I would really like it if there wasn’t a deadly pandemic sweeping across Canada that could kill my wife. So yes, it would be great if 50% of people are asymptomatic … but until you show me reliable data, I’m going to assume that’s not the case.

I started getting triggered by all of these people who I used to respect, and started posting negative ad homenim comments. I started calling people covidiots & Flat Curvers (the equivalent of flat earthers re: C19 … ie the curve is already flat)

I realized I was becoming toxic on Twitter, and this debate with “just the flu bro” people was giving me a lot of cognitive dissonance. I was losing respect for a lot of Bitcoiners who I had respected for years.

I deleted the Twitter app from my phone so that I would be triggered less…if I wanted to go on Twitter I had to grab the iPad or sit down at the computer.

That helped, but it didn’t work as I’m also in a lot of telegram rooms, whatsapp groups & Facebook groups … the flat curvers contrarians are everywhere, I can’t escape them.

The only thing that will prove these people right is antibody testing. Once we get antibody testing scaled up to see what percent of the population has already had COVID19, we can put this debate to bed.

After antibody testing rolls out, I suspect it will confirm what the data is currently telling us:

1) The majority of people are negative, meaning we don’t already have herd immunity. Antibody testing should disprove the theory that the majority of people were asymptomatic carriers who got over it without even noticing they had COVID19.

2) It originated in Wuhan in Nov/Dec 2019 and spread naturally. DNA analysis & antibody testing will prove that it was not spreading in stealth all over the world last year. This will prove contrarian thinkers wrong who theorize that what we are seeing now is Wave 2 or 3 not Wave 1.

3) The majority of people will develop symptoms. Because you can be asymptomatic for 14+ days, a lot of people are being confirmed positive with no symptoms through contact tracing. Skeptics are using the snapshot of whether or not someone has symptoms *at the time of testing* to say that 50% of people are asymptomatic, so the death rate is much lower. Data should prove this wrong.

After we get this data, the only logical explanations left are:

1) Distrusting the data.

2) A David Icke style conspiracy theory.

I’ll have a hard time respecting anyone parroting David Icke style conspiracies, and after all of this I will probably have a hard time respecting anyone who doesn’t accept the reality of the data.

If I’m proven wrong, and the data shows that 50% of people actually are asymptomatic and don’t go on to develop symptoms, or this is actually Wave 2 or 3, and the CFR is actually more like 0.5% rather than 2–5% … I will accept it & expect people to respect me less.

So lets talk about some of the C19 skeptic theories.

How many of these conspiracy theories or contrarian arguments have you heard by coronavirus skeptics in the last couple of weeks? It’s getting exhausting for me.

Here’s my response to the most common ones.

1. This isn’t the first wave.

“This is actually wave or 2 or 3, this coronavirus has been here a lot longer than we think, therefore the death rate is much lower.”

The answer to this one is simple. Show me the data.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that there were mysterious outbreaks of pneumonia in Italy in October such as this one:

The important bit translated is this:

“October as the date of a possible outbreak cannot be demonstrated” – is the caution of Paola Pedrini, Lombard general secretary of the Italian Federation of general practitioners – but surely in the months preceding the official emergence of the infections there were anomalous waves of respiratory diseases, and in particular of pneumonia, especially in some areas of the Bergamo area.

This report is saying that there was an anomalous outbreak in the town of Bergamo in October. The health authorities are saying that it was not COVID19, but the article writer is saying it probably was COVID19.

Not many people are aware of this, but there was a bad strain of H1N1 going around this flu season. H1N1 causes pneumonia.

So which do you think is more logical:

1) H1N1 was spreading in Italy in October (the data shows this is true)

2) COVID19 was spreading in Italy in October (zero data to confirm this assumption)

I’m not saying that it’s impossible that COVID19 was spreading in Italy in October, but I’m saying it’s highly improbable, and it’s much more likely that H1N1 was spreading in Italy in October, and now COVID19 is spreading in Italy.

Show me the data.

2. There’s 10X more coronavirus cases so CFR is way lower.

“There’s significantly more people out there with coronavirus who aren’t getting tested. The confirmed case numbers are probably 10X higher, so the death rate is 10X lower.”

This one is a simple case of cherry picking logic mixed with confirmation bias.

I get that we are sketpical of the data, I was one of the people who were saying there were probably 10–20X more cases of Coronavirus in China.

I also think that because of the failure of our western leadership to be prepared for this pandemic, there’s a lack of proper testing.

So yes, there’s probably a lot more people out there with Coronavirus than we are aware of.

However, you should not assume both:

1. There’s 10X more people out there with COVID19 (you distrust the data)


2. The deaths are being reported 100% accurately (you trust the data)

So which is it, do you trust the data or distrust the data? Trusting only the deaths to be accurate while thinking the cases is inflated is the definition of confirmation bias, and it’s a clear logical fallacy.

If you want an example of the opposite, how about this one. France was underreporting it’s COVID19 death numbers.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. I think it’s probably closer to being true that there are 10X more cases of Coronavirus than we know about, but I also think it’s probably true that there’s a more deaths happening than we are tracking.

Remember, for the case fatality rate to be 2%, there only needs to be 2 unreported deaths for every 100 unreported COVID19 cases.

So because you have no way to verify the accuracy of the data either way, promoting this narrative is a logic fail.

3. Boomer Remover

“Governments are letting this spread all around the world because it mostly targets old people. They need the older generation to die off because the pension system is bankrupt, it doesn’t affect younger people that much.”

This is one that is more like a conpiracy than the others.

The others are mostly just skeptical theories or contrarian theories.

This conspiracy theory suggests governments had purposefully let borders stay open too long to import cases of COVID19 because it mostly targets older people.

It’s true that most pensions are near bankruptcy, and there’s not enough money to cover the unfunded liabilities of social programs all across the world.

I don’t think we should give any weight to this thinking. The idea that our governments would allow COVID19 to spread to help cleanse the balance sheet is a bit too evil even for eugenics proponents.

Remember, most of the policymakers & the elites of the world are old people.

There’s no vaccine, so they are at risk too. Hence why Boris Johnson is in the ICU right now.

4. Its not that much worse than the flu.

“I’m not saying it’s just like the flu, the death rate is actually 0.5%, which is still 5X higher than the flu, but not dangerous enough to shut everything down.”

Show me the data.

Most of these people are calculating the CFR wrongly. They look at the total number of cases rather than the cases with an outcome to calculate CFR.

For example, let’s take one of the countries that handled this the best as an example, South Korea.

If you looked at the chart below and used 9887 cases and 165 deaths, you’d have a CFR of 1.6%.

However if you look at the resolved cases (where the patient got through the disease and either recovered or died) you get a CFR of 3%.

This 0.5% CFR narrative is a common middle ground theory that I see from people who are trying to focus on why the statist response to take away civil liberties was the wrong response.

These people are not conspiracy theorists, they want to be seen as rational centrists who also recognize something should be done about COVID19.

These people unfortunately end up spreading dangerous disinformation about COVID19, and amplify articles and tweets of skeptics who are higher on the conspiracy theory scale than they are.

These are the people who spread the theory that 50% of people who catch COVID19 will remain asymptomatic.

These people are providing fertile ground for consipracy theorists. If you look at a Twitter timeline of one of these people, you’ll see a lot of responses to their tweets endorsing the narrative that Coronavirus is not that bad, it’s a MSM plot to take away civil liberties, etc.

This one comes back to show me the data as well. Show me the study that proves 50% of people will remain asymptomatic after they get a positive test confirming COVID19 while they have no symptoms at the time of testing.

There isn’t one. If there is, show me.

