False: COVID-19 is nothing more than a bad seasonal flu.

By: Devika Kandelwal
August 24 2021

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False: COVID-19 is nothing more than a bad seasonal flu.


The Verdict False

Claims made by Dr. Roger Hodkinson are unfounded. COVID-19 is not the same as the seasonal flu.

Claim ID 735e6222

On August 17, a Facebook user shared a video of Dr. Roger Hodkinson, a pathologist who has made a number of false claims about COVID-19. The video carries the caption, "Brilliant video. Brave true doctor." In the video, Hodkinson makes a series of claims about COVID-19, COVID-19 tests, and claims that the pandemic is part of extensive political propaganda. The video has amassed over 356.7k views. One of Hodkinson's claims is that COVID-19 is "nothing more than a bad seasonal flu with slightly increased risk for older people with co-morbidities." Hodkinson is not the first person to allege this, even though this claim has been debunked repeatedly since the start of the pandemic. As Professor Andrew Pekosz of Johns Hopkins University has said, "It can be hard to differentiate the two based on symptoms alone. But large numbers of susceptible people and increased rates of severe disease and death set COVID-19 apart from seasonal influenza." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus is caused by a different virus from the flu; SARS-CoV-2 is more infectious and can cause more severe illness. Also in the video, Hodkinson questions the validity of PCR tests. He claims that "more than anything, this is a pandemic of fear; fear that was intentionally driven by two major factors, the notorious PCR test and the viciously effective silencing of any counter-narrative." He adds that the "PCR test creates over 95 percent of false positives in perfectly well people" and "these false positives are called cases." According to a fact check done by TheJournal.ie, the 97 percent (or 95 percent) figure for false positives comes from not understanding how PCR tests work. Dr. Cillian de Gascun, the director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory at UCD, told TheJournal.ie that the true false-positive rate is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent. PCR tests are highly recognized in the scientific community. As Dr. Cillian de Gascun has said, "the scientific consensus is that PCR tests are the best option for public health screening right now." Hodkinson also questions the effectiveness of masks, social distancing, and lockdowns. He says that none of these measures work, and the only measures worth persuing are Vitamin D and following early treatment with Dr. Peter McCullough's protocol. But masks, social distancing, and lockdowns have all been proven to work. The scientific community has also discredited McCullough's protocol for COVID-19 treatment. McCullough has claimed that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment in the very earliest stages of infection when used with Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and a cocktail of other drugs, even though there is no evidence for this. In a tweet, Alberta Health Services (the health authority in Alberta in Canada) clarified that Hodkinson “has no formal affiliation” with the health authorities. The Alberta Medical Association also tweeted that “the Alberta Section of Laboratory Physicians does not share any of the views of the individual in question.” The Alberta Medical Association added that it “endorses the use of masks, hand washing and physical distancing along with all other public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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