‘The daily Covid19 deaths reports, issued by the UK government, are generally misleading and being so misrepresented by the media they amount to little more than a lie.
Each day, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)releases a report titled “Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK deaths in hospital”.
The media then report these numbers as the “daily death toll”, presenting the total as if all these people:
A) Died of Covid19.
B) Died in the preceding 24 hours.
Neither of which is true.
Point A we’ve already covered in great detail. The UK government, like many other national governments, makes no effort whatsoever to distinguish between those who died of the coronavirus and those who died with the coronavirus. Therefore, of the “daily Covid19 deaths”, an unknown number may have died of something else. This is not new information.
Point B is not as widely known: The reported “daily” death toll is NOT a list of those who died that day.
Essentially, the NHS’s daily mortality reports, which are supposed to cover Covid19 deaths over the previous 24 hours, will regularly, and apparently randomly, include data from many other days, going back six weeks or more.
To illustrate this, let’s look at one day in detail: April 10th.
The DHSC report released that day states that 980 people died of Covid19. This was covered in the press as the UK’s “deadliest Covid19 day”.
The Telegraph’s headline announced: “UK death toll jumps 980 in 24 hours in biggest rise yet”.
The Daily Mail reported: “Britain records Europe’s highest single-day death toll: Number of victims jumps by 980”
Sky News went with: “980 tops Spain and Italy’s highest daily number of deaths, which were 961 and 919 respectively.”
But, at the time the report was released, the previous 24 hours had seen just 117 “Covid19 related deaths” according to NHS England, with a further possible 90 coming from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, for a maximum possible total of 204.
The other 776 people included in the report had died at seemingly random points between March 5th and April 8th.
The reported “980 deaths in one day” were, in reality, spread over five weeks.’
Read more: Why you can’t trust the UK’s “daily” Covid19 updates