Why I don’t trust De Gelderlander

I wrote previously about why I don’t trust Reuters and CNN. Today I will explain why I don’t trust De Gelderlander.

I’m from Nijmegen. The oldest city in the Netherlands and for decades the host of a yearly 4-day march called ‘De Vierdaagse’, which literally translated means ‘The 4-days’. During this event, the city usually holds big festivities and grows about tenfold in size as it draws 1,5 million visitors from the rest of the country and even from abroad. Of course, during the Covid years, the event was cancelled two years in a row. 2022 was the first year this event was celebrated again.

Nijmegen is part of the province Gelderland and we have a local newspaper named ‘De Gelderlander’. This newspaper was, before and during the festivities, nothing less than obsessed with Covid, writing multiple articles about how dangerous it was and how it would and did cause a surge in Covid infections. Here are some of the headlines, translated to English by me:

Coronapiek tijdens de Vierdaagse: hoe spannend wordt het?
Corona peak during the 4-day march: how scary will it be?

Vierdaagse zorgt voor een extra coronagolf: ‘Mogelijk gaan we nog een piek zien komende dagen’
4-day march causes extra corona wave: possibly we will see a peak in the next days

Vierdaagse en feesten zorgen voor een extra coronagolf: ‘Aantal besmettingen zal toenemen’
4-day march and festvities causing an extra corona wave: number of infections will rise

Vierdaagse-coronagolf nog niet voorbij: ‘Aantal besmettingen neemt op dit moment niet verder toe’
4-day march-corona wave not over yet: number of infections not rising at this moment

De Gelderlander insists on predicting an event it labels a ‘corona wave’. In its last two articles it even asserts this wave is happening by saying the march is causing it and that it’s not over yet. But how true is this statement? Let’s quote the few facts named in the article:

De Vierdaagse-coronagolf van mensen die na de feesten en wandelmarsen besmet zijn geraakt met het virus, is nog niet voorbij. In Nijmegen testten donderdag 199 mensen positief, drie dagen daarvoor waren dat er 162. De Waalstad is nu koploper met de hoogste besmettingsgraad

De Gelderlander, 29-07-22

Translation: The 4-day-march-corona-wave of people that got infected after the festivities and march, is not over yet. In Nijmegen on thursday 199 people tested positive. Three days before that were 162 people. The ‘Waalstad’ [nickname for Nijmegen, -Stijn] is now the top ranking city with the highest degree of infection.

First of all, with 1.5 million visitors, and given that less than 17,5 million people live in the Netherlands, during those days Nijmegen was hosting 8 percent (!) of the entire population of the country.

But let’s zoom in on those numbers. Was it really a ‘wave’? To find out the truth about this, all we have to do is look at the statistics about Corona infections on the official Corona dashboard:

Notice the scale of this chart: 400.000. That could have been halved and I have no idea why the dashboard does not use a scale of 0 .. 200.000 to show us the numbers with twice the resolution and detail but ok, they don’t. But if you look at the real infection wave that happened during december 2021, we see a 7-day average of over 120.000 positive tests per day. Yeah, that’s right, 120 THOUSAND per day. Compare that to the 29th of july, that I highlighted.

Given that there were 1.5 million people in and around Nijmegen at that time, does De Gelderlander really think that between 162 and 199 positive tests per day warrants the qualification ‘corona wave’?? And if so, why is it literally invisible on the dashboard??

I have to think about the saying that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. What De Gelderlander is doing here, saying things like ‘top ranking city’ is just that. Using statistics to tell us LIES. This is fear-mongering PROPAGANDA, pure and simple. And that is why I don’t trust De Gelderlander.


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