At the time this article was written, at least 154,471 people — or slightly greater than 3.32 percent — have died of the minimum of 4,649,102 confirmed cases in the United States, according to this situation dashboard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — and with an estimated population of 331,002,651 people, that means that greater that 0.04 percent of the population of the United States have died from it.
The population of the world is currently at almost 7.8 billion people. Using the higher statistics from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, that means that slightly greater than 0.23 percent of the population have confirmed cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus, with almost 0.009 percent — that is nearly nine thousandths of one percent — of the population having died from it.
“…so, perspective to me is something you always need to consider”, said Blaine Luetkemeyer, who is a Republican member of the House of Representatives who represents the third district in Missouri. “One of the things that concerns me also is…ah…I wish that…uh…Admiral…um…Giroir was here yet. I asked this question of him last time he was here and he…we didn’t have enough time to continue…to continue our discussion on it with regards to the sort of perverse incentive for medical folks to claim that somebody died of COVID versus — if it’s an automobile accident for instance — as long as you have COVID in your system, you get to claim it as a COVID death, in which means you get to get more money as the attending physician, hospital, whatever…uhh…and he acknowledges that the statistics he’s getting from the states are overinflated. We found that the governor of Colorado who is a Democrat actually did research on this and found that he had to get rid of 12 percent of the deaths that were recorded in the state. Uh, Dr. Redfield, would you like to comment on that a little bit about the peverse incentive — and is there an effort to try and do something different in the way that these deaths are recorded so we actually have better records and better numbers, better data to go with?”
Robert Redfield responded to that line of questioning with the following statement:
Thank you, Congressman. I think you’re correct in that we’ve seen this in other disease processes too, really in the HIV epidemic. Somebody may have a heart attack, but also have HIV — the hospital would prefer the DRG for HIV because there’s greater reimbursement.
So I do think there’s some reality to that. When it comes to death reporting, though, I mean, ultimately, it’s how the physician defines it in the death certificate in our…our national health statistics…uhh…a group here in Hyattsville, we review all those death certificates.
Um…so I think, it’s probably less operable in the cause of death, although I…I…I won’t say it’s…there are not some cases. I do think though when it comes to hospital reimbursement issues for individuals they…they get discharged, there…there could be some play in that for sure.
In response, Blaine Luetkemeyer said: “Well, the Admiral certainly acknowledged that last time he was here, so I…I think that’s…um…very concerning.”
Republican lawmakers said that Brett Giroir “acknowledged that the statistics he is getting from the states are over-inflated.”
The time between an infection of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and death from it is typically approximately three weeks.
That some of the foremost experts in the world pertaining to epidemiology acknowledged that hospitals, physicians, and other entities in the health care system in the United States may have a financial incentive to artificially increase their count of fatalities by attributing them to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is quite troubling, to say the least, as it likely means that the aforementioned statistics are likely not accurate or reliable — and that the number of deaths which are truly caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus may actually be fewer than reported.
As a traveler, you should be outraged about that. Inflated statistics mean more fodder for both the mainstream media to irresponsibly report on the pandemic and politicians whose self interests trump those of their constituents, which may have caused a gross overreaction by the general public who may have been unnecessarily frightened or scared as a result, which then prompted governments and corporations to implement measures and policies — some of them draconian — to appear to mitigate those fears and appease their constituents and customers…
…and that includes the drastically reduced state in which the travel industry finds itself — in the form of fewer flights, closed hotel properties, and sealed borders of countries and other self-governed jurisdictions.
If the numbers in the statistics are indeed proven to be inflated, that is wholly unacceptable, inexcusable, unethical, irresponsible, and morally reprehensible — and those who have indeed contributed to that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and not hailed as heroes.