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REPORT: CDC Changed COVID Criteria That Inflated Fatalities 10-Fold

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REPORT: CDC Apparently Changed COVID Criteria That Inflated Fatalities 10-Fold

By Michael Thau | Red State Jan 25, 2021:

Imagine if President Trump had managed to squeeze out $38 billion to fund a border wall by scaring the bejesus out of Congress with some incredibly alarming stats about illegal alien crime.Now try to imagine that the mainstream press completely ignored the question of whether those stats might have been ginned up out of thin air precisely to get Congress to turn over all that dough.Unless you’re on some pretty crazy hallucinogens, you can’t.Heck, even if every single word of Trump’s story were true, not a week would pass before we’d some New York Times reporter would be all over the news quoting her mentally defective brother-in-law as a “source familiar with the matter” who claims that Trump had not only lied about the criminal propensities of illegal aliens—whom everyone knows are better Americans than you or I and especially Donald Trump could ever hope to be—but that the dreaded Orange Man had also viciously mocked our founding fathers, flag, and Jesus Christ himself along the way.

Yet, somehow, hardly anyone in America is even aware that the CDC managed to get their initial $8 billion budget for 2020 increased by a factor of six to a whopping $46 billion by relentlessly honking the COVID-19 panic-horn. (H/t, RedState reader, Kurt Schulzke.)

Moreover, the flagrant accounting shenanigans the CDC used to generate their generous windfall are sitting there hiding in plain sight on their website so that—not just that New York Times reporter’s mentally defective brother-in-law—but even the reporter himself wouldn’t have had much trouble finding them had either bothered looking.

You see, in March of 2020, the CDC announced some changes to the way they wanted doctors to start filling out death certificates. And a few weeks later, the CDC issued some new diagnostic guidelines.

But these changes turned out to be very narrowly focused, indeed.

The didn’t affect how heart disease or cancer deaths were diagnosed or reported.

Nor did physicians need to change the way they report or diagnose the flu or any other manner of disease, accident, homicidal intention, act of God, or any other conceivable way that a human being can wind up meeting his maker any differently except for just one special ailment.

For some strange reason, the CDC decided that COVID-19 alone among all mortal perils was to get its own unique method of accounting devised especially for it.

And what do you know?

As an outfit called Children’s Health Defense (CHD) noted way back in July, these new criteria for diagnosing COVID-19 and listing it on death certificates turn out to so preposterously loose that they were bound to create a massive but wholly illusory increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths than would have been reported had this new disease which the CDC so successfully raised funds on not been given this exceedingly strange special treatment.

Consider the COVID-19 clinical diagnostic criteria the CDC issued in April:

(i) At least two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new olfactory and taste disorder(s)
OR
(ii) At least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
OR
(iii) Severe respiratory illness with at least one of the following:

  • Clinical or radiographic evidence of pneumonia, OR
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
    AND

No alternative more likely diagnosis

Now if you go through that list quickly, it may seem perfectly fine.

However, if you look more carefully you’ll notice that either (i), (ii), or (iii) is by itself sufficient to satisfy the CDC’s clinical criteria and that any single item in (ii) is also sufficient. Hence—just as the Children’s Health Defense reports—all it takes to get diagnosed with COVID-19 is a cough!

Moreover, almost unbelievably, the March CDC guidelines for filling out death certificates, which were composed in a Q&A format, state:

Q: Should “COVID-19” be reported on the death certificate only with a confirmed test?

A: COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have causedor contributed to death.

So, since the instructions in April went on to say doctors should diagnose a patient with COVID-19 on the basis of a mere cough, anyone who has a cough will wind up getting COVID-19 listed on his death certificate.

Colds, the flu, allergies, and all the myriad other things that were causing people to cough before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, apparently, suddenly ceased to exist.

Moreover, notice that the March guidelines don’t just mean that COVID-19 will get listed on a coughing decedent’s death certificate in the absence of any test confirming infection. If you have a cough and then die, your death certificate will list COVID-19 even if you did have a test but it came back negative.

Indeed, the CDC’s instructions guarantee that COVID-19 will wind up on your death certificate no matter how many negative tests you had!

And, though coughing is the most egregious CDC criteria unique to COVID-19 sufficient for a positive diagnosis, the others listed along with it are nearly as bad.

Countless environmental factors, conditions, and ailments were causing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing long before the world had ever heard of COVID-19. Yet, suddenly, on April 24, 2020, anyone having either one of those symptoms or, for that matter, merely a cough is thereby automatically diagnosed with COVID-19 and, should he die, wind up with the disease listed on his death certificate.

Nor is the criteria laid down in (i) much better since, obviously, you can have a fever and chills, or a headache and a sore throat, or any two of the other seven criteria laid down in (i) as jointly sufficient for a COVID-19 diagnosis without having COVID-19.

