The federal government is classifying the deaths of patients infected with the coronavirus as deaths, regardless of any underlying health issues that could have contributed to the loss of someone’s life.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said the federal government is continuing to count the suspected deaths, despite other nations doing the opposite.
“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,” she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. “Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a death.
Asked whether the numbers could skew data the government is trying to collect, Birx said that would mostly apply more to rural areas where testing isn’t being implemented on a wide scale.
“I’m pretty confident that in New York City and New Jersey and places that have these large outbreaks and COVID-only hospitals. … I can tell you they are testing,” she said.
Worse, CDC doesn’t require TESTS to confirm COVID before it’s coded as COVID death. If symptoms are present… that’s enough. Crazy.pic.twitter.com/Y0ZGvV6x5n
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 8, 2020
“In the normal course, autopsies would then determine whether the person died of the effects of the COVID virus, whether the person had a brain tumor or brain hemorrhage for example that might be unrelated to it and what the relative significance of both the infection and the pre-existing disease is,” Baden told Fox News.
However, the number of autopsies being performed could be low due to the danger of infection, he said.
“Then you will include in those numbers some people who did have a pre-existing condition that would have caused death anyway, but that’s probably a small number,” Baden said.
“Progress has been made before the surge,” said during the White House coronavirus briefing where he said hospitals will be stockpiled with much-needed equipment. “The next week, week and half is when the big surge is going to come.”