Coronavirus Deaths: Debunking a Conspiracy Theory

Go Lean Commentary

A Gun Shot Wound (GSW) victim contracts Coronavirus while in the hospital and dies. What is the Cause of Death? The GSW?! Coronavirus?! Both?!

Unfortunately, the management of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has become politicized … especially in the US. There are two sides on the issue: Liberals vs Conservatives.

Conservatives tend to be less cooperative with Science; (also opposing Climate Change); and prone to support conspiracy theories, i.e. 5G cause for COVID-19.

This is the issue again now. The Conservatives have downplayed the seriousness of the Coronavirus; first labeling it a hoax, then assigning it as “just the common flu”, and now conspiring that less people have actually died compared to the official scientific tally. (The Liberals only want to count the dead).

See this news story here, as it highlights the new conspiracy theory that the Coronavirus deaths are overblown and exaggerated:

Title: The conspiracy theorists are wrong: Doctors are not inflating America’s COVID-19 death toll for cash  VIDEO:

Earlier this week, Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst became the first member of “the world’s greatest deliberative body” to embrace a false online conspiracy theory that seeks to minimize the danger of COVID-19 by claiming only a few thousand Americans have died from the virus — not the 185,000 reported by state and local health agencies and hospitals.

Ernst, who described herself as “so skeptical” of the official death toll, even went so far as to echo the nonsense argument spread by QAnon and other right-wing conspiracy-mongers that medical providers who have risked their own lives and health to treat COVID-19 patients have been attributing non-COVID deaths to the virus to rake in extra cash from the federal government.

“These health-care providers and others are reimbursed at a higher rate if COVID is tied to it, so what do you think they’re doing?” Ernst, who is facing a tight reelection race, said Monday at a campaign stop near Waterloo, Iowa, according to a report by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

“They’re thinking there may be 10,000 or less deaths that were actually singularly COVID-19,” Ernst added in an interview with the paper. “I’m just really curious. It would be interesting to know that.”

Since Ernst is “really curious,” here are the facts.

Yes, Medicare pays hospitals more for treating COVID-19 patients — 20 percent more than its designated rate, to be exact. Incidentally, this additional payment was approved 96-0 in the U.S. Senate — including by Joni Ernst. The reason Ernst (and all of her Senate colleagues) voted for it is simple: It helped keep U.S. hospitals open and operating during a worldwide emergency.

“This is no scandal,” Joseph Antos, a scholar in health care at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, explained in a recent PolitiFact fact-check. “The 20 percent was added by Congress because hospitals have lost revenue from routine care and elective surgeries that they can’t provide during this crisis, and because the cost of providing even routine services to COVID patients has jumped.”

In other words, no one is getting rich by misclassifying COVID-19 deaths.

It’s also fair to say that fewer than 185,000 Americans have died “singularly,” as Ernst put it, from COVID-19. According to a recent update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 94 percent of patients whose primary cause of death was listed as COVID-19 were also judged to have comorbidities — secondary conditions like diabetes that often exacerbate the virus’s effects. For the remaining 6 percent, COVID-19 was the only cause listed in conjunction with their deaths.

On Sunday, President Trump retweeted a QAnon backer who falsely claimed this meant that only 6 percent of reported COVID-19 deaths — that is, 10,000 or so — were actually caused by the virus. Perhaps this “report” is what Ernst was referring to when she agreed Monday with an audience member who theorized that COVID-19 deaths had been overcounted. “I heard the same thing on the news,” she said.

Yet Twitter quickly removed the tweet for spreading false information, and for good reason.

Despite all the innuendo, there’s nothing unusual about the way the government is counting coronavirus deaths, as we have previously explained. In any crisis — whether it’s a pandemic or a hurricane — people with preexisting conditions will die. The standard for attributing such deaths to the pandemic is to determine whether those people would have died when they did if the current crisis had never happened.

