Where is the CDC and why aren’t they responding? Recent realization by millions of Americans that the CDC adjusted its numbers has caused quite a stir. The CDC now reports that only 6% of Covid-19 deaths were recorded as being without any other comorbidity. The death certificate reporting standards and instructions from the CDC are complex at best.
If you calculate the death rate based on ‘covid-only’ data, the number of deaths changes from 164,280 (CDC, 8/26/2020) to just under 10,000 Covid-19 deaths in the US out of our population of nearly 330,000,000. Undoubtedly, many of the other 94% could genuinely have the primary cause as Covid-19, but the statistics are still under question. If the primary cause of death is heart failure or cardiac arrest, it is clear that although Covid-19 may be a legitimate contributing factor, the heart condition is likely the primary cause not the comorbidity. The CDC website says “intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events” account for approximately 5,100 of the total deaths. In other words if the comorbidity in the Covid-19 death was a motorcycle accident, it is still listed as a Covid-19 death in the data.
If the comorbidity is obesity, then it may very well be fair to say that the death was indeed caused by Covid-19, in the true definition of “comorbidity.” However, if a 350-pound man dies of a heart attack, we would definitely say that the cause of death was heart failure with a comorbidity of obesity. In 1999, 30.5% of Americans were obese and in 2017-2018 it was 42.4%.
The underlying question is that we appear to be unsure how many of the comorbidities should be listed as causes and how many of the causes should be listed as comorbidities.
There have been multiple sources questioning whether or not hospitals are pressuring their medical professionals to tag death causes as Covid-19, whether for financial or political motivation. The media quickly ‘debunk’ these interjections leaving the population to fight out the issues among themselves, during a very politically-polarized landscape. It is causing alarm and anger, and the CDC? …Crickets.
However, even with the recent explosion of social media responses to the CDC number change and a population that relies on the nation’s health agencies to clarify and answer questions, the CDC has ghosted the nation. They changed the numbers and after more than four days of questioning, the population has been effectively ignored. Twitter has censured the President (again) for also questioning the numbers. There continues to be a lack of understanding in social media about what herd immunity means, another place where clarity could be provided by American health agencies.
It is unclear why the CDC and Director, Dr. Redfield have not put out a statement to clarify. We have not seen any response on this from Dr. Fauci either. These agencies are behaving irresponsibly and should address the questions that Americans have, …that is their job!
(photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash)