Lichfield’s MP says data on deaths from non-coronavirus causes should be published to put current Covid figures in context.

Michael Fabricant. Picture: UK Parliament

Michael Fabricant made his comments ahead of an expected end to many of the restrictions put in place during the pandemic.

The Conservative MP said additional figures could create greater clarity for the public on why decisions were being made.

“While it is still important to abide by social distancing, data from Public Health England shows that the UK Vaccine Programme has been a success.

“The latest data shows that in Staffordshire – and reflected elsewhere – for the last 12 out of 13 weeks for which data is available, the number of deaths has been substantially lower than the five year average before Covid.

“Fewer people are dying than normal, so while I understand that the Government does not want to stop publishing daily Covid death and infection rates because people may think it is hiding something, I have suggested to the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, that deaths through other causes should be published too to put this all in context.

“It would be helpful if the public had a better idea of the context of the daily death rate.”

Michael Fabricant MP

Mr Fabricant said he hoped Covid would eventually be able to be viewed as “an unpleasant illness and not necessarily a killer”.

“Every day people die from communicable diseases like viral pneumonia and influenza and we take it as a fact of life – or death.

“When 400 years ago the Spanish Conquistadors invaded South America, they killed more native Americans through disease than by conquest. 

“Illnesses like measles were killers because natives had built up no resistance to this ‘new’ disease.  This is similar to today. 

“The Covid vaccines are building up our antibody and T-cell resistance so I hope that in the months to come, catching Covid will become at worst an unpleasant illness like measles and not necessarily a killer.”

Michael Fabricant MP

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10 Comments

  1. What we really need is investigation into Long Covid. There is this myth, pedalled by Conservatives who care more about money than health, that if Covid doesn’t kill you then you get better and carry on. For large numbers of people that has not been the case, and will continue to not be the case. I worry what damage we are going to do to a generation of children as we let Covid run through the schools because most of the adults are now vaccinated.

  2. Good idea. Feel the numbers we are given just frighten people. Certainly would be interesting to know how many people died of flu last winter.

  3. He is a total idiot- these figures are freely available via the ONS website, updated on a weekly / monthly basis

  4. The comparison to colonial South America is astonishing.

    The basic statements that the conquistadors killed more Native Americans through disease, and that illnesses were killers because of a lack of resistance is accurate enough – though smallpox was the primary killer, not measles.

    The statement ‘this is similar to today’, however, is profoundly problematic. In 1520, smallpox is estimated to have wiped out 40% of the population of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in a single year. McNeill estimates that the indigenous populations of Mexico and Peru fell by c.90% within 120 years of first contact. These impacts continued for centuries after initial contact. In 1837, a smallpox epidemic broke out among the Mandan in the USA’s high plains; in a matter of weeks they were reduced from a population of c.2000 t0 only 30-40 survivors. The consequence of the transmission of smallpox was the near-destruction of indigenous states and cultures across much of the Western Hemisphere, and their replacement with European colonial societies and post-colonial societies.

    That’s really not a ‘similar’ situation.

  5. Yes , let’s hide the figures in spurious unrelated data to disguise the mess. Why not publish our figures alongside all other similar countries to show just how hopeless this has been

  6. Comparing Covid death figures of different countries is not as simple as taking all the published numbers and looking which is bigger or smaller. Not all countries record the data in the same way. Comparison is possible but it has to be done with knowledge of exactly what each country’s numbers represent. See for example https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/52311014 it’s an old article but illustrates the issue.

  7. We need a yardstick to assess the state of the disease but raw statistics are not that informative. There are too many variables and questions about reliability of data. Also, sadly, there has been a political circus surrounding it with questionable decisions having been made.
    The annual death rate is more reliable as it is document backed. Some aspects of the virus epidemic are offset by others as the shutdowns and hygiene protection has lessened other infections. These, of course, are only statistics and tell little of the true story. The government mandated public freedoms and employment. This has had serious consequences for many people’s lives and prospects. We have been saved by science and the NHS. Two aspects for which we can all be grateful.

  8. It would suit the Tory agenda to try and downplay the seriousness of COVID by comparing it to other diseases. To draw similarities to what happened in the sixteenth century is frankly ridiculous. And to claim that we accept deaths from other diseases as a fact of life is deeply insulting. Perhaps the pandemic could have taught us the value of better infection control, which could help reduce deaths from other diseases. As has been pointed out, the data he alludes to is already freely available, so just exactly what is his point?

  9. How about the number of deaths due the backlog of NHS patients awaiting treatment, not just because of covid but the decimation of the NHS by the Tories since they have been in power so it’s cheaper to sell off to private firms.

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