Two surveys conducted at the onset of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year showed that the average French citizen grossly overestimates the infection to fatality ratio (IFR) of the disease. These surveys were the highlights of a recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology last February.

The study authors conducted two surveys between March and April 2020 – the first one two weeks after lockdowns were implemented in France and the second one two weeks before the lockdowns ended.

The first survey’s 1,005 respondents believed the IFR for COVID-19 was at 16.46 percent. Meanwhile, the second survey with 1,004 respondents reported a slightly lower IFR for COVID-19 at 16.1 percent.

Former Google software engineer Mike Hearn, who now writes for the Daily Sceptic, discussed the findings in a Nov. 15 piece. He explained that while the French perceived COVID-19’s IFR as higher than 16 percent, the actual risk of dying from the disease is only around 0.1 to 0.3 percent.

The findings show how governments and media outlets “have catastrophically failed to educate the population about COVID correctly.”

“If you previously believed that you had a 16 percent chance of dying if you got COVID, you were very likely to rush to [the] hospital immediately on presentation of more or less any COVID-like symptoms,” said Hearn.

Hearn also said that while the study was published earlier in 2021, the French population’s understanding of COVID-19’s severity has worsened over time.

The software engineer was also critical of COVID-19 vaccines. “If you now believe that the vaccine reduces this risk to negligible levels, then you’re very unlikely to bother – unless you become quite seriously sick indeed. To do so would effectively be a repudiation of the advice of government, scientific and medical authority,” Hearn said, adding that “the vaccinated are self-selecting for strong faith in scientific claims by authority figures.”

Countries overestimate COVID-19 mortality

A separate poll done in six other countries revealed the same overinflated death count from COVID-19. Strategic communications firm Kekst CNC conducted the survey in four waves between March 30 and July 15, 2020.

The results for the company’s six-nation poll – Germany, France, the U.K., the U.S., Sweden and Japan – were released on July 27, 2020. 

The Kekst CNC poll found that the average American believed nine percent of the population – around 30 million people – died of COVID-19. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures from the time of the survey revealed that the actual deaths only amounted to less than 155,000.

It also found that Swedes and Britons similarly overestimated the number of COVID-19 deaths in their respective countries. Respondents in Sweden believed that six percent of their population died of the disease, a guess a hundredfold higher than the actual numbers from the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

British respondents thought seven percent of the population succumbed to COVID-19. The estimate was also a hundred times higher than the actual number recorded by Public Health England, before its dissolution in October 2021.

Kekst CNC also reported similar results in its French survey. Respondents in France estimated that five percent of the country’s population died of COVID-19, which is a hundred times the number of confirmed deaths as per the French National Public Health Agency.

German respondents, meanwhile, estimated that three percent of Germany’s population died of COVID-19. However, this three percent estimate is 300 times more than the number of COVID deaths recorded by the Robert Koch Institute – the country’s public health agency.

Government, mainstream media sow fear

Summit News owner and editor Paul Joseph Watson pointed out the role played by governments and mainstream media in sowing fear among populations. He said that the Kekst CNC survey “highlights once again how media alarmism surrounding the spread and lethality of the virus has caused many people to become hysterical and overly paranoid about COVID-19.”

According to Watson, the mainstream media’s “scaremongering coverage” of the pandemic is partly to blame for innumerable incidents. Such incidents involve aggressive confrontations and violent attacks in some cases on people who do not wear a face mask or observe social distancing.

He echoed the same sentiment about the February study. Watson said the results of the two polls conducted for the study line up with attitudes in many countries where “government fear-mongering has resulted in people believing [COVID-19] to be far deadlier than it actually is.” 

“The fact that people are so ruthlessly vehement about demanding everyone follow mask and social distancing mandates is explained by this totally out-of-proportion fear of COVID. It has been largely driven by the weaponization of behavioral psychology, along with unethical and totalitarian fear-mongering.”

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