Can any government statistics on COVID-19 deaths be trusted?

CDC Confesses To Lying About COVID-19 Death Counts…….

Draconian political mandates have been made based on faulty data across the whole nation. Technocrats have knowingly promoted this corrupted data to stoke public fear and political action to promote oppressive shutdown policies. ⁃ TN Editor…….

Can any government statistics on COVID-19 deaths be trusted?

It is an open question now that we are learning that the highly respected, world-class Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been lying to us.

This revelation comes a few days after I wrote here at American Thinker that New York City was lying about COVID-19 deaths.  The normal rules about reporting deaths have been violated by that city in the rush to inflate the body count, presumably to steer more taxpayer money to the Big Apple.

That the CDC isn’t telling the truth to Americans is no conspiracy theory:  it’s right out there in the open for everyone to see.  The CDC openly admits that it is fudging the COVID-19 death figures.

We know this because, among other truth-tellers, a plainspoken small-town physician from Kalispell, Montana, has pulled back the curtain.

Dr. Annie Bukacek, MD, explained in a presentation how death certificates are made.  (See “Montana physician Dr. Annie Bukacek discusses how COVID-19 death certificates are being manipulated,” YouTube, April 6)

Why should anyone care how a certificate of death is made?

Everyone should care “today when governments are making massive changes that affect our constitutional rights and those changes are based on inaccurate statistics,” Bukacek says.

The system is deeply flawed, she argues.

Few people know how much individual power and leeway is given to the physician, coroner, or medical examiner, signing the death certificate.  How do I know this?  I’ve been filling out death certificates for over 30 years.

More often than we want to admit, we don’t know with certainty the cause of death when we fill out death certificates.  That is just life.  We are doctors, not God.  Autopsies are rarely performed and even when an autopsy is done the actual cause of death is not always clear.  Physicians make their best guesstimate and fill out the form.  Then that listed cause of death … is entered into a vital records data bank to use for statistical analysis, which then gives out inaccurate numbers, as you can imagine.  Those inaccurate numbers then become accepted as factual information even though much of it is false.

This has been the way it has been done for some time, Bukacek says.

So even before we heard of COVID-19, death certificates were based on assumptions and educated guesses that go unquestioned.  When it comes to COVID-19 there is the additional data skewer, that is –get this— there is no universal definition of COVID-19 death.  The Centers for Disease Control, updated from yesterday, April 4th, still states that mortality, quote unquote, data includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.  That’s from their website.

Translation?  The CDC counts both true COVID-19 cases and speculative guesses of COVID-19 the same.  They call it death by COVID-19.  They automatically overestimate the real death numbers, by their own admission.  Prior to COVID-19, people were more likely to get an accurate cause of death written on their death certificate if they died in the hospital.  Why more accurate when a patient dies in the hospital?  Because hospital staff has physical examination findings labs, radiologic studies, et cetera, to make a good educated guess.  It is estimated that 60 percent of people die in the hospital.  But even [with] those in-hospital deaths, the cause of death is not always clear, especially in someone with multiple health conditions, each of which could cause the death.

Bukacek refers to a March 24 CDC memo from Steven Schwartz, director of the Division of Vital Statistics for the National Center for Health Statistics, titled “COVID-19 Alert No. 2.”

“The assumption of COVID-19 death,” she says, “can be made even without testing.  Based on assumption alone the death can be reported to the public as another COVID-19 casualty.”

There is a question-and-answer section on the memo.

One question is, “Will COVID-19 be the underlying cause?”

The answer is:  “The underlying cause depends upon what and where conditions are reported on the death certificate.  However, the rules for coding and selection of the underlying cause of death are expected to result in COVID-19 being the underlying cause more often than not.”

Another question is, “Should ‘COVID-19’ be reported on the death certificate only with a confirmed test?”

The answer is:

“COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.”  [Boldfacing in original]

“You could see how these statistics have been made to look really scary when it is so easy to add false numbers to the official database,” Bukacek says.  “Those false numbers are sanctioned by the CDC.”

“The real number of COVID-19 deaths are not what most people are told and what they then think,” she says.

SOURCE Hey, everything on this post is from that blog. So dammit, go there and bookmark the blog, now!

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Nursing Homes Shocked At ‘Insanely Wrong’ COVID-19 Data

When the administrator of the Saugus Rehab and Nursing Center in Saugus, Massachusetts, heard that a new Medicare website reported her facility had 794 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the second highest in the country — and 281 cases among staff, she gasped.