When it comes to the coronavirus, the data is clear: COVID-19 is much more likely to kill you if your system has already been compromised by some other ailment, such as asthma, HIV, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease or cardiovascular disease. But that doesn’t mean patients with those health problems would have died this week (or last week, or next month) no matter what. The vast majority of them probably wouldn’t have. COVID-19 was the cause of death — the disease that killed them now, and not later.

A closer look at the CDC data, meanwhile, reveals that many of the comorbidities listed by medical providers are complications caused by COVID-19 rather than chronic conditions that predated infection: heart failure, renal failure, respiratory failure, sepsis and so on.

Feverishly creating a baseless fiction from two threads of unrelated information — the additional Medicare payments and the CDC update about comorbidities — is a classic conspiracy-theorist move. But that doesn’t make it true.

“Let there not be any confusion,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday. “It’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19. It’s 180,000-plus deaths.”

“The point that the CDC was trying to make was that a certain percentage of [deaths] had nothing else but COVID,” Fauci continued. “That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of COVID didn’t die of COVID-19. They did.”

In reality, it’s more likely that the U.S. is undercounting rather than overcounting COVID-19 deaths. According to a recent New York Times analysis of CDC estimates, at least 200,000 more people than usual died in the U.S. between March and early August — meaning that the official COVID-19 death count, which hit 140,000 over the same period, is probably too low.

In the Hawkeye State, COVID-19 had killed at least 1,125 as of Wednesday afternoon. Over the past week, the state has reported an average of 1,177 cases per day, an increase of 124 percent from the average two weeks earlier. Its positive testing rate has risen from 10 percent to 18.5 percent since then.

So while Republican lawmakers such as Ernst seek to downplay the lethality of the virus, Theresa Greenfield, Iowa’s Democratic Senate candidate, seized on her opponent’s baseless claim to underscore the gravity of the situation in one of the only states in America where the pandemic is getting worse.

“It’s appalling for you to say you’re ‘so skeptical’ of the toll this pandemic has on our families and communities across Iowa,” Greenfield tweeted Tuesday, addressing the senator. “We need leaders who will take this seriously.”

Source: Retrieved September 4, 2020 from:


Related: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis sidelined his health department. Florida paid the price.

Let’s recap: Some people have downplayed the COVID-19 deaths and suffering of people to promote a political story-line. Ouch! But, this sounds so familiar. We have been there; done that. Remember Puerto Rico?!

In a previous blog-commentary from the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean, it related how Puerto Rico’s death toll from devastating Category 5 Hurricane Maria in 2017 was downplayed (under-counted) to project a fallacy that the response by the Federal Government under the “Conservative” President, Donald Trump, was adequate or benevolent. It was neither! See this except here:

We learn now that even the resultant deaths from Hurricane Maria had been under counted.

What? How? Why?

The act of counting deaths is more straight-forward than the Washington and San Juan officials would have you believe. Simply count the number of mortalities (death certificates issued) for the 4th Quarter of the last few years. The PR government try to assert that the number of deaths were 64 people; and yet demographers and other social scientists counted the mortality rate for 4th Quarter 2017 and the 4th Quarters in previous years and the real count is more like:


Wait, wait … don’t tell me! According to this story here, “researchers concluded the final death count could [actually] be as high as 8,500”.

There is no valid dissent: 185,000 people have died … as of September 3, 2020. Period!

A desire to downplay this actuality is reflective of a malevolent spirit. This is America today – not the ideal “city on the hill” that they want to project. This is the same country – and administration – that undervalued the lost lives in the US Territory of Puerto Rico. This is mindful of the expression:

Never kill yourself for someone who would rather watch you die.

This is not just theoretical!

In an interview, in response to the request for sorrow on the large number of dead, President Trump callously declared:

It is what it is.

