Some of us have been questioning the COVID-19 death counts reported by
the CDC through the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for
some time. Of course, CNN and the corporate media love the likely
elevated counts to push their narrative. Lockdown Inc. loves them to
justify their destruction of lives and livelihoods. A report from the
Freedom Foundation, a Washington State think tank, explains why. The foundation’s original analysis of deaths in the state 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
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%.
New data from the CDC regarding the conditions contributing to deaths
where COVID-19 is also involved clearly demonstrates deaths from the
virus are overestimated nationwide. This is not surprising given the
loose guidelines for attributing a death to COVID-19 and the financial incentives through public and private insurance to put COVID-19 on a patient’s chart.
First, as I have written several times, many COVID-19-positive people
who were terminally ill died a few months before they otherwise would
have. These “pull-forward deaths” often happen with influenza and
pneumonia when a person is elderly or severely compromised. For example,
the data shows 3,622 people over the age of 75 died of hypertensive
renal disease with kidney failure. Kidney failure is a progressive and terminal condition, even with kidney dialysis. An additional 939 in the
same age group died with lung cancer as well as COVID-19.
Second, the report demonstrates most younger patients were also
suffering from a different severe illness if they died from COVID-19. On
the same line for kidney failure, a total of 18 people under the age of
35 passed away with this condition and COVID-19. Ten people under the
age of 35 died with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (ALL) in addition to
the virus. The average five-year survival rate in this age group is
between 68.1% and 85%, leaving the distinct possibility that these were
the sickest ALL patients.
These are just a few examples of terminal conditions that could have
been examples of a pull-forward death. Since there is nothing in the
NCHS guidance to require symptoms or evidence of active COVID-19, it is impossible to tell whether or not these were pull-forward deaths. As Washington demonstrates, some of this error will come from state-level practices. New York, for example, backdated 3,700 “presumed COVID-19
deaths” early in the pandemic.
The above does not even include the broad class of ICD-9 Codes referred
to as “Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning, and other
adverse events.” This report contains 9,343 deaths associated with
everything from drug overdoses to traumatic accidents and suicide. These deaths alone equal 3% of the current number of total deaths.
It is long past time for the CDC and NCHS to require some evidence of a severe illness from COVID-19 rather than simply a positive test. There
are significant numbers of lab values and imaging changes that, taken together, can reasonably be assumed to paint a clinical course that
includes active illness from COVID-19. The best test would be a viral culture. If the virus or viral debris in a patient’s system cannot
replicate in a culture, it can’t be a cause of death.
A positive PCR test within 28 days, the current standard Washington is
now using, is also unacceptable, especially with the number of
asymptomatic cases. A virus that never makes you sick or only makes you mildly ill will not kill you or likely contribute to your death. Rather,
you are likely one of the 30-60% of people with reactive immunity from
other coronavirus exposure. Likewise, if someone already suffers from a terminal illness, unless the end-stage events include symptoms of severe COVID-19, it should not be counted among the causes of death.
A scroll through the spreadsheet and a bit of clinical knowledge
supports the estimate of the Freedom Foundation as a minimum number. 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.
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