Dr. Leana Wen writes that COVID deaths are being overcounted
CNN medical analyst and Washington Post columnist Dr. Leana Wen admitted in a column Friday that the medical community is “overestimating” the amount of “deaths and hospitalizations from COVID.”
Wen, who writes an occasional column in the Washington Post offering her observations on the pandemic, masking and other COVID-related topics, cited sources who claim that most “patients diagnosed with COVID are actually in the hospital for any other disease”.
The article is titled, “We’re counting COVID deaths and hospitalizations. This is a problem.”
Wen’s remarks prompted Twitter readers to complain, saying it was “two and a half years too late”.
Wen began her column with some apparent skepticism about the CDC’s latest COVID-19 death statistics: “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing about 400 deaths from COVID-19 every day . At that rate, there would be nearly 150,000 deaths a year. But are these Americans dying from COVID or with COVID?”
The doctor asserted that “Understanding this difference is essential to put the ongoing toll of the coronavirus into perspective. Determining how likely an infection is to result in hospitalization or death helps people weigh their risk.”
Spring 2021 🇺🇸 had good evidence > 40% of child admissions with Covid were incidental
2021 Denmark announced that it would distinguish with vs from the Covid hospital
Covid+ deaths in DK in 2022 60-70% accidental
Amazing how long it took the US to admit this is a problemhttps://t.co/eg8k3W4JW5
— Tracy Hoeg, MD, PhD (@TracyBethHoeg) January 14, 2023
She spoke with two infectious disease experts who told her they believed “the number of deaths attributed to COVID is far greater than the actual number of people dying from COVID.”
Citing the former, she wrote, “Robin Dretler, an attending physician at Emory Decatur Hospital and former president of the Georgia chapter of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, estimates that at his hospital, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with COVID are actually in the hospital. for any other disease”.
Dretler told the analyst, “Since every hospitalized patient is tested for COVID, many are accidentally positive.” Wen noted how people with gunshot wounds or other serious illnesses often test positive for the virus and wrote, “If these patients die, COVID can be added to their death certificate along with other diagnoses. But the coronavirus was not the main contributor to their deaths and often played no role at all.”
Dr. Leana Wen quoted an expert who claimed that only 30% of those hospitalized with COVID were there primarily because of COVID. Getty Images/iStockphoto
Dretler acknowledged that this contributed to the “inaccurate reporting” of COVID deaths and hospitalizations, which he added did not come from “malicious intent.” He denied there was any “conspiracy” behind it to “exaggerate the numbers of the coronavirus for some nefarious purpose”.
Wen also cited infectious disease physician Shira Doron, who found that “In recent months, only about 30 percent of total COVID hospitalizations were primarily attributable to the virus” in Massachusetts hospitals, for example.
Wen recounted Doron’s experience at Tufts Medical Center, writing, “On some days, she said, the percentage of people hospitalized for COVID was as low as 10 percent of the total number reported” to have COVID.
Wen added, “Doron acknowledges that there is a gray area in the data in which COVID may not be the primary cause of death, but may have contributed to it.”
At the end of her article, Wen stated: “To be clear, if the number of deaths from COVID turns out to be 30 percent of what is currently reported, that is still unacceptably high.”
Many readers on Twitter seemed frustrated with the article, saying they believed the medical community had been counting for years and that Wen’s information comes too late.
Epidemiology Dr. Tracy Høeg responded to Wen’s piece, saying, “Spring 2021 [USA] there was good evidence > 40% of child admissions with COVID-1 were incidental. 2021 Denmark announced that it would distinguish with vs from the COVID hospital. Deaths from COVID+ in [Denmark] in the year 2022 [were] 60-70% random.”
The doctor added, “It’s amazing how long it’s taken the US to admit this is a problem.”
Center for Security Policy senior analyst J. Michael Waller criticized the Washington Post over the column, stating, “Not too long ago, the Washington Post was calling us conspiracy theorists for saying things like this.”
Author AJ Kay tweeted, “Well, yeah… You’d think seeing this in legacy media would provide some sense of vindication or resolution for those of us who have been clamoring for it since 2020, but really it’s just anger, rage and grief. . The lies caused a lot of damage.”
Australian journalist Adam Creighton tweeted: “People who said this a year ago were kicked off social media.”
Brownstone Institute President Jeffrey Tucker tweeted: “This is not just true lately. It is true for three years! We really don’t know how many have actually died from COVID, which means the CFR isn’t accurate either.”
Timcast staff writer Adrian Norman wrote, “TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATE.”