Top epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski says that the massive drop in influenza cases can be attributed to the fact that many are being falsely counted as COVID-19 cases.
Wittkowski, former Head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design at Rockefeller University, cautioned that, “Influenza has been renamed COVID-19 in large part.”
According to CDC figures, the cumulative positive influenza test rate from late September into the week of December 19th was just 0.2%, compared to 8.7% from a year before.
According to Wittkowski, this is because many flu infections are being incorrectly labeled as coronavirus cases.
“There may be quite a number of influenza cases included in the ‘presumed COVID-19’ category of people who have COVID-19 symptoms (which Influenza symptoms can be mistaken for), but are not tested for SARS RNA,” Wittkowski told Just the News.
Those patients may “also may have some SARS RNA sitting in their nose while being infected with Influenza, in which case the influenza would be ‘confirmed’ to be COVID-19,” he added.
Wittkowski challenges the notion that masks and social distancing have resulted in a drop in flu cases, asserting that flu and COVID-19 viruses are “more similar than people want to acknowledge.”
“People know everybody is wearing masks and distancing, and so people want to come up with things that are good about it,” he said.
In places like California and Pennsylvania where mask wearing is most common, COVID-19 cases have continued to skyrocket.
As Just the News notes, “Data indicate that more than nine out of every 10 Americans in most states are wearing masks in public regularly; those numbers have been above 80% since the early fall. Yet average positive COVID-19 tests have multiplied by nearly seven times since the spring peak.”