For years, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been citing an annual estimate of 36,000 deaths from flu. That figure has been used to justify mandatory flu vaccination for children and has been parroted the world over by news organizations that never question its validity. Last week the CDC released new figures: rather than 36,000, the three-decade average is actually 23,607 deaths, a full one-third fewer people than previously cited.
But even these new figures are actually fabricated and false. The CDC has always used a mathematical estimate based on an assumption that if a death certificate had “respiratory or circulatory disease” listed as a cause of death, then it should be counted as a “flu-related” death! The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons has been highly critical of the CDC’s methodology.
A closer examination of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) figures shows that in 2001, there were only 257 deaths directly attributable to flu, and in only eighteen cases was the flu virus positively identified. Between 1979 and 2002, NCHS data show an average of 1,348 actual flu deaths per year—a mere 5.7% of the “new and improved” estimate.