General Question

seawulf575's avatar

What could explain these increases?

Asked by seawulf575 (16659points) February 4th, 2022

Sen Ron Johnson sent a letter to Sect of Defense Austin asking him to explain information that came from a database run by the military. It showed huge increases in all sorts of diseases:

Hypertension – 2,181% increase
Diseases of the nervous system – 1,048% increase
Malignant neoplasms of esophagus – 894% increase
Multiple sclerosis – 680% increase
Malignant neoplasms of digestive organs – 624% increase
Guillain-Barre syndrome – 551% increase
Breast cancer – 487% increase
Demyelinating – 487% increase
Malignant neoplasms of thyroid and other endocrine glands – 474% increase
Female infertility – 472% increase
Pulmonary embolism – 468% increase
Migraines – 452% increase
Ovarian dysfunction – 437% increase
Testicular cancer – 369% increase
Tachycardia – 302% increase

These numbers are the increase in 2021 from the previous 5 year average (2016–2020) from military personnel. This information was brought forward by whistleblowers. What are the potential causes for these increases?

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35 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I have no idea, and neither do you.

I have two guesses:

1) better health care diagnostic tools will generally tend to identify more diseases. If better trained medical staff and better equpment is used, it will find more potential issues.

2) As has been discussed in other questions, statistics are in herently suspect. Take Guillian Barre syndrome. It’s pretty rare in general. So a 551% increase could mean that the raw number of people went from 100 to 155. Percentages themselves are not useful – raw numbers are.

Or is your thesis that a democratic president in some way is causing disease in people?

HP's avatar

My bet would be environmental factors combined with the current stresses of modern living. As individuals, we are blissfully ignorant of the chemical load we carry. Like the world itself, we are not going to escape the consequences. There is also the likelihood that it is those less privileged and therefore most susceptible to both stress and severe damage from contaminants who find themselves forced into the military for economic reasons.

rebbel's avatar

The increased amount of whistle-blowers, apparently, is also quite significant: 200% ~
-
I go with @elbanditoroso‘s answer, of more diagnostic tools, and raw numbers.

ragingloli's avatar

Probably increased regular doctor visits as a result of the pandemic.

ragingloli's avatar

@elbanditoroso
Johnson is blaming the vaccine for the increase of all of these diseases. Just more antivaxx conspiracy nonsense.

ragingloli's avatar

Also funny how republicans have always been hellbent on prosecuting whistleblowers and smearing them as traitors, but now when they play into their narrative, they call them “brave”.
The hypocrisy.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Maybe Red Hill in Hawaii and other military screw-ups that put soldiers and family lives in peril.

JLoon's avatar

It’s already been explained:

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/jan/31/instagram-posts/numbers-were-based-faulty-data-military-spokespers/#sources

https://leadstories.com/hoax-alert/2022/02/fact-check-dod-whistleblowers-mind-blowing-covid-vaccine-injury-numbers-were-not-based-on-accurate-data.html

“Armed Forces Surveillance Division discovered that the total number of medical diagnoses from 2016–2020 that were accessible in DMED represented only a small fraction of actual medical diagnoses for those years.

“In contrast, the 2021 total number of medical diagnoses were up to date in DMED. Comparison of 2021 to 2016–2020 resulted in the appearance of significant increased occurrence of all medical diagnoses in 2021 because of the under reported data for 2016–2020.”

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JLoon thanks for finding that. Makes good sense. And my initial instinct was correct.

As 2016–2020 were the Trump regime, it makes me wonder if the under-reporting was due to Trump wanting to hide something.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

So @JLoon the anti-vaxxers are using “fake news” to support their view !

ONCE AGAIN !

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

My guess is more accurate reporting of diseases.

JLeslie's avatar

No numbers provided! I don’t care about a percentage if I don’t have the numbers showing how the percentages were derived.

Are more people in the military than the previous years? That would be my first question. Did they change how they record these things? Are more retirees using DoD? Are they counting the VA in this? I would guess someone in the military will respond to this, so let’s wait and hear it.

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Inspired_2write's avatar

My guess is that most increases in Cancer are due to more people drinking more often durning the Pandemic.

Most Wine’s have cancer causing agents as well as BBQ’s ( some)

Plus make -up and other products which have cancer causing ingredients.

Not to mention air bourne chemicals at Golf Courses, and or other plants etc

JLeslie's avatar

I just noticed @JLoon posted the explanation. So, in other words, if you want to make this political, during the Trump years the reporting was sub-par. I doubt it had to do with Trump, but hey, if we are going to talk in political terms why not point it out.

Plus, probably the US population is going to have greater incidences of cancer and other typically older age illness per capita, because our population is getting older, including military retirees if they are in these statistics.

gondwanalon's avatar

It’s not a crazy idea that these increases in disease are related to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in particular and the Covid-19 pandemic in general.

JLoon's avatar

@gondwanalon – Except when facts tell you otherwise.

But if crazy is your favorite color paint your own house – just not the neighbors’.

flutherother's avatar

If this were true the average American military base would resemble a care home for the terminally ill. It is nonsense and part of Ron Johnson’s re election campaign.

seawulf575's avatar

It is an interesting exercise, isn’t it? Is it possible the vaccine caused a huge increase? Sure. Is it possible the data in the DMED was incomplete for year after year? Sure. Could it be new diagnostic tools or better medical staff? Sure. Could it be just a slant of numbers? Yep. Could it be cherry-picked data? Of course. Could it be some combination of any and all of these? I believe so.

