Given the loose national guidelines for reporting deaths attributed to COVID-19, is it any wonder that, around the country, potentially tens of thousands of deaths have been wrongly attributed to the virus?
In Washington State, as we recently pointed out, hundreds of "COVID-19 deaths" have been recorded even if the manner of death had nothing to do with the virus. In some cases, deaths caused by gunshot wounds were counted in the "COVID-19 death" column since the patients had previously tested positive. A report from the Freedom Foundation, a Washington State think tank, found the number may have been inflated by as much as 13%:
In May, a report released by the Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based free-market think tank, revealed the DOH was attributing to COVID-19 every death in which the deceased previously tested positive for the virus. However, it’s clear that catching the disease and dying of it are two very different matters.
Washington’s data was riddled with cases - as much as 13 percent of the total - in which the death certificate made no reference to COVID-19 as a cause of death. In several cases, even gunshot deaths were chalked up to the virus.
While the Department of Health did remove 200 deaths from the count, the Freedom Foundation did another analysis. Combining data sources from the Department of Health for nearly 2,000 deaths as of early September, the new analysis found that 170 death certificates did not mention COVID-19. Another 171 deaths had no causal connection to the virus. According to the Post Millennial, the group estimates Washington’s death counts could be inflated by as much as 20%.
Additionally, as Epoch Times' GQ Pan recently noted, two Minnesota legislators who believe their state’s COVID-19 death count is inaccurate are calling for a nationwide audit to find out how many people died from something other than the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus but were added to the pandemic death totals.
Republican State Rep. Mary Franson said she has enlisted a team to examine data provided by Minnesota’s health department. Her team allegedly found that COVID-19 was blamed for some deaths clearly not linked to the respiratory disease.
“We found clear-cut examples from the Minnesota Department of Health’s own files—public records—of suicide, a drowning, an auto accident where the passenger was ejected from the vehicle, we found dementia … and strokes,” Franson said during an interview with Fox News, adding that she was “so shocked at what I found that I just could not keep silent.”
“The citizens of our country are being led in fear, and that fear is leading them to make irrational decisions based on the governors with their shutdowns,” she added.
“So we need this audit. We need the truth.”
Franson was joined by Republican State Sen. Scott Jensen, a practicing physician. Jensen has become the subject of two state probes earlier this year for arguing that the federal and state guidelines on reporting COVID-19 deaths could pressure local authorities to misclassify and inflate their numbers, and that doctors and hospitals are motivated to do so for more health care dollars.
“If you could hit a threshold of 161 admissions to your hospital with COVID-19 diagnosis between January and June, you received $77,000 of additional money for each one of those admissions” through the CARES Act, Jensen told Fox News.
“I don’t think there’s any questions that reverse incentives have been created.”
In response to the allegations, the Minnesota Department of Health said the way it classifies COVID-19 deaths is consistent with the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most Americans probably don't realize that, in some states, up to 70% of the COVID-19-linked deaths involved residents of long-term care homes. In many cases, extremely elderly patients who died of COVID-19 had other "co-morbidities" that likely would have been the primary cause of their demise if COVID-19 had never arrived in the US.
Now, ahead of what could be a critical week for his presidency, Donald Trump is lashing out at the CDC, claiming the health agency has exaggerated the pandemic in the US by using a broad definition of what constitutes a COVID-19 case or death.
The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @CDCgov’s ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low. “When in doubt, call it Covid.” Fake News!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
Here's some context: Back in April, the CDC began including "probable" cases and deaths in its tallies, although some states chose not to report such figures. A "probable" case or death means that health workers can label someone as COVID-19 positive even if they haven’t been tested, as long as the patient’s symptoms meet the "clinical criteria" associated with the virus.
Even Deborah Birx, a member of the White House COVID taskforce who plans to step down from her post once Trump leaves office, acknowledged back in April that "in this country we’ve taken a very liberal approach to [COVID-19] mortality."
Now, with 20MM 'confirmed cases' and 350K+ 'confirmed deaths', the US leads the world on both fronts, even as China, the country where the virus originated (possibly in a lab), continues to claim fewer than 100K confirmed cases.
Americans deserve transparency and accuracy at this point. It is a dereliction of duty for the CDC and NCHS not to tailor their guidelines to the disease progression of a COVID-19 infection capable of contributing to a person’s death.