Did a funeral director from Milton Keynes, England, make a case that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax, or that it is caused by the COVID-19 vaccine? No, that's not true: John O'Looney's conspiracy theories defy logic and are readily dismissed with publicly available information.
His interview, dated September 16, 2021, has been mirrored on many video platforms. One example was a video posted to Facebook as if livestreamed (it wasn't) on September 20, 2021. It appeared on a page called "Hot News American" that is listed as a gaming video creator (it isn't). It was captioned:
ғᴜɴᴇʀᴀʟ ᴅɪʀᴇᴄᴛᴏʀ ᴊᴏʜɴ ᴏ'ʟᴏᴏɴᴇʏ ʙʟᴏᴡs ᴛʜᴇ ᴡʜɪsᴛʟᴇ ᴏɴ ᴄᴏᴠ𝟷ᴅ. ᴍᴜsᴛ ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜ!!! ᴅᴇʟᴛᴀ ɪs ᴛʜᴇ ᴠ@ᴄᴄɪɴᴇ
Claim: The NHS recognizes the delta variant as a vaccine injury
At 19:36 in the video O'Looney says the delta variant is widely recognized within the NHS (the United Kingdom's National Health Service) as a vaccine injury, not a virus. This is not true. The delta variant B.1.617 genome originated in India in October 2020 and predates the public rollout of COVID vaccines that began in the U.K. on December 8, 2020. Many unvaccinated people have contracted the delta variant, which defies the assertion that it's a vaccine injury. The NHS says:
Anyone who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill or have long-term effects (long COVID). The COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others.
Research has shown the vaccines help:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
- protect against COVID-19 variants
We weren't being told the truth. I said to people, 'I bet the death rate soars in January when they begin vaccinating.' And everybody laughed at me. They said, 'No don't be so stupid, you're mad.' And we came back to work on the 2nd and on the 6th they began vaccinating -- and the death rate was extraordinary. I've never seen anything like it as a funeral director in 15 years and neither has anyone else I've spoken to. And it began exactly when they began putting needles in arms.
That was the recognised second wave, that went on about 12 weeks and finished abruptly the second week of April.
So far in England and Wales, there have been two periods during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when weekly and monthly registrations of deaths from all causes were consistently higher than the five-year average - also known as 'excess deaths.'
Using weekly data, the first period was from the week ending 20 March to the week ending 12 June 2020 and the second was from the week ending 11 September 2020 to the week ending 5 March 2021. Using monthly data, the periods above average were from March to July 2020 and then from September 2020 to March 2021.
Excess deaths are the clearest way to compare the likely impact of the pandemic over time, because a substantial number of non-COVID-19 excess deaths were recorded early in the pandemic, in March and April 2020. One reason for excess deaths could be that COVID-19 was undiagnosed.