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Walensky Dodges on How Many U.S. Covid Deaths Are Actually Caused by Covid

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, and top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 20, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/Reuters)

During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky failed to clarify how many of the 836,000 U.S. patients whose deaths were attributed to Covid in the last two years had underlying medical conditions.

“How many of the 836,000 deaths in the U.S. linked to Covid are from Covid or how many are with Covid but they had other co-morbidities. Do you have that breakdown?” anchor Bret Baier asked.

“Yes, of course, with Omicron we’re following that very carefully, our death registry takes a few weeks to collect and Omicron has been with us for just a few weeks but those data will be forthcoming,” Walensky replied.

Throughout the pandemic, public-health officials have harped on the alarming fatality rate of the virus but have not clarified whether Covid death record-keeping reflects accompanying risk factors that may have been present in victims.

For example, some mainstream news outlets published scientific studies last week recognizing the long-indisputable fact that obesity is a Covid comorbidity, making people likelier to suffer seriously from the disease. A CDC study from December, which surveyed juvenile (under age 18) cases of Covid that necessitated hospitalization, “approximately two thirds of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 aged 12–17 years had obesity.” In addition, “compared with patients without obesity, those with obesity required higher levels and longer duration of care.”

Walensky’s lack of awareness of the specifics of the Covid death breakdown is consequential because Democratic governors and politicians have used the argument of the virus’s lethality to justify sweeping social restrictions and with them the erosion of civil liberties. A higher count of people who died with Covid rather than as a result of it could suggest that blanket policies were and are improper for addressing the pandemic, given that those afflicted by other illnesses may be disproportionately affected over otherwise healthy individuals.

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