VIDEO – Trump: It Is What It Is –

Posted August 4, 2020 – American Bridge 21st Century

The Go Lean book presented a roadmap to introduce and implement the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) as a technocracy to act on behalf of Caribbean member-states so that we will not be parasites of the American hegemony but rather protégés. The vision is for the CU to do its own heavy-lifting for health-wellness and Homeland Security. This would remediate and mitigate all domestic threats, natural or pandemic. So the regional Security Apparatus would include Disease Control and Management. The functionalities of this technocracy are described as follows:

Strategies – Comparing Strategies – Healthcare –vs- Bush Medicine (Page 50)
The CU plans calls for some health care reform, under the guise of homeland and economic security, emergency management and cross border initiatives (disease management and organ transplantation).

Tactical – Separation of Powers –  I2: Disease Control & Management (Page 86)
Due to the systemic threat, epidemic response and disease control will be coordinated at the CU level. This agency will manage the detailed inventory needs of pharmaceuticals (vaccinations, etc.) so that the Group Purchasing Organization can negotiate for volume-wholesale pricing/discounts and delivery schedules on the regional level.

The data associated with Flu Shots, Vaccinations, STDs should be mined and published by the CU.

This agency will also sponsor Disease Management schemes to identify, educate, treat patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, heart, COPD, and other ailments that tend to have no cure, but the affected could prosper with proper management.

Advocacy – 10 Ways to Improve Healthcare – Public Health Extension (Page 156)
Due to the systemic threat, epidemic response and disease control will be coordinated at the federal level. Also, the acquisition of public-bound pharmaceuticals (vaccinations, etc.) can be negotiated at the regional level, using the Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) envisioned in this roadmap. This will lead to a better supply and pricing dynamics. …

Advocacy – 10 Ways to Impact Cancer – Public Health Administration (Page 157)
Not all [disease] cancer is hereditary or tied to lifestyle (smoking, obesity, diet), sometimes there are environmental agents. The CU treaty grants jurisdiction for systemic threats, epidemic response and/or disease control. Despite the pro-business ethos, the CU will assuage any threat of new/existing industrial endeavors with thorough environmental impact studies.

Since we have been here before – Puerto Rico – we should have learned. This is not the first epidemic and will not be the last! This is why the Go Lean movement urges the Caribbean to have a Pandemic Playbook for regional protection.

The points of effective, technocratic epidemiological stewardship gleaned from facts in history were further elaborated upon in these previous blog/commentaries: A 7-part series on Pandemic Playbooks for the Caribbean BHAG – Need ‘Big Brother’ for Pandemics Industrial Reboot – Trauma 101 Zika’s Drug Breakthrough Zika – A 4-Letter Word Managing a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ Stopping Ebola Painful and rapid spread of Chikungunya virus in the Caribbean

The purpose of this commentary was to stress the fact we need to count the dead … accurately. Our Pandemic Playbook must include the act of counting.

The Go Lean movement (book and subsequent blog-commentaries) stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit; no one member-states has the prowess, resources and experience to implement a Pandemic Playbook alone.

Prowess, resources and experience, yes? But genius skills are not necessarily the requirement for just counting the dead. While the Pandemic Playbook must reflect an “Art and a Science”, counting the dead is all about “arithmetic”. “They” say many fields of endeavors require “Art and Science” in order to master. But counting the dead is no “Art”; this is STEM 101 -(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Its ironic that the political faction, Conservatives, that opposes most scientific scrutiny – like Climate Change – seems to be the same people that are refusing the proper count. Their “science” comprehension and competence always seem to fall short; yet, they are quick to embrace conspiracy theories … Arrrgggghhh!!!

We urge all Caribbean stakeholders – governments and citizens – to lean-in to the science, not the conspiracies … and lean-in to this roadmap for an effective and efficient Pandemic Playbook for our region; this reflects the Best Practices of medical science.

We need scientific accomplishments to make progress. This is how we make our homeland a better place to live, work, heal and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

ix. Whereas the realities of healthcare and an aging population cannot be ignored and cannot be afforded without some advanced mitigation, the Federation must arrange for health plans to consolidate premiums of both healthy and sickly people across the wider base of the entire Caribbean population. The mitigation should extend further to disease management, wellness, mental health, obesity and smoking cessation programs. …

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety. …

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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