Senior epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski says the massive drop in influenza cases can be attributed to the fact that many are falsely counted as COVID-19 cases.
Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design at Rockefeller University, warned that “influenza has been renamed largely COVID-19.”
According to CDC figures, the cumulative rate of positive influenza tests from the end of September through the week of December 19 was only 0.2%, down from 8.7% a year earlier.
According to Wittkowski, this is because many influenza infections are incorrectly labeled as coronavirus cases.
“There may be a number of influenza cases included in the ‘suspected COVID-19’ category of people who have symptoms of COVID-19 (for whom the flu symptoms can be confused), but who are not tested for SARS RNA, ”Wittkowski told Just the News.
These patients may “also have SARS RNA in their nose while being infected with influenza, in which case the influenza would be” confirmed “to be COVID-19,” he added.
Wittkowski disputes the idea that masks and social distancing have led to a drop in influenza cases, saying the influenza and COVID-19 viruses are “more similar than people want to recognize.”
“People know everyone is wearing masks and distancing themselves, and so people want to find things that are good about it,” he said.
In places like California and Pennsylvania, where mask wear is most common, COVID-19 cases have continued to skyrocket.
As Just the News notes, “Data indicates that more than nine in 10 Americans in most states regularly wear masks in public; these numbers have been over 80% since the start of the fall. Still, average positive COVID-19 tests have increased nearly seven-fold since the spring peak. “
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