“Oh my God. Where are they getting those numbers from?” said Josephine Ajayi. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Those weren’t the numbers that her facility reported to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, under new rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), she said.

Ajayi said her 80-bed facility actually reported 45 residents have tested positive and five residents died, although the CMS website showed no Saugus deaths. About 19 staff members tested positive for the virus, and most have returned to work, she said.

Officials at skilled nursing facilities around the country said Monday they were shocked to see their data reported inaccurately — wildly so in some cases, as at the Saugus home — on the new CMS public website launched Thursday. The numbers are scaring families, harming their reputations, and in some cases are physically impossible, given the number of beds or staff in their facilities, they said.

CMS approved an interim final rule May 1 requiring more than 15,000 nursing homes receiving Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement to report COVID data by May 31, and weekly going forward.

The data fill 56 columns detailing COVID-19 infected residents, staff, testing, and equipment, going back to at least May 1. As of Thursday, CMS said 88% of the nursing homes in the country had reported. Going forward after a grace period ended June 7, they risk fines of $1,000 and up for every week they fail to update their data.

But in many cases, nursing home officials said their data were somehow scrambled, either because nursing home personnel reported in the wrong columns, or the numbers were loaded incorrectly somewhere between the CDC and CMS.

For example, Southern Pointe Living Center in Colbert, Oklahoma, with 95 beds, was reported to have had 339 residents die of COVID-19, yet no confirmed or suspected cases.

“We have not lost anyone nor have we had a [COVID-19] case in the building,” said a woman identifying herself as an assistant at Southern Pointe but who declined to give her full name. The day after CMS released the data, on Friday, she said someone from the CDC called the facility to ask if their numbers were correct as reported, “and we told them no.”

She added, “I don’t know how that happened but that is an error on their end.” As of Tuesday morning, the posted data had not been corrected.

“Insanely wrong”

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AZ Lawmaker: State COVID-19 Hospitalization Counts Are Inflated

A Southern Arizona lawmaker is claiming that a new study he commissioned shows that there is no correlation between the rising number of people being infected with COVID-19 and the number who wind up in the hospital.

And Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, is accusing the state health department of withholding the raw numbers that will let he and other lawmakers decide whether the trends being cited by Gov. Doug Ducey to justify his actions are merited.

On Tuesday, Finchem said it is wrong to focus on the rising number of positive test results as a reason to impose restrictions on individual and business activity. He said that fewer than 10 percent of those people who test positive wind up in the hospital.

The study done for Finchem by the Tennessee firm of Anchor-Helm also claims that “daily hospitalizations peaked June 16 and (have) fallen dramatically since.” And what that means, the report says, is there is “no reason to expect a dramatic increase in cases will be associated with a dramatic increase in hospitalizations.”

But former state Health Director Will Humble said the most obvious flaw in the report is that the person who did the analysis — Finchem’s brother, Kirk — did not recognize that there is a delay in the data. What that means, Humble said, is that the claimed downward trend in hospitalizations just is not occurring.

Rep. Finchem said he’s not buying it. In fact, he claims that the data being produced by the health department — what winds up on its daily public “dashboard” that’s also used by Gov. Doug Ducey to support his actions — may be skewed.

“The agency is refusing to release the data to me as a legislator so we can attempt to replicate their work,” he told Capitol Media Services. Instead, Finchem said, what’s produced for public consumption is “the preferred narrative from the agency.”

No one from either the governor’s office or the state health department would comment.

But Humble dismissed the contention that the real numbers are being hidden.

“I find no reason to believe that,” he said, saying there are people at the agency now who were there when he was director, prior to 2015, whose judgment he trusts.

And Humble has not been a defender of the governor, saying that Ducey moved too quickly to lift restrictions in May.

It’s not just Humble who is noticing the delays in reporting and how that affects the numbers — and the conclusions that can be drawn. Joe Gerald, an associate professor at the Zuckerman College of Health at the University of Arizona, concluded in a recent report that it can take time to actually record deaths.

And there’s something else.

Gerald said that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 went from a plateau of 1,093 on May 22 — a week after the governor lifted his stay-at-home order — to 4,834.

And Gerald, in his report, said that as of July 10, 3,485 of Arizona’s 7,971 general ward beds were occupied by patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, a 16 percent increase from the week before. So there is a trend — toward increased hospitalizations.

Kirk Finchem concedes there are weaknesses in his report.

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