As the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded, the left-wing media has gone back and forth on the issue of COVID-death overcounting. After initially dismissing it as a right-wing “conspiracy theory,” CNN has recently backtracked as its own medical contributor, former Planned Parenthood head Leana Wen, has admitted that there is likely an overcounting of COVID deaths and hospitalizations.
We shouldn’t surprised that CNN’s Brian Stelter was leading the charge and calling the COVID death toll numbers ‘under reported’. The guy now outranks Don Lemon as the new King of disinformation now that Chris Cuomo is out of the picture.
Wen published two Washington Post op-eds on the subject, the first of which was discussed on CNN This Morning last Tuesday. In her second piece, Wen called for an examination of death certificates from the past few years to get a more accurate accounting of the pandemic’s effects. Don Lemon, the host of the show, set up the discussion by noting Wen’s point that the number of deaths attributed to COVID is “far greater than the actual number of people dying from COVID.”
Wen went on to explain that there are likely many patients who died from something else who were also tested for COVID and included in the statistics. She also endorsed the idea of reexamining death certificates from the past to get more accurate numbers.
The fact that CNN is taking these concerns seriously is a flip flop from its past of labeling such talk as right-wing “conspiracy theory.” Former CNN senior media reporter Brian Stelter did so on his Reliable Sources show multiple times while other shows also dismissed such claims.
It’s worth noting, however, that Wen admitted that she believes the numbers were more accurate in the earlier days of the pandemic when Americans did not have immunity. Her explanation for the likely overcounting? The fact that excess deaths are being used to estimate COVID deaths because there was also an increase in Americans dying from other causes during the pandemic like drug abuse or delaying critical health care.
It’s clear that the left-wing media is trying to downplay the severity of the COVID pandemic. They are doing this by attempting to discredit and dismiss the potential of overcounting, even though the evidence is mounting that this is a real issue that must be addressed. It’s irresponsible and dangerous to not take this issue seriously, and it’s time the left-wing media start doing just that.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.