Disease Control Centers and director of prevention Rochelle Walensky drew criticism on Sunday for its method of identifying deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, making a sudden distinction between those who have died “from” the virus and those who have died “with” it.
During a CNN “State of the Union” interview, Walensky was asked about vaccinated Americans who contracted the virus – and if anyone died from an infection, despite having been vaccinated. Walensky said the CDC was aware of 223 so-called “rupture” infections among vaccinated Americans, but said many of those people have died from other causes.
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“All of those 223 cases that had COVID didn’t actually die from COVID,” she said. “They may have had mild illness but died, for example, of a heart attack. “
But the critics pounced on Walensky’s reasoning.
“After all this time, we’ll start to distinguish the dead” from the “Covid from the dead” from “Covid”, wrote one Twitter user. “How anyone lives with dishonest reporting of numbers is beyond me. Either we treat all deaths with the same questioning or none of them, period. ”
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Another user wrote: “So she literally just admitted that the number of covid deaths is not an actual number of covid deaths. The response to this pandemic is becoming more and more disconcerting day by day. “
Others have suggested that all deaths from COVID-19 should be re-examined to determine whether the person died “because of” the virus or “with” it.
“Seems like 500,000 cases need to be looked at to more accurately distinguish ‘with’ and ‘from’,” one user said. “Hmm, I thought I heard that same sentiment expressed in the past. “
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Almost 47% of the adult population in the United States is fully vaccinated, according to data released by the CDC, while nearly 60% of the adult population – or about 157 million people – have received at least one dose. The vaccination rate is expected to increase shortly after approval by the Food and Drug Administration this week for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children between the ages of 12 and 15.
More than 32.7 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 582,000 people have died from the virus, according to the CDC.