Prominent CNN Doctor Concedes US Has Been ‘Overcounting’ COVID-19 Deaths

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A doctor who appeared prominently in the media during the pandemic acknowledged this week the United States is “overcounting” COVID-19 deaths and stressed the need for “transparent reporting” on the real numbers.

Leana Wen, a former Planned Parenthood director who now works for CNN and the Washington Post, told the channel that natural immunity and vaccinations have reduced severe COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

“Hospitals are still routinely testing everyone who’s getting admitted for COVID,” Wen, also a former director of the Baltimore City Health Department, said in response to a question about whether her statements could be “fodder for conspiracy theorists.”

“We’re seeing many people who are hospitalized with COVID, and I think it’s important to separate out who is being hospitalized because of it,” Wen added. “Because there are a lot of people who are still very concerned about their risk from COVID and we need to give them the most accurate data possible so that they can better gauge their risks. There are people still not resuming indoor dining or going to the gym or socializing. We have to give them the most accurate reporting as possible.”

In a Washington Post opinion piece, Wen noted that current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show that about 400 people are dying from the virus every day. She then asked a question that many others have asked over the past three years: “But are these Americans dying from COVID or with COVID?”

“Two infectious-disease experts I spoke with believe that the number of deaths attributed to COVID is far greater than the actual number of people dying from COVID,” she wrote. “Robin Dretler, an attending physician at Emory Decatur Hospital and the former president of Georgia’s chapter of Infectious Diseases Society of America, estimates that at his hospital, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with COVID are actually in the hospital for some other illness.”

Some patients have several concurrent infections, not just COVID-19.

“People who have very low white blood cell counts from chemotherapy might be admitted because of bacterial pneumonia or foot gangrene,” Dretler was quoted as saying. “They may also have COVID, but COVID is not the main reason why they’re so sick.”

By Jack Phillips

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