Alex Berenson says worldwide COVID outbreak has so far only been 'slightly worse than a bad flu year'

'Hospitals are not overflowing. Bodies are not piling up in the streets'

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has turned out to be "slightly worse than a bad flu year," former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, an outspoken critic of stay-at-home orders and other responses to the virus, tweeted Wednesday.

In a six-tweet thread, Berenson described the pandemic as a "creation of the media/technology complex" before emphasizing that he did not mean the virus is "not real or was bioengineered."

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"Aside from a couple of weeks in a handful of cities worldwide - including, sigh, the world’s media capital [New York City], the overall effects of this epidemic have essentially been impossible for the average person to see without a microscope," he wrote.

"Hospitals are not overflowing. Bodies are not piling up in the streets. Most of us will never know anyone under 55 (65? 70?) who has died of COVID," added Berenson, the author of "Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns."

Berenson went on to accuse the media of an "obsessive - almost sordid - fascination with death counts, updated in real-time and presented without context."

"Why are we counting deaths this way?" he asked. "We’ve never done this for any other illness. Never."

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Berenson specifically cited the Times for its "heat maps" of COVID cases and what he called CNN's "deathmeter", as well as "everyone screaming on Twitter," for instilling the sense that the pandemic is worse than it is.

In truth, Berenson claimed, "the 700,000 people it [coronavirus] has killed worldwide are less than half the number who have died or traffic accidents OR diarrhea OR tuberculosis this year, less than 2% of all deaths.

"There has never been anything like this before, but not because of the virus."