Are Coronavirus Fatality Numbers Exaggerated?

Are Coronavirus Fatality Numbers Exaggerated?

The CDC has admitted that their coronavirus-only fatality numbers are greatly inflated. The CDC published an update (September 1, 2020) that says that only 6% of COVID-19 deaths are due solely to the virus and that in the other 94% cases 1 or more (typically 2 or more) serious underlying health conditions were present. The press is spinning this many ways, but the bottom line is, if you are essentially healthy and do NOT have something like heart disease, diabetes, COPD, pneumonia, etc, then your odds of dying from Coronavirus are miniscule. See a news story here:

As US coronavirus death toll mounts, so does the belief by some that it is exaggerated.

Of course, the mainstream presume positively delights in announcing every COVID-19 fatality they can. You have to read a lot of different sources to discover the facts. The NY Post sais:

On Sept. 22, CNN triumphantly announced that 200,000 people had died from COVID-19 in the United States.

CNN tried various ways of rubbing in the 200,000 figure. Their best effort was an infographic blaring, "US COVID-19 deaths are equal to having the 9/11 attacks every day for 66 days."

Here' s a less biased, but less catchy, comparison:
2020' s attributed COVID-19 deaths were equivalent to having another 2017-2018 flu and pneumonia season boosted by 13 percent.

The British Medical Journal, Lancet, says:

In the first case series of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 from Wuhan, published on Jan 24, underlying comorbidities were reported in 50% of patients (diabetes [20%], hypertension [15%], and cardiovascular disease [15%]). Subsequently, data from 122 653 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to CDC in the USA between Feb 12 and March 28, showed that approximately one third of patients had at least one underlying condition or risk factor, of which diabetes was the most frequently reported (in 10.9% of cases). Moreover, 78% of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and 94% of deaths (where complete information on underlying conditions or risk factors was available) occurred in those with at least one underlying health condition. More recently, the first report characterising glycaemic control among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the USA (1122 patients admitted to 88 US hospitals between March 1 and April 6) showed that approximately 40% had diabetes or uncontrolled hyperglycaemia on admission, and death rates were more than four times higher among those with diabetes or hyperglycaemia (28.8%) than those without either condition (6.2%). From the available evidence, diabetes (or more broadly poor glycaemic control) is clearly one of the most important comorbidities linked to COVID-19 severity and outcomes.

So, it can be argued that the 94% of the people who had 2 or more underlying medical conditions would have been just fine, if they had not been exposed to Coronavirus. But of course, we don't know if these people would have live one day, one week, one month or one year longer if they had not contracted COVID.
On the other hand, it is also possible that many of these people were not long for this world regardless, and may have been done in by the flu, pneumonia or something else.
It is speculation either way. It's curious how the mass media will only accept the speculation that makes COVID appear worse... and none that downplays the risks. That's not science, that's politics...

If you think this is just EHSO being a Doubting Thomas, Florida Gov. went on Fox & Friends (mid September 2020) and complained that reports of his state's COVID-19 deaths were greatly exaggerated. He used as an example a person from Orlando who had died in a motorcycle crash. DeSantis said the death

"was categorized as a COVID death just because the person had previously tested positive (for COVID). We've had other incidents in which there's no real relationship, and it's been counted. So, we want to look at that and see how pervasive that issue is as well."

In this one case, the local CBS affiliate followed up on this report : The medical examiner responded that, following the motorcycle crash, "the person was subsequently hospitalized for a long period of time, got pneumonia. It happened to be COVID pneumonia, and they died.... In that case, we did [attribute] it to COVID pneumonia."

And other cases reported that no tests for COVID were performed, the doctor or medical examined simply assigned the death to Coronavirus based on a "presumption". In other words, "I'm busy, call it COVID!"

There are many questions yet to be objectively answered:

  • What role and to what extent did the flu play in these reported coronavirus deaths?
  • Same for pneumonia and other diseases
  • How serious were the "2+ comorbidities" in the people who were reported dying from COVID?
  • What was the expected life expectancy of the people who were reported as dying from COVID, had they not had COVID?
  • Are there any incentives or motivations (monetary, political, etc( for hospitals, medical examiners, etc. to code a death as a COVID fatality?

Another example is Colorado

The Grand County, Colorado coroner Brenda Bock says of the 5 deaths attributed to COVID-19, 2 were actually people who died from gunshot wounds. We have found almost innumerable similar examples in other states, easily verified. Google it.

A premium paid to hospitals for calling a death "due to Coronavirus"?

While some states, like Minnesota and California, list only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses as COVID-19 deaths, other states, like New York, list all "presumed" cases, which is allowed under guidelines from Dr. Birx and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They do not require a lab test, coding deaths based on presumptions and suspicions.. Why? The coronavirus relief legislation created a 20% premium, or add-on, for COVID-19 Medicare patients.

Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Minnesota, who is also a physician in Minnesota, said on Laura Ingraham Angle on April 8, 2020 that hospitals get paid more if Medicare patients are listed as having COVID-19 and get 3X times as much money if the patient needs a ventilator.

Dr. Jensen said, "Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it's a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for - if they're Medicare - typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000. But if it's COVID-19 pneumonia, then it's $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000."

Obviously, hospital administrators can pressure physicians to call deaths "probable" COVID-19, on discharge papers or death certificates to get the higher Medicare allocation allowed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Is this just a conspiracy theory?

Apparently not, even Snopes said it's plausible Medicare pays these fees, PolitiFact wrote, "The dollar amounts Jensen cited are roughly what we found in an analysis published April 7 by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a leading source of health information." and Ask FactCheck said "The figures cited by Jensen generally square with estimated Medicare payments for COVID-19 hospitalizations, based on average Medicare payments for patients with similar diagnoses."

Conclusion

Are the deaths being exaggerated? Since we don't have all the facts and access to the raw data, we simply CANNOT yet know. Time will tell. But the evidence is mounting that the system creates plenty incentive for hospital administrators to inflate the COVID-19 fatalities. Ask yourself; based on your lifetime of experience, would YOU trust a hospital administrator to be truthful when he can profit from not?

Eventually, the raw data and facts will come out.

References and Related News

  1. CDC
  2. NY Post, Here' s how the media is misreporting COVID-19' s death toll in America, By Jay W. Richards, Douglas Axe and William Briggs, October 17, 2020
  3. fox13news.com/news/as-us-coronavirus-death-toll-mounts-so-does-the-belief-by-some-that-it-is-exaggerated
  4. coronavirus relief legislation
  5. Snopes
  6. PolitiFact
  7. Ask FactCheck
  8. Grand County Coroner (cbslocal.com)

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