By H. Ealy, M. McEvoy, M. Sava, S. Gupta, D. Chong, D. White, J. Nowicki, P. Anderson
Key Findings For Data Through July 12th
According to the CDC, 101 children age 0 to 14 have died from influenza, while 31 children have died from COVID-19.
No evidence exists to support the theory that children pose a threat to educational professionals in a school or classroom setting, but there is a great deal of evidence to support the safety of in-person education.
According to the CDC, 131,332 Americans have died from pneumonia and 121,374 from COVID-19 as of July 11th, 2020.
Had the CDC used its industry standard, Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting Revision 2003, as it has for all other causes of death for the last 17 years, the COVID-19 fatality count would be approximately 90.2% lower than it currently is.
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.
These new and unnecessary guidelines were instituted by the CDC in private, and without open discussion among qualified professionals that are free from conflicts of interest.
These new and unnecessary guidelines were additionally instituted despite the existence of effective rules for data collection and reporting, successfully used by all hospitals, medical examiners, coroners, and physicians for more than 17 years.
As a result, elected officials have enacted many questionable policies that have injured our country’s economy, our country’s educational system, our country’s mental and emotional health, and the American citizen’s personal expression of Constitutionally-protected rights to participate in our own governance.
This paper will present significant evidence to support the position that if the CDC simply employed their 2003 industry standard for data collection and reporting, which has been successfully used nationwide for 17 years; the total fatalities attributed to COVID-19 would be reduced by an estimated 90.2%, and questions would be non-existent regarding schools reopening and whether or not Americans should be allowed to work.
… It is very possible that state health departments have been instructed by the CDC to over-count COVID fatalities, cases, and hospitalizations
… there is no more significant risk of fatality from contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus than there is for developing pneumonia for teens & young adults.
… (the) closure or not of schools had no measurable direct impact on the number of laboratory confirmed cases in school-aged children in Finland or Sweden.
After all, based upon the July 11th data from the CDC’s Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age & State webpage, if COVID-19 is an epidemic (122,374 Fatalities), then shouldn’t pneumonia (131,372 Fatalities) also be an epidemic?
Why Did the CDC Decide to Create Unique Reporting Rules for COVID-19 When Successful Reporting Rules Already Existed?
It is important to note that COVID-19 data is collected and reported by a much different standard than all other infectious diseases and causes of death data. This unique standard for COVID-19 was used, despite the existence of guidelines that have been successfully used since 2003 for data collection across all infective, comorbid, and injurious situations.
… 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.
This begs the question, if the CDC already has well established guidelines for reporting fatalities then why make up new guidelines for COVID-19?
The ability for medical examiners and coroners to register their best medical opinion was neutered by the March 24th NVSS guidelines.
If each state were publishing comorbidity data, and if each state used the CDC’s 2003 Revision Handbook as they do for all other death certificates, the actual COVID-19 fatality totals would be approximately 90.2% LOWER than they currently are based upon an extrapolation of the data that is available.
The CDC knew in early March that the vast majority of fatalities would be in people over 60 with comorbidities according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and reported by CNBC on March 9th, 2020.
“This seems to be a disease that affects adults and most seriously older adults. Starting at age 60, there is an increasing risk of disease and the risk increases with age. People with diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and other serious underlying conditions are more likely to develop “serious outcomes, including death.”
Why would the CDC adopt new rules for reporting fatalities when they already had successful guidelines?
Was the CDC and Dr. Fauci, the head of the NIAID (a division of the NIH), aware of the potential implications that adopting these guidelines would create in terms of fatality reporting?
And perhaps the most important question of them all… Is SARS-CoV-2 a naturally evolved microorganism or is it the result of gain of function experiments?
These are questions Americans deserve answers to, for hopefully obvious reasons.
Why does this matter for schools reopening?
The fatality data being reporting has clearly been inflated in multiple ways due to the adoption of recording and reporting rules that were unnecessary. As a result, this has greatly skewed public perception of this crisis, cost more than 50 million Americans their jobs, and created a tremendous amount of undue fear regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Even with the March 24th NVSS guidelines and the April 14th adoption of the CSTE position paper, COVID-19 has a lower risk of fatality than pneumonia in all age demographics and a lower risk of fatality than influenza in the 0 to 14 age demographic according to the CDC.
If the fatality data reporting guidelines inflate COVID-19 fatalities while holding all other causes of death to a different and higher standard, then why are we even considering forcing children to study from home?
That is a question every American must answer for themselves as well.
