Dr. Leana Wen writes that deaths from COVID are overcounted

CNN medical analyst and Washington Post columnist Dr. Leana Wen admitted in a column Friday that the medical community is “overcounting” the number of “deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19.”

Wen, who writes an occasional Washington Post column offering her observations on the pandemic, the mask and other topics related to COVID, cited sources who claim that most “patients diagnosed with COVID are actually in the hospital for some other disease”.

The article is titled, “We are overcounting deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19. This is a problem.”

Wen’s remarks prompted Twitter readers to protest, stating that it was “two and a half years late”.

Wen began her column with some apparent skepticism about the CDC’s latest COVID-19 death statistics: “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing approximately 400 deaths from COVID-19 each day. At that rate, there would be nearly 150,000 deaths per year. But are these Americans dying from COVID or from COVID?”

The doctor claimed that “Understanding this distinction is crucial to putting the ongoing loss of the coronavirus into perspective. “Determining how likely an infection is to lead to hospitalization or death helps people weigh their risks.”

She spoke with two infectious disease experts, who told her they believe “the number of deaths attributed to COVID is far greater than the actual number of people dying from COVID.”

Referring to the former, he wrote: “Robin Dretler, an attending physician at Emory Decatur Hospital and past president of Georgia’s Infectious Diseases Society of America chapter, estimates that at his hospital, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with COVID are actually at the hospital. for some other disease”.

Dretler told the analyst: “Since every hospitalized patient is tested for COVID, many are incidentally positive.” Wen noted how people with gunshot wounds or other serious illnesses often test positive for the virus and wrote, “If these patients die, COVID can be added to their death certificate along with the other diagnoses. But the coronavirus was not the main factor contributing to their deaths and often played no role at all.”

Patient in the COVID hospital
Dr. Leana Wen cited an expert who claimed that only 30% of those hospitalized with COVID were there primarily because of COVID.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dretler admitted that this contributed to “inaccurate reporting” of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, which he added did not come from “bad intentions.” He denied there was any “conspiracy” behind it to “exaggerate the numbers of the coronavirus for some nefarious purpose”.

Wen also cited infectious disease doctor Shira Doron, who estimated that “In recent months, only 30 percent of total hospitalizations with COVID were primarily attributed to the virus” in Massachusetts hospitals for example.

Wen recounted Doron’s experience at Tufts Medical Center, writing, “On some days, he said, the percentage of those hospitalized for COVID was as low as 10 percent of the total number reported” to have had COVID.

Wen added, “Doron acknowledges that there is a gray area in the data where COVID may not be the primary cause of death, but could have contributed to it.”

Toward the end of her article, Wen stated, “To be clear, if the number of deaths from COVID turns out to be 30 percent of what is currently being reported, that is still unacceptably high.”

Many readers on Twitter seemed disappointed with the piece, expressing that they believed the medical community had been counting years now and that Wen’s information was coming too late.

The epidemiologist Dr. Tracy Høeg responded to Wen’s article, stating: “Spring 2021 [USA] had good evidence >40% of pediatric admissions for COVID were accidental. 2021 Denmark announced to stand out against COVID Hosp. Deaths from COVID+ in [Denmark] in 2022 [were] 60-70% random.”

The doctor added, “It’s amazing how long it took the US to accept this is a problem.”

Senior analyst at the Security Policy Center, J. Michael Waller criticized the Washington Post for the column, stating, “Not too long ago, the Washington Post called us conspiracy theorists for saying things like that.”

Writer AJ Kay tweeted: “Well yeah… You’d think seeing this on legacy media would offer some sense of vindication or resolution for those of us who’ve been screaming about it since 2020, but really it’s just irritation, anger and sadness . Lies have caused so much harm.”

The Australian’s Adam Creighton tweeted: “People who were saying this a year ago have gone off social media.”

Brownstone Institute President Jeffrey Tucker tweeted: “This is not only recently true. It has been true for three years! We really don’t know how many actually died from COVID, which means that even the CFR is not accurate.”

Timcast staff writer Adrian Norman wrote, “TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATE.”