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Liberating your thought process

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

We have spent the last two years hanging on every word of some prominent Washingtonians, particularly one Dr. Fauci. Life is more than the one-dimensional world of such people.

Since Fauci came on the scene, some have planned their entire life around his pronouncements. No one human is as omniscient as people credit this person to be.

There is a smart way to approach data which enters our lives and there is a dumb way. The smart way is to consider data provided by Fauci as you would any other data and assess this with comparative numbers.

Let’s look at 2020. There is more data available for 2020 than for the recently completed 2021. Checking with the CDC, there were 345,000 COVID-19 deaths in 2020. But there were 690,000 deaths from heart disease and 598,000 deaths from cancer.

Did you hear as much about heart disease or cancer in 2020 as you did about COVID-19? Of course not, these were not headline worthy – they happen every year.

We depend on the American Heart Association, St. Jude or the American Cancer Society to bring our attention to them, and they are not as good at headline grabbing as Fauci.

What came in fourth after the Big 3? Unintentional injuries at 192,176.

In other words, just by operating in a safer fashion we could reduce these deaths – no new “vaccine” required. And, since 2015, unintentional injuries have risen by a third. We are becoming significantly less safe.

What mortality statistic has stayed nearly level over these five years? Suicides. Evidently, we are making headway in suicide prevention.

All the above statistics are total raw numbers and do not reflect population growth. I picked mortality for the example above for the COVID-19 issue has crowded out other headlines, nearly every day.

Another area that gets a lot of attention is electrical production. Let’s look at the 2020 data as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. What was the largest source of fuel used for energy production in 2020? Natural gas at 40%. Coal was 19%. Nuclear was 20% and renewables were 20%.

Petroleum (primarily diesel) was 1%. Yet, if you believe the headlines, we are choking to death on coal stack emissions (which, by the way, have been highly regulated and cleaned up for decades).

The European Union, presently, is considering re-classifying natural gas and nuclear as clean fuels for electrical production. Should this reclassification, which is a political call, not a scientific one, be applied to U.S. electrical production, only 20% (coal and petroleum) would be considered fuels of emissions concern in the United States.

Far different than the headlines. By the way, energy headlines are nearly always political. When you read a headline on any subject, before you go off the deep end and turn into a panic-stricken, miserable soul, do a little investigation.

You might find it mentally liberating, leaving you with time to think about more pleasant and important matters instead of obsessing over Chicken Little pronouncements.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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