SHOULD WE TRUST THE COVID-19 CASE COUNT?
By Jefferey Jaxen
More than one million people have seen Minnesota Senator Dr. Scott Jenson break the news that he received guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to code COVID-19 deaths for deceased patients whether or not there has been a confirmed laboratory testing result. Dr. Jenson noted about these unorthodox and questionable medical practices:
“Now we’ve not done that. If someone has pneumonia and it’s in the middle of a flu epidemic and I don’t have a test on influenza, I don’t diagnose influenza on the death certificate. I will say this elderly patient died of pneumonia.”
Death certificates used to and are customarily supposed to contain “just the facts” around that which was known, no presumptions or probabilities. By passing along this new guidance, the CDC has forever skewed the true reporting, and by extension, all future data models which incorporate the tainted and now surly inflated mortality rates. The CDC report referenced by Dr. Jenson is titled Vital Statistics Reporting Guidance: Report No.3 . It states:
“In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID–19 cannot be made, but it is suspected or likely…it is acceptable to report COVID–19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed.” In these instances, certifiers should use their best clinical judgement in determining if a COVID–19 infection was likely.”
Suspected or likely? There’s a pretty big difference, isn’t there? What kind of “science” is this?
The CDC document concludes:
“Ideally, testing for COVID–19 should be conducted, but it is acceptable to report COVID–19 on a death certificate without this confirmation if the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty.”
Compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty? Again, what kind of science is this?
Far from a one-off administrative slip-up from the CDC, Dr. Deborah Birx also went all-in during a recent press conference: “In this country we’ve taken a liberal approach to mortality…If someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.”
Is the CDC acting alone in contaminating the COVID-19 data pool by its questionable guidance? Unfortunately, no.
GreenMedInfo reported that in late March, the National Vital Statistics system (NVISS) released its guidance directing those recording death certificates to identify the cause of death to be COVID-19 even when it is only “assumed to have caused or contributed to death.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) also followed suit by releasing a “emergency use ICD codes” guidance for COVID-19 lease diagnosis and mortality coding. Under the WHO’s new direction, “an emergency ICD-10 code of ‘u07.2 COVID-19, virus not identified’ is assigned to a clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID-19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available.”
The medical community may be making some broad assumptions when testing isn’t available. But we can rely on the accuracy of those testing positive—right?
No. Shortcomings of the testing used for COVID-19 are known and are legion. We are forced to question their accuracy. Pulling quotes from official government and testing sources, investigative journalist Jon Rappoport destroys the scientific validity of the current testing: “Some PCR tests register positive for types of coronavirus that have nothing to do with COVID…a positive test for COVID may not indicate the actual cause of disease…the test can read falsely positive if the patient has one of a number of other irrelevant viruses in his body.”
Beyond skewing the mortality rate reporting for COVID-19 and the failed integrity of the testing, there are other data points that must be taken into account. The CARES Act, the third installment of a stimulus package signed into law by President Trump, attempted to address several concerning economic, monetary, societal and health issues faced in America as a result of COVID-19’s ripple effect.
The act’s $2T in aid earmarked $100 billion for hospitals as part of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. It averages out to about $108,000 per hospital bed in the U.S.
Oversight of the $100B appears limited. Reports by the Secretary are to be submitted to Congress within 60 days of the bill’s signing and only require cursory state-level totals of how the money was distributed. The only additional required oversight for the $100 billion hospital fund is an audit—three years after the Fund is exhausted!
With oversight limited and unclear boundaries for reporting, there appears room for negligence within several levels of the system. Namely, an incentive for hospitals to fudge their COVID-19 numbers in favor of a money grab.
The CARES Act’s $100B allows non-profit and for-profit hospitals the eligibility to receive funding if they diagnose, test or provide care for COVID-19 patients. In addition, the act reimburses hospitals’ Medicare rates for the care of uninsured COVID-19 patients, as well as a 20 percent increase in Medicare reimbursements for COVID-19 hospitalizations.
There are layers upon layers of assumptions surrounding COVID-19, its questionable reporting and inaccurate testing methods. It is a realistic concern to question whether direct government policy and authoritarian medical edicts allow bad actors to spin untrue conclusions for nefarious and self-serving ends.
Furthermore, the assumption that reportedly growing numbers of ill-health conditions in countries are caused by only one thing—in this case we are told an unstoppable deadly virus—must continue to be questioned.
Looking at the current, declining landscape of America, one must ask whether what is unfolding, at this point, is more about implementing agendas and longer-term social control and not a rational response to a public health concern.
Higher reported rates of COVID-19 and associated mortality, skewed as they may be, will have direct effects on when and how the current U.S. shutdown is rolled back.
Quarantines are dragging into May now in some states as the economy stalls and unemployment numbers skyrocket. President Trump is set to announce and update to today (Monday) regarding the reopening of the country.
Another perspective recently came from top biostatistician Knut M. Wittkowski who, when asked how he thought we should be dealing with COVID-19, stated in an interview with “The HighWire With Del Bigtree”:
“We shouldn’t really deal with it. We should let nature take its course.”
Wittkowski noted that the elderly and the vulnerable should isolate and avoid contact with the infected. He continued:
“There is no evidence around that doing these antisocial, separation or prohibition…has any effect on the epidemic with one exception…[it] is broadening it [the curve] and that means that it takes more time. And if it takes more time, in the end, then you are putting more people at risk because nobody can, for extended periods of time, follow these draconic strategies.”
What is the lockdown all about? We will know better in a few months and hopefully it won’t be too late.