The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 23 falsely said that COVID-19 has been one of the five top causes of death for children since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director, offered the misinformation during a press briefing in which Biden administration officials promoted COVID-19 vaccination for children under 5, the age group for whom COVID-19 vaccines were just authorized and recommended.
“Since January 2020, we’ve lost 215 children—each six months to four years—to COVID-19,” Walensky said, correctly citing preliminary figures from the CDC.
But Walensky then falsely said that COVID-19 was one of the major causes of death for all children.
“To put that in perspective, during March 2020 through April 2022, COVID-19 was among the top five leading causes of death in every age group of children under the age of 19 and the number one infectious cause of death in children,” she said.
Walensky is the third CDC official or scientist to make the false statement this month.
The other two cited a preprint paper, or a study that has not been peer-reviewed, from British scientists.
But there were multiple issues with the study and the citations.
For one, the CDC officials used the cumulative number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 and compared it to annualized numbers for other causes of death.
That placed COVID-19 in the top 5, even though the study clearly shows that the annualized COVID-19 numbers would put COVID-19 as a cause of death no higher than sixth when compared to other causes of death.
Additionally, the study authors took annualized numbers for other causes from 2019.
Also, the authors included deaths among children who had COVID-19 but who did not have COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause on their death certificates, even though the authors said they only included children who had COVID-19 as the underlying cause, according to an Epoch Times review of the CDC database the authors drew from.