On February 1, 2021, Patrick Howley, writing for National File, reported that an investigation by the Public Health Policy Initiative uncovered evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) violated federal law by fraudulently inflating COVID-19 fatality numbers.
Howley reported that the investigation revealed that the “CDC illegally inflated the COVID fatality number by at least 1,600 percent.” Howley explained how that was done:
On March 24th the CDC published the NVSS COVID-19 Alert No. 2 document instructing medical examiners, coroners and physicians to deemphasize underlying causes of death, also referred to as pre-existing conditions or comorbidities, by recording them in Part II rather than Part I of death certificates as “…the underlying cause of death are expected to result in COVID-19 being the underlying cause of death more often than not.” This was a major rule change for death certificate reporting from the CDC’s 2003 Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting and Physicians’ Handbook on Medical Certification of Death, which have instructed death reporting professionals nationwide to report underlying conditions in Part I for the previous 17 years. This single change resulted in a significant inflation of COVID-19 fatalities by instructing that COVID-19 be listed in Part I of death certificates as a definitive cause of death regardless of confirmatory evidence, rather than listed in Part II as a contributor to death in the presence of pre-existing conditions, as would have been done using the 2003 guidelines. The research draws attention to this key distinction as it has led to a significant inflation in COVID fatality totals. By the researcher’s estimates, COVID-19 recorded fatalities are inflated nationwide by as much as 1600% above what they would be had the CDC used the 2003 handbooks.
Howley explains the effect of the CDC fraud and what should be done about it:
By enacting these new rules exclusively for COVID-19 in violation of federal law, the research alleges that the CDC significantly inflated data that has been used by elected officials and public health officials, in conjunction with unproven projection models from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), to justify extended closures for schools, places of worship, entertainment, and small businesses leading to unprecedented emotional and economic hardships nationwide. A formal petition has been sent to the Department of Justice as well as all US Attorneys seeking an immediate grand jury investigation into these allegations.
The report from the Public Health Policy Initiative is titled COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective. The report explains the method used by the CDC to artificially inflate the COVID-19 death statistics.
The CDC published guidelines on March 24, 2020 that substantially altered how cause of death is recorded exclusively for COVID-19. This change was enacted apparently without public opportunity for comment or peer-review. As a result, a capricious alteration to data collection has compromised the accuracy, quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of their published data, leading to a significant increase in COVID-19 fatalities. This decision by the CDC may have subverted the legal oversight of the OMB as Congressionally authorized by the PRA & IQA as well.
The report explains that under this newly adopted CDC reporting scheme “COVID-19 became emphasized as a cause of death as frequently as possible, while comorbidity was simultaneously deemphasized as causes of death.”
The investigators reiterated what it had revealed in a prior July 24, 2020, report titled If COVID Fatalities Were 90.2% Lower, How Would You Feel About Schools Reopening?. “The CDC has instructed hospitals, medical examiners, coroners and physicians to collect and report COVID-19 data by significantly different standards than all other infectious diseases and causes of death.”
The state public officials dutifully followed the new CDC guidance, which means that “COVID-19 data is collected and reported by a much different standard than all other infectious diseases and causes of death data.”
In that July 24, 2020, article, the researchers explained:
On March 24th, the NVSS, under the direction of the CDC and National Institute of Health (NIH), instructed physicians, medical examiners, and coroners that COVID-19 would:
- be recorded as the underlying cause of death “more often than not;”
- be recorded as the cause of death listed in Part I of the death certificate even in assumed cases;
- be recorded as the primary cause of death even if the decedent had other chronic comorbidities. All comorbidities for COVID-19 would be listed now in Part II, rather than in Part I as they had been since 2003 for all other causes of death.
March 24th, 2020 – NVSS COVID-19 Alert No. 2
“Will COVID-19 be the underlying cause? The underlying cause depends upon what and where conditions are reported on the death certificate. However, the rules for coding and selection of the underlying cause of death are expected to result in COVID19 being the underlying cause more often than not.”
“Should “COVID-19” be reported on the death certificate only with a confirmed test? COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death. Certifiers should include as much detail as possible based on their knowledge of the case, medical records, laboratory testing, etc. If the decedent had other chronic conditions such as COPD or asthma that may have also contributed, these conditions can be reported in Part II. (See attached Guidance for Certifying COVID-19 Deaths)”
It’s worth noting that Part I of a death certificate is the immediate cause of death listed in sequential order from the official cause on line item (a) to the underlying causes that contributed to death in descending order of importance on line item (d), while Part II is/are the significant conditions NOT relating to the underlying cause(s) in Part I.
As we will demonstrate shortly, comorbid conditions are always listed on Part I of death certificates as causes of death per the 2003 CDC Handbook, so that accurate reporting can be developed. Comorbidities are seldom placed in Part II, as this is typically the place where coroners and medical examiners can list recent infections as underlying factors.
Prior to the March 24th and April 14th decisions, any comorbidities would have been listed in Part I rather than Part II and initiating factors, like recent infections, would have been listed on the last line in Part I or in Part II.
The graph below represents the actual deaths due to COVID-19 if those deaths had been reported according to the traditional CDC rules that were listed in the 2003 CDC Medical Examiner’s and Coroner’s Handbook on Death Registration, which were in effect until the new COVID-19 rules were issued by the CDC on March 24, 2020. The new reporting rules only apply to COVID-19. All other causes of death still follow the traditional rules set forth in the 2003 CDC Handbook. Notice how the new CDC guidance for reporting COVID-19 deaths initiated in the March 24, 2020, COVID-19 Alert No. 2 inflated the number of deaths from COVID-19 1600%.
The March 24, 2020, COVID-19 Alert No. 2 referred to additional documents providing further guidance, which seemed to be a reference to a March 4, 2020, CDC document titled Guidance for Certifying COVID-19 Deaths, which explained how to list COVID-19 in Part I of the Death Certificate to show how to list COVID-19 as the “underlying cause” of death.
Since the new rules were such a clear departure from the prior practice it was necessary for the CDC to elaborate with further guidance in April 2020.
I explained how the scam worked in a September 1, 2020, blog post titled, The COVID-19 Comorbidity Scam of the CDC.
The CDC admitted in its March 24, 2020, COVID-19 Alert No. 2 that “the rules for coding and selection of the underlying cause of death are expected to result in COVID19 being the underlying cause more often than not.”