On Mar. 19, 2020, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Italy reached 3,405. The number was significant in that it surpassed the number of COVID-19 deaths in China, which stood at 3,245 at the time, and thus it was widely reported by the media.1 2 3 4 The following day, the president of the Italian Civil Protection Department, Angelo Borrelli, held a press briefing regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in the country and he specifically addressed the death count.5 6 7 Borrelli stressed…
Borrelli was clarifying that the 3,405 people who died did not all die from COVID-19 even though they tested positive for the coronavirus that can cause the disease. He was making the distinction between dying with the virus and dying from the virus, which is not a negligible thing. Particularly when the perceived lethality of the virus may be the key factor behind public policy decisions to encourage “social distancing,” quarantine certain people and mandate the closure of large segments of society and even potentially institute martial law, suspend constitutional rights and violate basic civil liberties.
Professor Walter Ricciardi, who is an adviser to Italy’s Ministry of Health, confirms Borrelli’s point. He recently noted that the way in which doctors code deaths in Italy is “very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”7 8 9 10
So why offer what appears to be an inflated figure for COVID-19 deaths in Italy? Why not simply provide the actual number of people who died from COVID-19? In a health crisis where the public is already fearful, why put publish inaccurate information that can only serve to panic people further? Padding the numbers doesn’t make sense unless the goal is to create more fear and panic.
So if 3,405 people reportedly died of COVID-19 in Italy by Mar. 19 and not all of them died with COVID-19 as the primary cause of death, then what was the real number? According to Prof. Ricciardi:
On re-evaluation by the [Italian] National Institute of Health, only 12 percent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 percent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity—many had two or three.7 8 9 10 11
If that’s true, then, of the 3,405 deaths initially reported in Italy as being solely caused by COVID-19, only 409 of them actually can be classified as COVID-19 deaths. That is a huge discrepancy, and one that can dramatically skew the public’s view of the impact of COVID-19 in Italy.
What if this same dynamic were in play in the United States? What if only 12 percent of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. were actually caused by the virus?
It turns out that such a question may not be as implausible as some may think. On Apr. 7, 2020, Minnesota state senator and family physician Scott Jensen, MD said in an interview that he had received a seven-page document from the Minnesota Department of Health “coaching” him on how to fill out death certificates. He said he felt he was being told that he didn’t have to have a “confirmed laboratory test for COVID-19 in order to make the death certificate be COVID-19.12
Dr. Jensen expressed concern about this policy and how it misrepresents the deaths due to COVID-19. “When we start talking about the data that goes into the modeling, we have to ask ourselves a question. ‘Are we being forthright [with the public]?’ he said. “We don’t need to be having it sugarcoated.”12
When asked why he thought health authorities would want to skew the mortality numbers for COVID-19, Dr. Jensen said:
Well, fear is a great way to control people, and I worry about that. I worry that sometimes we’re so darn interested in just jazzing up the fear factor that sometimes people’s ability to think for themselves is paralyzed if they’re frightened enough, and that’s not where I want people to be. I want people to say we’re going to get through this, I’m going to use my head. I’m going to go to different sources. I’m going to listen to different sources, and I’m going to think for myself… because that’s what America is about.12
Internal medicine specialist Annie Bukacek, MD of Hosanna Health Care in Kalispell, Montana also recently expressed concern about the way the U.S. health authorities are reporting COVID-19 deaths. “Is this death rate based on truth?”asked Dr. Bukacek. “Are the reported deaths from COVID-19 truly deaths from COVID-19?”
Dr. Bukacek added:
The Center for Disease Control […] still states that “mortality” data includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. The CDC counts both true COVID-19 cases and speculative guesses of COVID-19 the same, they call it death by COVID-19. They automatically overestimate the real death numbers by their own admission. …We need to understand how the CDC and the National Vital Statistics System are instructing physicians to fill out death certificates related to COVID-19. Brace yourselves, and please pay attention and let what I’m about to tell you sink in. The assumption of COVID-19 death could be made even without testing. Based on assumption alone, the death can be reported to the public as another COVID-19 casualty.13
If a patient is positive for COVID-19 and dies from another cause such as pneumococcal sepsis, it may be considered accurate to say that person died with COVID-19 not from COVID-19. Yet the CDC guideline lists this case as one more COVID-19 death and they go to the next questionable death, they label that as COVID-19 and it goes on and on. You could see how these statistics have been made to look scary when it is so easy to add false numbers to the official database. Those false numbers are sanctioned by the CDC…13
Dr. Bukacek believes that the “real number” of deaths from COVID-19 are “not what most people are told and what they then think.” She thinks that the real number is “anyone’s guess.”13
This is a stunning revelation. COVID-19 mortality figures have been used to institute unprecedented federal government guidelines for quarantining healthy people and state laws for restricting civil liberties. How can there be this level of inaccurate, incomplete mortality data on a health crisis of this apparent magnitude?
1 Coronavirus: Number of COVID-19 deaths in Italy surpasses China as total reaches 3,405. Sky News Mar. 19, 2020.
2 Alberti M, Ruotolo N, Di Donato V, John T. Italy surpasses China in number of coronavirus deaths. CNN Mar. 19, 2020.
3 Lyman EJ, Hjelmgaard K. Grim milestone: Italy’s coronavirus deaths surpass China’s. USA Today Mar. 19, 2020.
4 Poggioli S. ‘Every Single Individual Must Stay Home’: Italy’s Coronavirus Surge Strains Hospitals. NPR Mar. 19, 2020.
5 Angelo Borrelli. Wikipedia.
6 Dipartimento Protezione Civile. Conferenza stampa 20 marzo 2020 ore 18.00 – Coronavirus. YouTube Mar. 20, 2020.
7 Italy: Only 12% of “Covid19 deaths” list Covid19 as cause. OffGuardian Mar. 23, 2020.
8 Professor Walter Ricciardi (Italy). World Health Organization 2020.
9 Lowry R. The Catastrophe in Italy. National Review Mar. 22, 2020.
10 Newey S. Why have so many coronavirus patients died in Italy? The Telegraph Mar. 23, 2020.
11 Characteristics of COVID-19 patients dying in Italy: Report based on available data on March 20th, 2020. National Institute of Health.
12 Producer Anna. Sen. Dr. Jensen’s Shocking Admission About Coronavirus. Valley News Apr. 7, 2020.
13 Bukacek A. Video: How COVID-19 Death Certificates Are Being Manipulated. Montana Physician Dr. Annie Bukacek. Global Research Apr. 6, 2020.