Once again, the CDC provides the best case for ending ongoing lockdowns and restrictions. Over the weekend, the mortality data was updated to show that only 6% of deaths related to COVID-19 occurred without other preexisting conditions. In 94% of cases, those who have died with COVID-19 had between two and three preexisting conditions on average.
Given what we know about the limitations of the PCR test for COVID-19, the number of individuals dying with the virus as a cause of death is likely inflated. According to a report in The New York Times, up to 90% of PCR tests detect the virus at insufficient levels to cause symptoms or be transmitted. Surely there is a similar percentage of this occurring in hospital screening tests.
It has become policy in many hospitals to test for COVID-19 on admission. Patients coming in with severe chest pain are tested, even if they have no symptoms of the virus. Because of the CARES Act, there are plenty of financial incentives for them to list COVID-19 on a patient’s chart—doing so results in higher levels of reimbursement at a time when hospitals are seeing less traffic due to fear of the virus. Early in the pandemic, some COVID-19 diagnoses were not even confirmed by tests. This led to a large-scale reclassification of deaths in places like New York.
The New York Times Does Accidental Journalism on COVID-19 Testing:
Hopefully, some diligent researcher will do what has been done for testing generally, as reported by The New York Times. Testing the samples from deaths listed as COVID-19 since the pandemic began for the ability to replicate and cause an infection would give us a much better idea of when COVID-19 actually contributed to a death. In an interview this morning, Dr. Scott Barbour indicated from his observations at hospitals where he practices that the death count for COVID-19 could be as low as 50% of the current numbers. Read more…