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Opinion: Data shows COVID-19 is not as deadly as we thought

Christina Herrin

After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an updated report regarding COVID-19 deaths in late August, which showed that only 6% of coronavirus deaths were solely due to the virus, some in the general public went ballistic. And rightfully so.

Businesses have been shut down for months. Millions have become unemployed. Schools remain closed. Depression and suicides are rising. Since mid-March, life as we know it has been flipped upside down. And all of this was because we were told that COVID-19 was a super deadly virus that must be stopped at all costs, literally.

We were told that COVID-19 was a super deadly virus that must be stopped at all costs, literally, Herrin writes.

As the data show, young and healthy people are almost at zero risk of dying from COVID-19.

Moreover, the CDC report shows that 94% of patients who died from COVID-19 also had, on average, 2.6 comorbidities.

This is not breaking news if you have actually been paying attention for the past six months.

Comorbidities are key factors that should not be overlooked. For instance, many patients who supposedly died from COVID-19 also had diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or other significant respiratory diseases. A significant number also were obese.

Heart disease is still the number one killer in America for men and women across the board. Patients battling one, or a number of these diseases, while also battling COVID-19, account for 94% of all COVID-19 deaths. Was it heart disease, or COVID-19, or a combination of both? This is extremely difficult for anyone to determine with certainty. Yet, the liberal mainstream media have sensationalized this virus to make you think that COVID-19 is and was the underlying factor, when reality is, we just don’t know.

After the death of a patient, a medical examiner issues a death certificate that is signed by a medical doctor. Interestingly enough, the immediate cause of death for a patient isn’t necessarily the disease or condition that directly preceded death, nor necessarily the underlying cause of death. This CDC report is compiled of results from death certificates that include comorbidity factors, age, race, gender, ethnicity, and place of death.

This is a provisional report that will continue to evolve as more data become available. From what we know now, high-risk individuals still consist of the older population, specifically men, and those with underlying conditions.

So why are politicians still attempting to hold our economy (and personal freedom) hostage?

As a country, it is time to stop allowing the media to politicize this virus. We also must hold elected leaders to a higher standard and demand they make public policy decisions based on data, not fear-mongering tactics.

Facts don’t care about feelings, and as this virus may seem scary for healthy individuals, fear should not be a factor for you. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

That doesn’t mean precautionary measures can’t or shouldn’t be taken, especially for those who are at high risk. But, we were told shutting down the economy in the beginning was to “flatten the curve” and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Both of those goals have been accomplished.

Yet, even though the data show unequivocally that COVID-19 is not as deadly as initially predicted, there remains an almost-unquenchable thirst for power on behalf of many left-wing elected officials.

What our country needs desperately is freedom. Eventually, we will defeat this virus. But, we should all rue the day when we allowed power-hungry politicians to hijack our personal liberties under the guise of protecting us from a virus that has been shown to be not nearly as deadly as originally feared.   

Christina Herrin is the government relations manager of Health Policy at The Heartland Institute, a non-partisan, free-market think tank headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.