June 13th CDC changes to hospital guidelines for testing in hospitals [that] creates the opportunity for the same patient being counted multiple times as a new case …
So Why Are Cases & Hospitalizations Continuing to Rise?
It is important to understand the difference between SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. The scientific name of the new strain of coronavirus is SARS-CoV-2. After much naming instability, the disease caused by this new strain is called Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19.
Thus, it is important to realize that once testing is done to determine whether a person is positive for SARS-CoV-2, the patient must then have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 before being counted as a COVID case.
Professional medical training and practice dictates that for a person to be diagnosed with an infection, they must have lab evidence of the infection AND symptoms to support the diagnosis.
This distinction is very important as a person can have detectable evels of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and NOT present with any symptoms. This is possible in the case of a person who had contracted the virus as much as 6 weeks prior, gone through natural adaptive immunity processes to defeat the infection, and now has harmless remnant proteins still present in their body.
For example, an individual may test positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and not have AIDS. Similarly, an individual may test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and not have COVID-19.
In order for a case to be classified as COVID-19 there must be symptoms to support the diagnosis by a licensed professional. Lab testing alone and symptom evaluation alone violates accepted professional standards for differential diagnosis in medical practice.
In addition to what is stated above, there are several factors to consider regarding why we are seeing increases in cases and hospitalizations in addition to what was stated above:
The dramatic increase in testing;
Contact Tracers diagnosing Americans as COVID-19 positive without examination, evidence, or even being required to speak to a patient as allowed for by the CDC’s April 14th adoption of the CSTE’s position paper;
June 13th CDC changes to hospital guidelines for testing in hospitals that creates the opportunity for the same patient being counted multiple times as a new case;
Confirmed & Probable COVID-19 hospitalized cases being counted as COVID-19 cases regardless of the reason for their admission into the hospital.
Increases in Testing
This graph shows how the number of PCR molecular tests processed continues to increase almost daily. Monthly Testing Averages:
April – 167,477 people tested per day;
May – 345,361 people tested per day;
June – 547,480 people tested per day;
July – 696,396 people tested per day thru July 12th.
More people are testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 per day, and thousands more people are being tested per day. Due to the significant increase in number of people being tested, the overall percentage of people testing positive dropped from a peak of 19.6% on April 12th to 7.8% on July 12th.
Contact Tracers Can Diagnose Without Contact
During our investigation, one of the most concerning pieces of information our team has come across is the empowerment of Contact Tracers (CTs) to diagnose without medical training, medical licensure, medical examination, or even being required to make physical or verbal contact with the prospective patient as allowed for by the CDC’s April 14th adoption of the CSTE position paper [section VII.A3].
The CDC followed up this dubious authorization with guidance issued on June 17th, 2020.
“The development and implementation of a robust data management infrastructure will be critical for assigning and managing investigations, linking clients with confirmed and probable COVID-19 to their contacts, and evaluating success and opportunities for improvement in a case investigation and contact tracing program. COVID-19 case investigations will likely be triggered by one of three events:
A positive SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test or
A provider report of a confirmed or probable COVID-19 diagnosis or
Identification of a contact as having COVID-19 through contact tracing
If testing is not available [or declined], symptomatic close contacts should be advised to self-isolate and be managed as a probable case. Self-isolation is recommended for people with probable or confirmed COVID-19 who have mild illness and are able to recover at home.”
What this reveals is that CTs are authorized to diagnose a New COVID-19 case without being medically trained or legally licensed to do so. Even more concerning is that CTs are empowered to do this without needing to examine or take a health history from a prospective patient.
If a person does not answer the call from a CT, then they are able to list that person as a Probable COVID-19 case and report their findings to their state health department for inclusion in reporting data.
This explains why Probable Cases have been rising daily since June 17th despite the dramatic increases in testing.
Changes In Hospital Testing Protocols & The Inclusion Of COVID-19 Probable Hospitalizations
With the abundant availability of PCR molecular testing, most hospitals in the country have adopted the policy of testing all hospital admissions for the SARS-CoV-2 virus upon admission to the hospital regardless of why that person is being admitted.
People admitted for elective surgeries are required to be tested. People admitted for injuries or accidents are being tested. People in need of care for chronic comorbid conditions are being tested, and so forth.
If a person tests positive for presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, regardless of symptom presentation or reason for admission, they are now officially counted as a COVID-19 hospitalized case. This change in policy, never undertaken before, makes it now almost impossible to distinguish between people being admitted for COVID-19 symptoms and people being admitted who simply tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, but are being admitted for reasons other than COVID-19 symptomatology.
