Trusting coronavirus statistics: Iran edition

Here’s the problem. Iran has a reported 95 coronavirus cases with 16 deaths. Countries all around Iran have alos come down with the virus, enough to suggest that of those 95, half have gone elsewhere.

Then there is this:

Iran’s deputy health minister and an MP have both tested positive for the new coronavirus, as it struggles to contain an outbreak that has killed 15.

The country is one of three hot-spots outside China causing concern that the virus could be becoming a pandemic.

The deputy minister, Iraj Harirchi, on Monday denied covering up the scale of the outbreak. He appeared in physical discomfort as he spoke to reporters.

What are the odds of this kind of spread with just 65 reported cases?

You can’t trust virus statistics from autocratic regimes.

For that matter, with only five US cities doing 400 tests, you’ve got to wonder about democracies too.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. You can’t trust virus statistics from autocratic regimes.

    but so far these regimes are the only ones reporting large number of cases
    what are the odds of corona only spreads to autocratic regimes? maybe democratic regimes are not reporting cases at all
    or maybe the virus is intentionally spread to countries with autocratic regimes

      • South Korea has performed more than 20,000 tests. Apparently 30 countries and most 🇺🇸 states received dud test kits (all those stats are from a zerohedge article I read a few days ago or from Chris Martenson’s peakprosperity daily YouTube updates).

        I’m not letting the US of the hook, I think their response had been abysmal, but if you have dud test kits it does make things hard. No idea which 30 countries got faulty test kits and if it has now been rectified.

          • you must be young so you don’t remember all the coups, assassinations, protests, mass imprisonment, … an autocratic military regime doesn’t give up on power so easily and it takes more than 25 years for a country to become a real democracy
            look at us, century after and we still feel weights of an overseas deep state power

        • Yeah I’m pretty confident something dubious is going on too. Apparently Kassem Soleimani’s replacement is also infected.

          Several governments are being way to nonchalant about the whole thing, almost as if they know things will be fine. Making the appropriate noises, but way too half hearted.

          Several other governments, oddly those not aligned with the US presidency mostly, seem to be in the exact opposite place with vast numbers of people getting infected.

          I would definitely not put it past the US presidency to have access to targeted bio weapons. Also too many people who would be likely to be in the know are not panicking. Or making noises like they are panicking, but not doing all that much.

  2. “Iran’s deputy health minister and an MP have both tested positive”. Have they? Or will they appear next week, Lazarus-like, proclaiming “I’m cured! See. Nothing to get worried about”

    • The photos suggested Iranian deputy health minister was unwell. Looked more like unintended comedy like Iraqi info minister saying nothing to see here with a US tank rolling past. And as per China the wave of infection along human networks is outdistancing the statistics and official response. That infectious period before symptoms is long enough to make it very difficult to combat. I think the West will discover the difficulties the Chinese faced even with the advantage of knowing it was coming. And vaccine moving remarkably fast … human trials in 6 weeks … but will not make a difference next few months.

  3. A friend was just telling me about his dad today. Started with a sore throat, then a cough which got worse, lost voice and struggling to talk, now having trouble breathing and wheezing. Doctor said to go to hospital to get tested, hospital checked him briefly and sent him home and said to come back if symptoms get worse. No test for Coronavirus and no statistics to report. This is how it is playing out, their plan is to let it burn through the population by the looks of it.

  4. ContrarianMEMBER

    I’m putting a small bet on that the coronavirus spreading in the middle East is a different strain to the Chinese one that seems to be more viralant.

  5. Just got back from Europe. Of the 6 countries I visited, Italy were the only ones with hand held scanners measuring the forehead temps of every single arrival. This was on Feb 9. Even coming back to Aus there were no measures other than ‘have you or anyone you’ve been in contact with had a fever or flu like symptoms?’.

  6. scottb1978MEMBER

    Knowing what they are like I wouldn’t be surprised to find out at some stage that ccp have been busy spending their time finding creative ways to get people with the virus into highly populated or strategic western locations. Especially where they know the testing isn’t happening or lax….. and why not… the downside for them is zero and the upside is massive..

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Log in now