And, though the criteria listed in (iii) look to be very stringent:

Severe respiratory illness with at least one of the following:

  • Clinical or radiographic evidence of pneumonia, OR
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
    AND

No alternative more likely diagnosis

The reality is that, since anyone with a severe respiratory illness is pretty much guaranteed to have a cough, the criteria in (iii) are in fact completely moot since anyone with any potential at all of being diagnosed with COVID-19 because of them will already be getting a positive diagnosis from that cough he’s bound to have.

Now the CDC tries to make these criteria seem less preposterously weak by stating that, in order to be considered a probable COVID-19 case, you need to meet them plus some additionally specified “epidemiological” ones. But the latter turn out to be even more toothless.

Indeed, the CDC’s additional epidemiological criteria are so unbelievably liberal that—and I’m in no way exaggerating here—there literally isn’t a single person in the country to whom they don’t apply!

The epidemiological criteria that have to be satisfied in addition to the clinical ones cited above are:

One or more of the following exposures in the 14 days before onset of symptoms:

  • Close contact** with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 disease; OR
  • Close contact** with a person with:
    • clinically compatible illness AND
    • linkage to a confirmed case of COVID-19 disease.
  • Travel to or residence in an area with sustained, ongoing community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Member of a risk cohort as defined by public health authorities during an outbreak.

Apart from all the other risibly loose entries—which, among other things, imply that sitting next to someone on the bus who coughs is sufficient—since we were supposed to believe that everywhere in the country suffered “sustained, ongoing community transmission” of SARS-CoV-2 and that we’re all at such great risk of contracting it that every single one of us needs to wear not just one but—assuming what I read yesterday wasn’t just some sick and awful bad dream—two masks at all times, the additional epidemiological criteria don’t do a damn thing to screen anyone out.

They will literally apply to every single man woman or child in America and hence, all it takes to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in America is a cough or any of the other preposterously loose clinical criteria above that countless, diseases, conditions, and environmental factors have been causing since the time immemorial.

Now the CHD report claims that, had we kept on reporting COVID-19 fatalities the way we report every other cause of death, the number of deaths attributed to the virus would have been around 90% less than the figures the CDC used to rake in all that dough.

But they don’t give any of the data from the seven states whose numbers they crunched to get that 90% figure. So it’s not at all clear whether it’s accurate.

Nor, for that matter, is it clear that the assumptions they used are correct. For example, though they aren’t explicit about this, so far as I can tell their report assumes that—prior to the CDC changes—if a doctor believed that a patient died of, say, COVID-19 induced pneumonia, his death wouldn’t have been attributed to the disease. And, so far as I can tell, nothing they say explains why that would be so and, for my own part, I don’t believe it is.

But there’s no question that the CDC issued special diagnostic criteria and instructions for filling out death certificates that applied only to COVID-19 which were bound to massively increase the number of deaths attributed to it. In fact, given how loose those criteria are, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the CHD’s 90% figure underestimates the extent to which COVID-19 deaths and COVID-19 deaths alone are being inflated.

I mean, even if the virus didn’t exist we’d still be seeing massive numbers of reported cases and deaths given that all it takes to get a positive diagnosis is a cough.

Perhaps more to the point, though, it shouldn’t be up to an independent advocacy group or anyone else other than the CDC for that matter to explain to us exactly how much the unique rules they put in place for a single disease wound up inflating the fatality figures they used to obtain a six-fold $38 million budget increase by terrorizing us with those inflated stats.

But, as bad as all that is, a second outfit called the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge (IPAK) has issued a report plausibly charging that both the CDC’s new March and April COVID-19 guidelines also violate federal law.

As the IPAK report seems correct in noting that:

The process by which any federal agency can propose changes in data collection, data publishing, and data analysis to ensure compliance is governed by 44 USC 3506 (c) (2) (A) which states, ”except as provided under subparagraph (B) or section 3507 (j), provide 60-day notice in the Federal Register, and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information, to solicit comment to— and 44 USC 3506 (d)(3), provide adequate notice when initiating, substantially modifying, or terminating significant information dissemination products. . .”

And, since the CDC didn’t provide any such notice before instituting rule changes that resulted in a massive but entirely illusory increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths which they went on to use to squeeze a six-fold $38 billion dollar budget increase out of congress, as far as I can tell, the IPAK seem to be correct.

But, judging from their website, the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge appears to be skeptical of the benefits of vaccines. So, if you haven’t yet learned what an ad hominem is and like to use mantras like “anti-vaxer,” “denialist,” and “conspiracy theorist” to block out considering arguments you don’t like, feel free to ignore their conclusions about the CDC violating federal law.

Scaring the hell out of the American people and bringing down a mountain of hardship, misery, and death on our heads with bogus accounting in order to squeeze $38 billion dollars of taxpayer money is surely enough sin for one government bureaucracy; violating federal administrative law is just the icing on the cake.

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