Maajid Nawaz accuses media of misguiding UK on Covid death count

2 May 2020, 15:54

By Seán Hickey

Media coverage of the UK's coronavirus death count is misleading and needs to be separated from the death rate.

Maajid Nawaz was explaining that although the UK's death toll is reported as being high, it does not reflect how bad the UK's death rate, yet the media are covering the two as the same thing.

He began his argument reading the headline of an article stating that the UK's death toll is now the third highest in the world. Maajid argued that the "death toll doesn't mean anything and it doesn't tell us what we need to know."

"A death count is a simple tally of how many people died" he added, sharing that a simple number is not reflecting what the general public are assuming the death toll is. He went on to use two scenarios – one where the UK has 10 people affected by coronavirus and one where the UK has 1 million people affected and in both scenarios five people die.

Maajid said that the death toll in these two scenarios are equal, but the death rate of the scenario where 10 people are affected is much worse. "It's a death rate of 50% which is really bad".

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"A simple and straightforward tally is not only crude but it is incredibly misleading" Maajid concluded. He added that even if we were to have a clear debate without any political prejudice there are still many moving parts that can influence

"The death rate we can only determine if we know how many people have been infected in the first place" Maajid said, stating that you could never accurately know how many people have died from Covid-19 and thus won't get an accurate number on death rate.

Maajid concluded by urging the British media to "stop confusing death count with death rate, it is so illiterate and it is panicking the population".

"Panic doesn't lead to anything good" Maajid warned, not wanting to hazard a guess on what the UK could be facing in a mass panic.