Long COVID kills? That's still unproven
What is certain is that the CDC is performing bad science
Recently, the CDC issued a new report saying that long COVID can kill! It captured the headlines, largely by an uncritical press. But what precisely does it show?
Basically, what the CDC did was collect all deaths where COVID19 was coded as immediate or proximate cause. Then they just hit control+f looking for these key terms:
If any of those were present it was a long covid death.
Imagine a person hospitalized with COVID, on the vent for 20 days, and then someone wrote COVID19 as the cause of death, and then casually said ‘post covid’. This would be listed as a long covid death. Are you serious?
Do you know what the CDC didn’t do? They didn’t interview providers. They didn’t review the medical record. They didn’t look in multiple datasets. They didn’t look across countries. They basically didn’t do anything a respectable scientist would before making such a bold, public claim.
I struggle to be polite about their analysis. This is widely used to craft a narrative that long covid can kill, but they have no such evidence. The quality of the science is so poor that I don’t think it could withstand the scrutiny of a 6th grade science fair.
Why is this happening? The CDC has tens of thousands of employees, and massive financial resources. Is there no one there who is a careful scientist?
And how can they claim misinformation is a problem when they have repeatedly been a promoter of misinformation (see my past analysis about their mask data)?
I know the CDC thinks this graph (below) proves something, but it just proves that doctors who fill out death certificates— usually tired interns or transient docs— have changed their language over time. This would be natural when bombarded by these terms in the media coverage of long-covid, oft portrayed as a mass disabling event. It cannot prove that long covid is happening more lately.
In short, this is a bad week for science.
Unvaccinated people should have their insurance premiums raised, and long covid killed 3500 people. Neither is a scientific claim. In my mind, its not much better than thinking 5G caused covid. Two deranged poles. One which thinks the virus is harmless, and the other which thinks it was the reason you changed lanes without signaling.
I am not sure how this story ends: But science is in crisis.