Horowitz: Dr. Birx: ‘We’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality’

· April 8, 2020  
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Dr. Deborah Birx
Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/Bloomberg | Getty Images

Why would our governing elites be so motivated to overstate the impact of COVID-19 and scare people beyond the unprecedented levels of panic that are already pervasive in this country?

Believe it or not, the coronavirus epidemic does not stop deaths from other causes. While the politicians are shutting down other medical care in this country, they fail to recognize that life and even death go on. Many of us have been concerned that they have been conflating deaths due to coronavirus with deaths of those who have coronavirus but ultimately succumb to other illnesses. In their quest to continue this degree of fascism, plus in the motivation of some hospitals to get more federal relief funds, there is every incentive to code as many deaths as possible as related to COVID-19.

Yesterday, Dr. Deborah Birx finally let the secret out during the daily press conference in response to a reporter’s question. “I think in this country, we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality,” said Dr. Birx, who along with Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the face of this push for a national lockdown.

“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem. Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.”

“The intent is if someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death,” concluded Birx.

Truth be told, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has already indicated that COVID-19 deaths are not being recorded based on definitive confirmation that the virus caused death in a given decedent. “In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID–19 cannot be made, but it is suspected or likely, it is acceptable to report COVID–19 on a death certificate as ‘probable’ or ‘presumed’,” the CDC advises in its April guidance for recording COVID-19 deaths. “In these instances, certifiers should use their best clinical judgment in determining if a COVID–19 infection was likely.”

When Birx was asked whether such an approach to toxicology could “skew data,” Birx conceded it might be a possibility in parts of the country where testing is not widespread, but not in the hot spots. “I’m pretty confident that in New York City and New Jersey and places that have these large outbreaks and COVID-only hospitals … I can tell you they are testing,” she said.

But so what if they are testing? There’s a difference between someone dying of COVID-19 and someone dying with COVID-19. Typically, an autopsy would be performed to determine the actual cause of death. This is very important in determining the real fatality rate of the virus.

Some might suggest that it makes sense to count these deaths as COVID-19-related because although some of these people were sick with other ailments, they likely died only due to the virus. But we don’t know that to be true. If that were the case, the number of other common morbidities would be stable as coronavirus deaths skyrocket. However, new anecdotal evidence suggests that heart attack fatalities have mysteriously plummeted.

Harlan Krumholz, a doctor at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, wrote in the New York Times earlier this week that his hospital is eerily empty of heart and stroke patients. While some of this is due to the cancellation of elective surgeries, it doesn’t explain the drop in other medical emergencies that are not elective or planned. “What is striking is that many of the emergencies have disappeared,” wrote Dr. Krumholz.

Heart attack and stroke teams, always poised to rush in and save lives, are mostly idle.  This is not just at my hospital. My fellow cardiologists have shared with me that their cardiology consultations have shrunk, except those related to Covid-19. In an informal Twitter poll by @angioplastyorg, an online community of cardiologists, almost half of the respondents reported that they are seeing a 40 percent to 60 percent reduction in admissions for heart attacks; about 20 percent reported more than a 60 percent reduction.

Dr. Krumholz posits that perhaps some patients are dying in silence at home out of fear of coming to the hospital. He explores possible reasons for a reduction in other illnesses, but seems to believe that, if anything, given the anxiety and stress of this crisis, we should be seeing more heart attacks. It’s one thing to expect car accident fatalities to plummet, given how few people are on the roads. But heart attacks?

While Dr. Krumholz’s main point is to warn people not to be deterred from seeking medical care for other emergencies, perhaps he is glossing over another factor. Could it be that some of those mysteriously absent heart attack and stroke patients are really in the COVID-19 cases?

Dr. Krumholz explains that his fellow doctors actually expected to see more heart attacks because “respiratory infections typically increase the risk of heart attacks.”

“Studies suggest that recent respiratory infections can double the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” observes Krumholz. “The risk seems to begin soon after the respiratory infection develops, so any rise in heart attacks or strokes should be evident by now.”

Well, what if I told you that this is actually happening, but these cases are being recorded as COVID-19 deaths, not as heart attacks, simply because the patient died with the virus?

This is what is so sad about our medical elite in America. There is such an eager agenda to use this crisis to restrict liberties and, as California Governor Gavin Newsom revealed, as “an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.”

President Eisenhower famously warned against the “military-industrial complex.” However, just as importantly, during his farewell address in 1961, he warned against the scientific-industrial complex. “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

As we see one “scientific” model after another proven wrong in pursuit of a police state, perhaps it’s time we call BS on the “scientific-technological elite.”

Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.