CLAIM: There is a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 in Northern Ireland dying in a motorcycle collision than being affected by COVID-19.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Data shows that there have been no motorcyclists of Sammy Wilson MP’s age who have died as a result of a motorcycle collision in Northern Ireland, in the past three years. In 2020, there were 157 deaths registered related to COVID-19, of men aged 65–74. At the time of this claim, the probability of being infected by COVID-19 in Northern Ireland was an estimated 1 in 200 (now thought to be 1 in 60).
Continue reading Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?
CLAIM: The last man to attack the US Capitol, prior to the events on 6 January 2021, was a British Army Major General from Northern Ireland, in 1814.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Since the burning of the US Capitol in August 1814, during the War of 1812, there have been four notable further attacks before this year’s incident: Erich Muenter exploded three sticks of dynamite in the US Senate reception room (1915); Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the US House of Representatives visitors’ gallery (1954); the Weather Underground group exploded a bomb (1971); and seven people were arrested for causing an explosion in the US Senate (1983). Continue reading Was British Army General Robert Ross the last man to attack the US Capitol?
CLAIM: COVID-19 is being put on death certificates fraudulently, without a test having been carried out and when the patient died of something else.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. While it is true that not everyone who was suspected of dying from COVID-19 was positively tested, it is legal and not fraudulent for a doctor to rely on their knowledge and belief of the cause of death, including cases where the person showed symptoms of COVID-19. Continue reading Is COVID-19 being put fraudulently on death certificates?
CLAIM: The death rate in Northern Ireland is no higher in 2020 than in previous years.
CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The imprecision of “death rates” and “a bad flu season” makes it difficult to prove or disprove. However, the overall number of deaths registered in the second quarter of 2020 (4,684) is the highest of any second quarter figures recorded in the last ten years. Excess deaths in Northern Ireland have been higher in 2020 than in any of the previous ten years. Continue reading Are death rates no higher this year than in a bad flu season?
CLAIM: The UK Government downgraded COVID-19 from being classified as a high-consequence infectious disease (HCID).
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. COVID-19 was downgraded by the UK Government on 19 March 2020 because it was deemed to be better understood, testing was available, and clinical awareness had risen. Continue reading Was COVID-19 downgraded from being a high-consequence infectious disease?
CLAIM: There is a greater chance of dying in a bus collision than by COVID-19.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The probability of a randomly selected resident of Great Britain dying from January to October 2020, with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate, was over 3,000 times higher than the average probability of dying as a pedestrian in an accident involving a bus or a coach in the same period. Continue reading Is there a greater chance of dying by being hit by a bus than by COVID-19?