There are a few I tend to get rid of right off the bat. The New Diagnostic Tools or better medical staff seems suspect to me. There have been no great developments in new diagnostics that cover all the various issues that were brought forth. One, maybe two at most but all of them? Nah, I have a hard time with that. And the brightest and best doctors do not go into the military in great numbers. So to believe they suddenly did in 2021 when the rest of the world is looking for medical personnel seems unrealistic to me.

Another is the idea that the DMED data was incomplete for years and then, suddenly for no apparent purpose, they started keeping complete records. This seems suspect to me because the answer would be too easy to show: the investigation that the DoD did to identify the weakness and the actions to correct them. The idea that the data was flawed for years didn’t get floated until this evaluation was brought forth (about the increases). No explanation has yet been given as to why they suddenly corrected things, what made them look at it, or why they haven’t gone back to correct that past data.

On the other side, one of the things that Sen Johnson put out was the idea that there are now 863,000 military personnel with neurological problems now. This seems suspect because in 2020 there were only 2,395,993 service members combined in all branches of the military. So that would mean 37% of our service men and women have neurological disorders. That seems extremely hard to believe.

My take is that there is some middle ground on this data that we aren’t seeing. I absolutely do believe there are increases in disease and death due to the vaccines. The VAERS database shows a ridiculously high number of adverse reactions due to the vaccines. And since there were no long-term studies done with these vaccines, it is entirely conceivable that there are aspects that didn’t make it to VAERS. Not to mention the report from an Indiana Insurance Company that shows a 40% increase in pre-pandemic deaths and that the majority of those are not classified as Covid deaths. So something is causing extra deaths. But I believe neither side (right or left) is being completely honest about their claims Until we get some honesty from all angles (the government, the media, etc) we won’t be able to get the real story.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
jca2's avatar

Guillain Barre Syndrome is one of the side effects of Covid. I am guessing the increase in percentages of people with Guillain Barre (aka GBS) is due to the Covid outbreak.

The singer Christopher Cross (from 80’s fame, “Sailing” and “Ride like the Wind”) was featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show about a year ago, because he contracted GBS after getting Covid. They did a feature on him and on the disease, and people getting it due to Covid.

GBS is of special interest to me because I had it about 13 years ago, and spent a month in the hospital getting treatment and extensive physical rehab. It is a rare disease but it can be deadly.

So that explains the numbers for GBS.

JLoon's avatar

@seawulf575 – You evidently did not ask this question in good faith, or with any sincere intent to accept facts which do not fit your own obvious anti-vax bais.

You have done this repeatedly and I’m tired of seeing you continue to misuse this forum, and waste the time of members like me who try offer reliably sourced information to correct your errors and misrepresentations.

I believe your only real objective is to spread false information and create division for political purposes. You seem unwilling or unable to change.

Other members can make their own choices, but I will no longer comment or reply to any of your posts on any topic.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLoon Where was it not in good faith? I questioned not only some of the suggestions on these pages (with my explanations) but also some of the data presented in the original citation. I’m actually looking to see if there is anything realistic that fits all of this.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 That is a possibility. The comparison of how many of the increased GBS cases had Covid would be an interesting thing to look at.

rebbel's avatar

@seawulf575 Did you go to the link provided by @JLoon?

seawulf575's avatar

@rebbel Yes I did. And in my rather lengthy response I addressed that. The answer from the Politifact article…the statement from the DoD spokesman…doesn’t make sense. They are saying that the glitch existed in the years 2016–2020. But it didn’t exist in 2021. Yet the spokesman indicated that they had just identified the glitch and taken down the offending years. So if they just identified the glitch, how did 2021 miraculously show the right data? And if they identified it prior to 2021, why did the wait until now to suddenly realize it was a problem and try to correct the bad data? OR, if they just realized there was a glitch, then the 2021 data had that same glitch which means it was measuring against the same yardstick. The timing doesn’t work.

The other article is just a regurgitation of the same statement…the one that has timing that doesn’t work.

gondwanalon's avatar

@JLoon I know nothing about this. I just think that the questions that Senator Ron Johnson has are worth investing. Including fact finding. How you extrapolated that into somehow I’m trying to influence people is odd to say the least.

FYI: I’m fully vaccinated with booster. And wear a mask as I’m told.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
flutherother's avatar

The sensible thing to do would be to run around screaming the vaccine is going to kill us all wait for the Department of Defense to reply.

rebbel's avatar

@seawulf575 Gotcha.
I must have read over it in your earlier reply.

janbb's avatar

@flutherother When have some Americans ever been accused of being “sensible”? lol

Response moderated
HP's avatar

There have always been outliers among us, but we once believed the aggregate population of the country would behave more or less sensibly. This is clearly no longer a reliable expectation.

Smashley's avatar

“A database run by the military” is all I needed to hear. Purposefully vague but full of implied meaning.

Increases of those magnitudes obviously point to bad data, anyways. Sharpen those critical thinking skills, people!

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