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Musk: 'Truth Is Finally Coming Out' About Over-Reporting of COVID Deaths, Hospitalizations

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Elon Musk wrote Tuesday that the truth is coming out about the over-reporting of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19.

The Twitter, SpaceX, and Tesla CEO identified this problem during a Joe Rogan interview back in 2020 shortly into the pandemic.

Musk’s Tuesday tweet came in response to one by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has been an outspoken critic of COVID policy and censorship related to it.

Kennedy posted a recent Washington Post column by CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen titled, “We are overcounting covid deaths and hospitalizations. That’s a problem.”

“A year ago, this was a conspiracy theory that would get you censored…,” RFK Jr. wrote.

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Musk replied, “The truth is finally coming out.”

Wren began her column suggesting she was skeptical about the latest COVID stats writing, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing around 400 COVID deaths every day. At that rate, there would be nearly 150,000 deaths a year. But are these Americans dying from COVID or with COVID?”

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The public health expert continued, “Understanding this distinction is crucial to putting the continuing toll of the coronavirus into perspective. Determining how likely it is an infection will result in hospitalization or death helps people weigh their own risk.”

Wren cited two doctors, with backgrounds in infectious diseases, who told her the number of reported COVID deaths is far greater than the actual figure.

“Robin Dretler, an attending physician at Emory Decatur Hospital and the former president of Georgia’s chapter of Infectious Diseases Society of America, estimates that at his hospital, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with COVID are actually in the hospital for some other illness,” Wren wrote.

Dretler explained to her, “Since every hospitalized patient gets tested for COVID many are incidentally positive.”

Similarly, infectious-disease physician Shira Doron told Wren, “In recent months, only about 30 percent of total hospitalizations with COVID were primarily attributed to the virus.”

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Wren pointed out that “Doron acknowledges that there is a gray zone in the data in which COVID might not be the primary cause of death but could have contributed to it.”

University of California, San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. Tracy Høeg responded to Wren’s piece on Twitter, writing, “Spring 2021 [USA] had good evidence >40% of child covid admissions were incidental. 2021 Denmark announced they’d distinguish with vs from covid hosp Covid+ deaths in [Denmark] in 2022 [were] 60-70% incidental.”

“Amazing how long it has taken the US to accept this is a problem,” the doctor added.

Musk actually identified the problem back in 2020 during an interview on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

“If somebody dies, was COVID a primary cause of the death or not? I mean, if somebody has COVID, gets eaten by a shark, we find their arm, their arm has COVID, it’s going to get recorded as a COVID death,” Musk joked.

Rogan laughed, but got the point wondering if heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other causes of death are really being attributed to COVID.

“If you get hit by a bus, go to the hospital and die, and they find that you have COVID, you will be recorded as a COVID death,” Musk said.

There was a much-publicized case in Florida in 2020 when a man who died due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash was listed by the state as a COVID death, Fox affiliate WOFL-TV reported at the time.

Two days after the story was published, the man was removed from Florida’s COVID fatality list, the news outlet noted.

Musk argued that hospitals are being incentivized by federal dollars to over-report COVID deaths.

“The stimulus bill that was intended to help with the hospitals that were being overrun with COVID patients created an incentive to record something as COVID that is difficult to say no to, especially if your hospital’s going bankrupt for lack of other patients,” Musk said.

“So, the hospitals are in a bind right now,” he continued. “There’s a bunch of hospitals, they’re furloughing doctors, as you were mentioning. If your hospital’s half full, it’s hard to make ends meet. So now you’ve got like, ‘If I just check this box, I get $8,000. Put them on a ventilator for five minutes, I get $39,000 back. Or, I got to fire some doctors.’ So, this is a tough moral quandary.”

In April 2020, Factcheek.org reported that the CARES Act, passed in March of that year, created a 20 percent add-on to be paid for Medicare patients with COVID-19 and established a $100 billion fund “used to reimburse healthcare providers, at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured.”

In November 2020, Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the Americans Hospital Association, refuted claims that medical facilities were purposely over-reporting COVID deaths.

“[H]ospitals and health systems adhere to strict coding guidelines, and use of the COVID-19 code for Medicare claims is reserved for confirmed cases,” he wrote. “Coding inappropriately can result in criminal penalties and exclusion from the Medicare program altogether.”

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