Just 113 COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic?

CLAIM: There have been just 113 COVID-19 deaths in all.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. At face value, the figure is contradicted by other evidence and ignores or misunderstands comorbidity and causes of death. Data shows that by the end of September 2020, COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death for 808 deaths (89.6%) of the 902 COVID-19-related deaths registered.  Continue reading Just 113 COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic?

Seasonal flu and COVID

In the afternoon briefing on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, commented that the COVID-19 restrictions have “most certainly also had an impact on other viruses that we normally see at this time of year” (7:17 from start).

Dr McBride added: “This winter, as yet, there have been no outbreaks of flu; no outbreaks of norovirus, the winter vomiting bug; and no outbreaks of RSV, the respiratory illness that affects our children so badly each winter …” Continue reading Seasonal flu and COVID

Was Belfast the sixth highest in murder rate for a European city in 2010?

CLAIM: The murder rate in Belfast was sixth highest in a list of cities in Europe (according to 2010 data).

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Available data shows other cities with higher homicide rates. Data for some other cities was not and is not published. By any reasonable definition, homicide rates in Belfast are not among the highest in Europe today. Continue reading Was Belfast the sixth highest in murder rate for a European city in 2010?

Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?

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?

Was British Army General Robert Ross the last man to attack the US Capitol?

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?