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The United Kingdom (U.K.) Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it changed how excess deaths are calculated.

Using the new method, the office reported nearly two-thirds fewer excess deaths for 2023 compared to the number of excess deaths the office had previously calculated, using the old method.

ONS said the changes accounted for “trends and population size, ageing and mortality” and the removal of data from weeks and months “that were substantially affected by the immediate mortality impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Comedian Russell Brand, internet lecturer John Campbell, Ph.D., and other commentators and experts weighed in on the controversial change, announced Feb. 20 on X (formerly known as Twitter) by an ONS spokesperson:

Campbell in a Feb. 23 podcast showed that for week 21, 2023, the U.K. listed 1,066 excess deaths using the previous method, but only 662 excess deaths after recalculating using the new method.

He showed similar adjustments for other weekly death statistics, including several weeks where the new calculation made it appear that fewer people died than was expected.

“I suspect the politicians or the government are going to be really pleased with this,” he said. “I hope you are reassured by the ‘transparency.’”

Campbell noted that statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development show higher numbers of excess deaths in the U.K. than ONS — particularly from heart, cerebrovascular, respiratory and liver diseases.

“If you can control the information, of course you control the narrative,” he said.

According to OffGuardian, ONS could be “attempting to stall the appearance of Covid ‘vaccine’ harms by re-jigging the number of excess deaths downwards … hiding potential vaccine-related deaths by re-labelling them ‘expected.’”

Brand, in a Feb. 23 clip posted on X shared a similar take, saying the ONS video was purposefully following the censorship-industrial-complex playbook for “pre-bunking, debunking …[and] muddying the waters” to hide excess deaths from the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’ve just had the biggest COVID study in history,” he said. “It’s revealed myocarditis, pericarditis,” so the ONS “alter[ed] maths itself” to “mitigate this information [and] dampen down the outrage of a global population.”

New ONS model expands ‘expected’ death numbers to hide actual excess

Excess death counts in the U.K. formerly were based on a straightforward five-year rolling average of registered deaths, but now rely on “a highly complex multi-faceted model,” according to OffGuardian.

But even the “previous” method used by ONS “totally removed the ‘Covid’ years from the modeling while the ‘new method’ only excludes a few months or weeks of 2020,” OffGuardian wrote.

OffGuardian also noted the new method “massively reduced excess mortality in 2019,” saying the change makes the pandemic look “more dramatic.”

Dr. Clare Craig, co-chair of the HART group and author of “Expired: COVID, the Untold Story,” explained in a tweet how the new ONS calculation incorporates increases in mortality into the model, thereby inflating the baseline of expected deaths.

“Deaths increase and the ONS then expects death to increase,” she said. “This circularity could provide the perfect way to hide a problem.”

“The ONS just became the sole arbiter of truth,” Craig wrote in another tweet.

Craig posted a thread on X exploring the trends of excess deaths, showing the discrepancy for various U.K. age groups between data from the ONS and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID):

Campbell highlighted the 2022 data showing over 39,000 people in England died prematurely of cardiovascular conditions, heart attacks, coronary heart disease and strokes — an average of 750 a week — the highest total since 2008.

“Could there be something particular generating this trend?” he asked.

Showing the following “fairly obvious and self-explanatory” image of the complicated new calculations from ONS, Campbell said, “This needs a better explanation,” and called for the agency to provide further clarification.

Credit: The U.K. Office for National Statistics

Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, and Dr. Tom Jefferson, senior associate tutor at the University of Oxford, wrote that “something’s fishy” about the “confusing and complex” ONS model — especially given that the 2020 excess death numbers, which were the “main drivers of lockdown,” have since been revised downward.

“Where was the urgent need to fix the data then?” they asked, adding, “Only a clear explanation will exorcise the ghost of misgovernment.”

Heneghan and Jefferson noted that the raw death numbers showed that since the pandemic, deaths have remained high — more than 650,000 annually across the U.K., compared with just 550,000 in 2011.

“Changes to the size, age or gender of the population seem unlikely to explain an increase in 100,000 deaths over this period,” they wrote. “Yet the Government appears to lack any appetite for investigating the root causes.”

The authors were referring to the U.K. government’s decision on Jan. 10 to postpone its inquiry into the COVID-19 vaccines until after the elections.

Parodying the ONS spokesperson’s statement that “It’s important to note these are estimates of excess deaths — just that, estimates,” Brand said, “It’s just an estimate. It’s just your grandma. It’s just your freedom. It’s just democracy. It’s just the ability to think and communicate online.”