Investigation Shows WSDOH Still ‘Inflating’ COVID Death Counts
You may remember the infamous news stories back in May, when it was learned the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) counted six gunshot death victims as COVID deaths because the virus was present during their autopsies.
Even before this was reported, the Freedom Foundation (An Olympia WA based think tank and watchdog group) began to investigate allegations WSDOH was counting anyone who had tested positive as a COVID death--even if it did not cause them to die. It is estimated these erronious methods inflated death numbers by as much as 13 percent.
After that investigation was released Gov. Inslee was confronted about the report during a press conference and called the Freedom Foundation study "malarky.'"
However, shortly afterward, WDSOH officials admitted in emails the report was true, and without any public admission of mistakes or the FF report, began to review and revise the numbers.
Fast forward to December, and the FF has found the WSDOH has not corrected these reporting errors, and is still over reporting deaths as being from COVID--perhaps by the hundreds. Utilizing documents and information from Public Records requests, and other means, the Foundation found some surprising news. These include WSDOH data, death certificates, and emails.
170 COVID death certificates contained no mention of COVID in any way, and another 171 only listed COVID as a possible contributing factor--but not THE direct cause of death. The Foundation says potentially dozens of other death certificates had only a questionable or minimal connection to the virus. The Foundation said December 10 that even as this new report was coming to light, WSDOH again was making changes to it's reporting practices, and would reduce the COVID death numbers by another 200.
Some of the more shocking examples of alleged COVID deaths included (from Foundation report):
- a 64-year-old male who died of “acute combined fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, and methadone intoxication”;
- a 65-year-old male who died from “alcoholic liver disease”;
- a 69-year-old male suffering from Parkinson’s and vascular dementia who died from malnutrition/dehydration after refusing to eat;
- a 73-year-old female with underlying health conditions who died after declining treatment for an intestinal abscess;
- a 75-year-old-male who died following a “pacemaker infection”; and
- a 99-year-old female who died after losing her balance and falling while trying to retrieve an item from the top of her dresser.
The Foundation says based upon it's data, research and information they have little faith the WSDOH will not stop overinflating COVID deaths. They say the agency's history of misleading the public, along with their "inability or unwillingness" to release data in a timely fashion will only continue to undermine the public's faith that the state is basing it's COVID response on the "best available science and data."
To read more about the Freedom Foundation's latest report, click on the button below.