“Whichever way the wind blows,” should be the motto over at CNN.
Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst, has once again set sail in the opposite direction from which she started.
In a column for the Washington Post earlier this month, Wen wrote, “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.”
Wen quoted Robin Dretler, the former president of Georgia’s chapter of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, as saying that 90 percent of patients diagnosed with COVID at Emory Decatur Hospital, where he works, are actually there for some other illness.
You read that correctly: 90 percent.
Dretler told Wen, “Since every hospitalized patient gets tested for COVID, many are incidentally positive. If these patients die, COVID might get added to their death certificate along with the other diagnoses. But the coronavirus was not the primary contributor to their death and often played no role at all.”
Wen noted that people with gunshot wounds or other serious illnesses often test positive for the virus.
Dretler said this led to “imprecise reporting” on COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations. But the imprecision did not come from a place of “bad intent.” He claimed that there was no “conspiracy” behind it to “exaggerate coronavirus numbers for some nefarious purpose.”
A nefarious purpose like hospitals getting more money for COVID-19 deaths? Medicare, the government health program for the elderly and disabled, pays 20 percent more than its ordinary reimbursement for COVID patients — because of the federal CARES Act, a stimulus bill passed in early 2020, according to Medscape.
Wen also cited infectious-disease physician Shira Doron, who told her that lately, only about 30 percent of Massachusetts’ total hospitalizations with COVID could be mainly attributed to the virus.”
Doron, who works at Tufts Medical Center, told Wen that at times, only 10 percent of those in her hospital with COVID were actually hospitalized because of the virus.
So how many deaths were being counted as COVID-19 deaths? Anyone with COVID-19?
Wen also went on CNN to discuss this development.
If Wen had written a similar article during the thick of the pandemic, she would have been labeled a conspiracy theorist. CNN very well might have canned her.
In September 2020, for example, CNN quoted CDC officials as denying that the number of coronavirus deaths had been exaggerated. The article called such claims “rumors — spread mostly on social media.”
And CNN wasn’t alone. A chorus of conspiracy theory accusations flooded the media.
In October 2020, Scientific American published an article that claimed, “President Trump and other conspiracy fantasists touted the fake claim that COVID death counts are exaggerated.”
In November, Medscape published an article titled, “How COVID-19 Death Counts Morphed Into a Conspiracy Theory.”
In 2021, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams claimed there was “no reason to doubt” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 death toll, reported CNN. This flew in the face of then-President Donald Trump’s claim that the agency had “exaggerated” its numbers.
“From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers,” Adams told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
Talk about an about-face. From CNN’s own reporting, this is a conspiracy theory come true. The irony is that CNN was consistently on the frontlines in labeling claims that COVID death rates were exaggerated as conspiracy theories.
What changed Wen’s mind? Who knows? Suffice to say, she has a spotty track record. In 2021, Wen went so far as to claim that unvaccinated people shouldn’t be allowed to leave their homes, FEE reported.
“We need to start looking at the choice to remain unvaccinated the same as we look at driving while intoxicated,” Wen told CNN’s Chris Cuomo at that time. “You have the option to not get vaccinated if you want, but then you can’t go out in public.”
How’s that working out for you, Dr. Wen? Are you ready to change your mind?
You get the picture. From early 2020 until very recently, anyone who pushed back against the establishment narrative that vaccines were the be-all and end-all weapon against a virus that was killing untold numbers of people was quickly labeled a conspiracy theorist.
That was then.
People’s memories aren’t as short as the mainstream media and their governmental allies might like.
A good number of Twitter readers were a bit miffed at Wen’s article, according to the New York Post.
Epidemiologist Dr. Tracy Høeg tweeted, “Spring 2021 [USA] had good evidence >40% of child COVID admissions were incidental. 2021 Denmark announced they’d distinguish with vs from COVID hosp. COVID+ deaths in [Denmark] in 2022 [were] 60-70% incidental.”
Høeg added, “Amazing how long it has taken the U.S. to accept this is a problem.”
Center for Security Policy senior analyst J. Michael Waller slammed the article and the Washington Post, “Not long ago, the Washington Post was calling us conspiracy theorists for saying such things.”
Author A.J. Kay tweeted, “Well, yeah … You’d think seeing this in legacy media would offer a feeling of vindication or resolution for those of us who have been screaming about it since 2020, but really it’s just exasperation, anger, & grief. The lies caused so much harm.”
Journalist Adam Creighton tweeted, “People saying this a year ago were booted off social media.”
Jeffrey Tucker, President of the Brownstone Institute, tweeted, “This is not just recently true. It’s been true for three years! We truly do not know how many actually died from COVID, which means that not even the CFR is accurate.”
Timcast staff writer Adrian Norman wrote, “TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATE.”
It’s no wonder why mainstream media doesn’t have a lot of credibility these days.
It’s also no wonder why trust in the government is at an all-time low.
When you go whichever way the wind blows, you end up going in circles.