Until then, I’ve no reason to assume that the majority of these “50% asymptomatic people” won’t eventually develop symptoms within 14 days.

5. The media is fearmongering, there’s more flu deaths!

There’s 200,000 flu deaths every year, why have we never shut anything down before? Don’t believe them, this is a hoax!

This is an interesting one as well. Another case of cherry picking and illogical thinking.

These people trust the data coming from “them” to tell you “they” are lying about COVID19.

Where do these people think the flu stats come from?

The flu stats and the coronavirus stats come from the same sources…

You’ll often hear skeptics say that theres tens of millions so flu cases every year and there’s tens or hundreds of thousands of flu deaths every year, so what’s the big deal about a few thousand coronavirus deaths?

Firstly, they are not understanding exponential growth. We all have become armchair epidemiologists over the past couple of months, and we all know about the reproductivity rate of viruses.

COVID19 has a much higher r-naught than the flu. This is the whole “flatten the curve” mantra that we are all aware of by now, I’m not going to explain that.

I’m going to also take issue with these people spouting the flu numbers like it’s apples to apples facts.

The flu numbers are crude estimates.

A common logic I’m seeing among friends on social media who may not have a bias one way or the other is “there are hundreds of thousands of flu deaths per year, while COVID19 is only in the thousands, why did we shut down for this?”

1) Look at the source of the information.

2) Confirm the information.

3) Relate it properly (apples to apples, not apples to oranges.)

Look at the data yourself.

The CDC has only confirmed 42,510 cases of the flu since Sept 2019 in the USA!

From that data, using modelling, the CDC estimates 24,000 flu deaths in USA. This is based on a crude estimate.

The CDC says right on their website that is “a crude estimate.”

The COVID19 numbers are not crude estimates! COVID19 has already blown past the actual confirmed numbers of the seasonal flu, so this flu argument is already bunk by verifiable fact and data.

Note: Crude estimates in epidemiology & biostatistics are not really rough estimates, but it’s more of a simple calculation like (total cases) / (total population) * (multiplier). There’s not really any statistical regressions or age-standardization.

It’s not meant as a comment on the quality of the data, and it’s not fair to say a crude estimate is a rough estimate – but one thing is for sure, when you compare apples to apples (confirmed cases) COVID19 is already magnitutdes worse than the seasonal flu.

The CDC is saying that this year’s flu is worse than 2009 H1N1 – so we are being hit with both C19 plus a really bad flu season.

Look at the numbers folks, go to the source and don’t fall prey to sensationalism on either side.

6. The hospitals are empty, Coronavirus is an MSM hoax!

If coronavirus is so bad, why are there no lineups at my local hospital? Haven’t you seen the footage of empty NYC hospitals? It’s a hoax!

I’ve been sent videos like this before, which show hospitals in NYC and around the USA with no lineups and no patients.

I found this video was very interesting, and exposed a real truth.

1) I don’t watch ANY mainstream news, mostly I find it’s useless brain poison, it’s balanized left or right. I get my news from independent sources and source material where possible.

2) I wouldn’t be surprised to see MSM lying about everything and fearmongering to sell more ads.

3) This argument is an unforunate false equivalency. Just because MSM is hyperbolic does not mean COVID19 is not a real health threat.

4) USA & Canada have definitely not responded appropriately. The proper response is the South Korea / Singapore method (aggresive testing + contact tracing + radical tranparency with citizens.)

5) This is a real pandemic threat that required drastic action to stop.

I understand this argument more because I’m also skeptical of anything coming from mainstream sources.

It is surprising to see that there are no lines at any of the NYC hospitals.

It’s not surprising to see empty hospitals in other areas in the world where there’s not aggressive local outbreaks.

I’m not surprised to even some empty hopsital waiting rooms in NYC. The message has been “don’t come to the hospital, stay home if you are sick.

Hospitals in Ontario where I live have moved to level 5 and 6 of pandemic response mode, which means elective surgeries cancelled, no visitors, only certain hopsitals will take outpatients, etc.