As a result, under this methodology of data categorization, hospital numbers have risen and will continue to rise until there are substantive changes to how data is being reported that allows everyone to clearly distinguish between the two vastly different new patient scenarios.
Even worse is the reality that an unacceptable percentage of hospital admissions are ‘Probable’ (‘Suspected’) and not lab confirmed. This is exemplified in this graphic provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on July 12th that shows roughly 70-80% of COVID-19 Hospital Admissions are not lab confirmed. Be aware that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is doing one of the best jobs in reporting among all state health departments despite the highly questionable CDC guidelines they are being confined to adhere to.
These severe breakdowns in accurate, clear data collection and reporting were initiated by the CDC on March 24th, reinforced again in their adoption of the CSTE’s April 14th position paper, and then reinforced yet again with a June 13th update of hospital testing guidelines for the safe discharge of COVID-19 positive patients.
Clearly, we have to make significant changes to our case, hospitalization, and fatality definitions, data collection and reporting as a country, if the ultimate goal is accuracy in reporting for policy-level decision making in the best interests of all Americans.
Had the CDC used the well-established and successful methodology for recording COVID-19 related fatalities, as it does for all other causes of death, the fatality counts would be significantly lower.
How much lower?
We may never know. However, when we base our estimates upon the comorbidity data being published by New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Oklahoma, Utah, Pennsylvania and Iowa the data suggests that accurate fatality rates could drop by approximately 90.2%.
How much would using the Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting rather than the March 24th NVSS guidelines and the April 14th CSTE position paper completely reshape the way we see COVID-19?
How much would it address the fear of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the implications, which so many media outlets have attempted to instilled within us?
And would any objective American have any worry for our children’s safety if they knew that pneumonia and influenza have each claimed more lives in the 0 to 14 age demographic than COVID-19?
We have serious professional and ethical concerns with empowering people with limited medical training to diagnose any medical condition without examining the prospective patient and reviewing a full health history with them as Contact Tracers are doing.
We have serious professional and ethical concerns with hospitals admitting patients as COVID-19 case without definitive evidence.
We have serious professional and ethical concerns with licensed physicians and nurses being required to classify all hospitalizations as COVID-19, regardless of reason for admission, or if the patient tests positive or is suspected to have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Making this a requirement prevents trained medical professionals from using their best judgment in determining diagnosis.
We have serious professional and ethical concerns with COVID-19 having much lower standards of evidence and much broader categories for inclusion into reports as Probable compared to reporting for all other infectious diseases.
In medicine, we are taught not to guess when we can know, but that basic ethos for safe practice and the sharing of accurate information has not been applied to COVID-19 in our professional opinions.
And we have serious professional and ethical concerns with medical examiners and coroners being required to list COVID-19 on Part I line item (a) as the cause of death in the clear presence of comorbid conditions with verifiable medical history, rather than trusting our healthcare professionals to do the job they are trained to do and have done so well, for so many years.
Medical examiners and coroners play a crucial role in saving lives by producing accurate data licensed healthcare professionals to use in clinical settings.
There is something to be learned in every loss of life. Sadly, what we are learning with COVID-19 is that accuracy in reporting does not matter as much as inflating the data and fanning the flame of fear.
Should American children, educational professionals, small business owners, workers and our country as a whole have to suffer because critical mistakes were made in the adoption of unnecessary new reporting rules?
Should public health officials, with no expertise in public education and economic policy, be given unchecked power to create policies that adversely impact the mental, emotional, and social development of our children, suppress small-business economic opportunity, and threaten to destroy the livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans in the name of safety?
These are questions all Americans deserve an answer to and questions we all must answer for ourselves…our collective future depends upon it.
Updated Probability of Recovery & Age Demographics Data
Probability of Recovery continues to improve for all age demographics from our initial June 21st research article.
While the relative percentages of Fatalities with 1+ Comorbidity and age demographics for Fatalities, Hospitalizations, and Cases remains relatively unchanged, there has been a slight redistribution of age demographic percentages for cases, as more children in the Age 0 to 19 demographic are being tested for COVID-19.
Funding & Conflict of Interest Statement
This statistical research paper has been developed, composed and published without any funding, and thanks in part to a strictly, 100% volunteer community effort made by a diverse array of qualified professionals who care deeply about children and the health of every American. The authors of this paper confirm no conflicts of interest, financial, political or otherwise.