False data: Minnesota legislators demand audit for inflated coronavirus deaths
By Zoey Sky
Reports from mainstream media show that the pandemic has claimed over 400,000 American lives, but some legislators tell a different story.
On Tuesday, Dec. 29, two Minnesota state representatives revealed that death totals have been inflated in the state. During an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Republican Reps. Mary Franson and Scott Jensen demanded an audit to clarify the matter.
Minnesota falsely “classifying some deaths as COVID”
Franson and Jensen claimed that a national audit of the published coronavirus death totals nationwide is crucial since the figures have been inflated by including people who died of non-illness related reasons, such as car crashes, drownings or suicides after they tested positive for coronavirus.
Franson explained that she enlisted experts who checked the data and the results were “shocking.” The analysis revealed that Minnesota is listing some deaths as COVID-related when they shouldn’t be.
Franson also mentioned that the mischaracterized deaths may have something to do with the Minnesota lockdown that’s negatively affecting the state’s economy. She added that restaurants in Minnesota are only allowed to serve customers outside, a condition that isn’t ideal for winter. (Related: Are U.S. states covering up coronavirus death data?)
According to Jensen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is behind the mischaracterized deaths because when “the Department of Health and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] decided to change the rules that had been in place for 17 years by encouraging the diagnosis of COVID-19 in situations that we never would have otherwise, they were abandoning their long-held commitment to precisely identifying the inciting or the initiating event that would lead to a sequence of events that would lead to a person’s demise.”
As of December 2020, official totals showed that more than 344,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus. However, the exact number that should be counted as coronavirus deaths have been fiercely debated because everyone who died while under a coronavirus diagnosis, regardless if the infection was the primary or a significant contributing factor to the death or not, is included in the totals.
Medical professionals and the CDC said those deaths need to be included in totals if coronavirus was “one of several contributing illnesses that led to a person’s death.”
Health care dollars also a factor
Jensen thought that health care dollars were affecting the official coronavirus death rate, citing “enhanced payments to hospitals for Medicare patients” as proof. He added that if hospitals could hit 161 admissions with coronavirus patients, they would be eligible for a $77,000 per admission payment because of the CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] Act.”
Jensen noted that the pandemic may be linked to these “reverse incentives” that are skewing coronavirus death totals in Minnesota.
Back in May Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, said that some official COVID-19 statistics that include deaths could have been inflated by at least 25 percent. In the same month, a poll revealed that two-thirds of Americans doubt official coronavirus numbers.
According to the Axios poll, which included 1,012 U.S. adults, at least 40 percent of Republicans believed the coronavirus death toll was inflated while only seven percent of Democrats believed the number of deaths was being over-counted.
Coronavirus deaths reached record levels in America throughout December 2020. The Axios poll has a margin of error of around 3.2 percent.
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