Traffic is slowed down to hospitals on purpose. They are trying to make sure the people inside of the hospitals for other sicknesses who are most vulnerable to COVID19 don’t catch it.

Cancer patients, newborn babies, elderly people in the hospital – they are the most at risk…so they are trying to prevent it from spreading inside the hopsitals.

The national lockdowns are working to slow the spread of the virus.

We have plenty of confirmation globally that hospitals do get overwhelmed quickly when there’s no strict social distancing in place, or when there’s not aggressive testing to isolate confirmed C19 patients.

So you can hold 3 things in your mind here:

1) This is a real health threat that requires drastic action.

2) MSM is composed of sensationalist talking head establishment shills as always.

3) The response we took was not the best one.

7. They are marking unrelated deaths as COVID19 deaths.

The CDC is recommending hospitals mark COVID19 as the cause of death to inflate the death numbers!

I’ve been sent many articles pushing this narrative that the CDC is recommending hospitals mark unrelated deaths as COVID19 deaths.

This is not new news.

In January, Chinese doctors had to start clinically diagnosing patients because they could not produce test kits fast enough.

There’s clear epidemiological signs of a COVID19 infection, you can diagnose by chest x-ray … it does not need a C19 test if one is not available.

The authors of these articles are promoting disinformation and conspiracy theory. They are making it seem like the CDC guidelines are suggesting “mark anyone who dies of any unrealted death as a C19 death.”

Articles like this are spewing fake news using logical fallacies of both cognitive dissonance AND confirmation bias.

1) This is the proper way to record the deaths. I’m not sure how you can argue against doing it this way. That would be like saying “They said he died due to alcoholism, but cause of death was actually liver failure! They are lying!”

2) As we’ve covered already, the same is true on the other end. Lots of deaths are likely not being reported properly.

8. Pneumonia & flu deaths are being marked as C19 deaths!

The CDC is taking deaths away from flu and pneumonia! They are attributing these deaths to COVID19 to inflate the death numbers!

A contrarian thinker on Twitter posted this variant of a common narrative I’ve been hearing; “X deaths are dropping while C19 deaths are rising.”

His chart is like crack for confirmation bias addicted contrarians, they retweet it and spread it around the internet without doing any critical thinking of their own.

This chart appears to show that pneumonia deaths are being recorded as COVID19 deaths, implying that C19 is really not even outside of the statistical norms.

These folks are usually pushing a narrative that governments are fudging the numbers of COVID19 deaths to create a crisis which unites the population against an invisible enemy to justify the draconian measures they are taking to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Think Patriot Act, war on drugs, war on terrorism, war on hate, war on carbon. “The invisible enemy” argument triggers a lot of independents.

While I sympathize with this line of thinking, I just wish these folks would think a bit deeper about the narrative they are pushing.

Sure, I’ll give it to you that a lot of old people would have died of pneumonia this year related to complications of H1N1, the flu, a bacterial infection, etc.

However, even though reported pneumonia deaths are down from last year, it doesn’t make up for the confirmed deaths of COVID19, nor the potential deaths COVID19 would have caused had we not done anything about it.

This argument is ignoring the data we have now that shows how high the complication rate is, and how deadly it is once you are admitted to the ICU.

So yes, a lot of elderly would have probably died of pneumonia this year, but instead they contracted COVID19 and died because of that…and your point is?

Sure, a significant amount of people with co-morbidities who would have died anyway ended up contracting COVID19 and dying a bit early because of that…and your point is?

A macro investor friend of mine had a great response to one of those 0.5% CFR coronaskeptics on one of my Facebook posts:

“Here’s the truth:

When hospitals get overloaded from coronavirus patients, people with other ailments are also going to die due to the corona virus congestion.

Affected areas in Italy show a 500% increase in overall deaths of any kind in March 2020 compared to March 2019, and only a percentage of that is counted towards corona virus.

The rest of the deaths would be people who die at home, people that have cancer or heart attacks, or get seriously hurt that can’t get treatment, etc.

Think of it this way: If a very massive earthquake hit California and killed 100,000 people due to injuries sustained at the time of the earthquake, that death toll would be inaccurate.

Hundreds of thousands more would likely die from treatable issues over the comings weeks and months.

These additional deaths would be due to lack of functioning hospitals (the ones that survive the earthquake) and over stressed resources of those hospitals, so somebody who needs a transplant or has a heart attack or has been in a car accident, or needs cancer treatment – they end up dying because they can’t be treated.

That’s what’s happening in heavily hit areas with coronavirus.”

Manny is right.

9. 50% of people are asymptomatic so the curve is already flat.

50% of people are asymptomatic, so there’s a significant amount of people who already had COVID19 and got over it without realizing it. They never went to the hospital so they don’t count in the statistics.

This image has been making the rounds on Twitter & telegram.

It’s flawed right from the start. The very first part of this is the most important part. The agenda for spreading this graphic is to show that the CFR is much lower, while not disputing the facts that it’s deadly to those who develop complications.

This one is probably more innocent, but the assumption that 50% of people who contract COVID19 remain asymptomatic is a flawed assumption!

Even now Even now if you google “Iceland Coronavirus” you will get a massive amount of articles quoting the original misinformation that “50% of people are asymptomatic.”

Media sources are parroting this as if it’s real. They are basing this off of a mid March test done in Iceland where only 1% of the tests showed randomly sampled Icelanders were positive with COVID19.

The actual number was 92. 10401 tests, 92 positive. Of that about 50% were asymptomatic at the time of testing.

That’s a tiny sample size of 92 confirmed positives in Iceland. That was nearly a month ago

Dr. Kári Stefánsson, the CEO of the company performing the tests clarified this doesn’t mean that 50% will not develop symptoms.

“Fifty per cent of those that test positive in our screenings of the general population are symptom-free at the time. Many of them get symptoms later,” – Dr. Kári Stefánsson.

We have a mountain of evidence showing that most of the people who test positive end up developing symptoms.

Also, Iceland has up to date data … why are all of these misinformers using the earliest available data from last month instead of the current figures?

Updated numbers show that 5% of tests were positive, and of the cases that have resolved, 1% have died. CFR in Iceland is one of the lowest at 1%.

Nowhere can I see that 50% of the 1586 cases never ended up developing symptoms.

Show me the statistically significant data that contradicts this.

The tiny Italian town of Vo went on a strict statist-style lockdown, did mandatory testing for all 3000 residents. 89 people had C19 and there was 1 death. 3% of people tested positive.

Yes there was a lot of people in the group of 89 who showed no symptoms at the time of testing, but no they did not give figures for whether or not those people eventually developed symptoms.

Twisting the data to imply that 50% of people who contract COVID19 will remain asymptomatic using small sample sizes of 92 people in Iceland and 89 people in Vo is disingenuous.

We have over a million tests now. We have data, stop cherry picking from tiny small sample size data to confirm your bias that C19 has a 10X lower CFR than the mountain of global data shows.

If we get better data that contradicts this, I will accept it and change my mind – until then, show me the statistically significant data.

10. Bonus: 5G rollout is causing COVID19

Really? Do you think the bubonic plague was caused because Portugal had just recently blanketed europe with 1G cellphone service?

I’m not giving this one much more thought than that.

Throughout history there have been coronavirus pandemics, if they were not caused by cell phone signals in the year 500, they are likely not caused by cell phone signals in the year 2020.

COVID19 is currently a footnote in pandemic history, let’s prevent it from becoming a chapter.

Brad Mills

Bitcoin evangelist since 2011, sans labels I’m a value maximalist. If it’s anti-bitcoin, I fight against it | | Magic Internet Money podcast