Massachusetts, joining New York, just announced that hospitals in the state will start to distinguish between patients who are admitted because of COVID-19 versus patients who happen to test positive for COVID-19, but have been admitted for some other health ailment.
That’s like saying these two states have finally decided to tell the truth.
Great news. At long last.
But great news that’s come almost two years too late.
Why were statistics allowed to be so badly skewed in the first place?
From the erroneously reported hospital statistics come coronavirus-tied statements like this — from none other than Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “Those numbers show that omicron is as deadly and causes as much serious disease in the unvaccinated as delta did. … We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”
Umm … no. Not even close. The fact Sotomayor made that ridiculously flawed remark during a court hearing on two coronavirus cases that hold potential to clamp individual liberties and free choice more than any other judicial consideration in recent history — more, even, than Obamacare — only underscores the importance of truthful reporting on medical statistics.
In an interview on Fox News over the weekend, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Rochelle Walensky confirmed how wrong Sotomayor was by citing the true child case numbers in America’s hospitals: less than 3,500.
That’s quite a difference.
The first is a panic button. The second, a comparative yawn — especially when it’s also clarified that kids aren’t dying from the virus.
“Children of all ages can become ill with coronavirus … [b]ut most kids who are infected typically don’t become as sick as adults and some might not show any symptoms at all,” the Mayo Clinic wrote, in posts updated this month.
And yet, misinformation abounds — most egregiously among leftists.
“Democrats,” The New York Times wrote in a March 2021 report on misconceptions about the coronavirus, “are … more likely to exaggerate Covid’s toll on young people and to believe that children account for a meaningful share of deaths. In reality, Americans under 18 account for only 0.04 percent of Covid deaths.”
Once again, truth-telling with the stats seems of paramount importance, and hospitals have failed miserably along this line. Why? Laziness, perhaps. Herd mentality, perhaps. Pressure to comply with the agendas of government and Big Pharma, perhaps. But more likely, it’s money.
“Fact check: Hospitals get paid more if patients listed as COVID-19, on ventilators,” USA Today wrote in a Fact Check from April 2020.
Medicare pays $5,000 per person admitted for pneumonia; $13,000 if it’s COVID-19-tied pneumonia; $39,000 if the COVID-19-tied pneumonia results in the use of a ventilator. That’s the fact-checked truth.
That’s the incentivizing, motivating factor for hospitals to play fast and loose with the coronavirus statistics.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s utter bungling of COVID-19 truths, some hospitals, some states are starting to see the light.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that beginning this week, coronavirus cases recorded from hospitals will have to indicate whether the virus was “primary or incidental” to the patient’s stay.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul put it this way, when announcing a similar rule for her state’s health systems: “How many people are being hospitalized because of COVID symptoms? How many people are happened to be testing positive just while they’re in there for other treatments? I think that’s important,” Breitbart reported.
Yes. It is important.
But it was just as important two years ago — and where were the truth-tellers and defenders of truth-telling then?
Sucking up the cash, drumming up the fears.
That’s how we got from a nation of free people to a country of cowardly ducks, with half the population afraid to step outside their doors without face masks.
That’s how we got a Supreme Court justice who cited such flawed statistics that one can only hope won’t skew her final judgment on the coronavirus cases she just heard.
Truth in science, truth in reporting, truth in statistics and data: It’s a concept that should have been with coronavirus response from the start.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.
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