(The Center Square) – The overwhelming majority of reported coronavirus-related deaths – 94 percent – involved patients who had at least one other underlying health condition, such as a respiratory illness, diabetes, heart disease or another, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says.
“COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned” for 6 percent of the coronavirus deaths reported to the CDC, according to its most recently published weekly index. Its index for the provisional coronavirus death counts are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics as of Aug. 26, 2020.
Of the 94 percent who died with COVID-19 and other ailments, there were, on average, “2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.”
Several factors could have led to the deaths in the majority of those being reported as COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., which now total more than 180,000. Someone might have died in a car accident, or had a heart attack or a stroke, and also tested positive for the coronavirus, and the cause of death was marked “with COVID-19” not “by COVID-19,” but the death was included in the overall count.
In April, Texas state Sen. Donna Campbell, a board certified emergency room physician in New Braunfels, warned about the way death certificates were being handled. For someone who is riding a bike who has a heart attack, the death certificate would state cardiac arrest, not riding a bike, she explained while participating in a Texas Public Policy Foundation panel about the way the coronavirus cases were being recorded in the state. There are procedures to follow when writing death certificates, she said.
Some of the deaths included “comorbidity” factors, meaning “more than one disease or condition is present in the same person at the same time,” or “chronic or long-term conditions,” or “coexisting or co-occurring conditions.” They are also referred to as “multimorbidity” or “multiple chronic conditions.”
These conditions include influenza and pneumonia, respiratory failure, hypertensive disease, diabetes, vascular and unspecified dementia, cardiac arrest, heart failure, renal failure, intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events, and other medical conditions.
Dr. Angelo Codevilla, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, argues in The Covid Coup that the problem with coronavirus reporting extends beyond how deaths are categorized, but the hysteria caused by faulty models, which led to some shutdowns at the beginning of the pandemic.
He notes that the U.S. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) simulated a model to predict the spread of the virus. The data it published was used as the basis for which national and state lockdowns were issued.
“Its model also predicted COVID deaths for un-locked-down Sweden,” he notes. “On May 3 it wrote that, as of May 14, Sweden would suffer up to 2,800 daily deaths. The actual number was below 40.
“Whether magnifying this falsehood was reckless or willful, it amounted to shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater,” he said. “What justifies listening to, and paying, people who do that kind of science?”
After the IHME models also proved faulty for the U.S., the CDC adjusted the death rate to 0.26 percent, down from 5 percent, in May.
The CDC also adjusted how it began reporting coronavirus deaths, combining them in a new “PIC” category with pneumonia and influenza.
“That is how the death figure came to exceed 100,000,” Codevilla argues. “But if the CDC had used the same criterion that it did with the SARS virus, namely ‘severe acute respiratory distress syndrome,’ the figure by the end of June would have been some 16,000.”
Johns Hopkins University, which has been a media source for daily coronavirus updates, says “the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is nearing 6 million, and more than 183,000 people have died…”
But Johns Hopkins’ website tracker excludes comorbidity factors. It reports numbers of cases, deaths, death rate data, and positivity ratios. It also excludes recovery rates and distinctions between influenza and pneumonia.
“At different times, these experts told us that the virus posed very little danger, and that it was a mortal threat to us all, that masks were useless, and then essential,” Codevilla argues. “On the basis of their many statements, hundreds of millions of American lives were wrecked, and millions continue to languish under ‘guidelines’ that make no sense …”
Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square