Mainstream media starts to wake up to massive exaggeration of Covid hospitalizations and deaths

Tam Hunt
4 min readJan 25


The mainstream continues to tiptoe up to the devastating realization that Covid cases, hospitalizations and — the really big one — deaths, have all been massively exaggerated during the pandemic.

Here’s a recent piece from an epidemiologist writing for Time magazine, explaining the latest scientific findings about exaggeration of hospitalizations and deaths data due to most being “with” Covid rather than “from” Covid.

CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen last week said similar things about Covid hospitalizations and deaths for the very mainstream Washington Post in a piece whose title says it all: “We are overcounting covid deaths and hospitalizations. That’s a problem.”

The Wall Street Journal oped page (traditionally fairly conservative) added its voice on January 25, 2023, with a piece highlighting the strong role of funeral incentives for Covid victims (up to $9,000) and the 20% Medicare bonuses for hospitals treating Covid victims in exaggerating the data. The title and subtitle say it all here too: “The Vicious Circle of Covid Boondoggles and Bad Data; Medicare bonuses and FEMA funeral benefits create incentives to overstate the disease’s toll.” The authors of the oped explain:

Several physicians told us they are concerned that hospitals are being pressured by families to list Covid-19 on the death certificate. “Just try and leave Covid off the death certificate of a person who was asymptomatic positive and died in a car accident,” one infectious-disease doctor said. “Just try.” No one was willing to be quoted by name — unsurprisingly, since the implication is that their hospitals are falsifying death certificates.

These programs create a vicious circle. They establish incentives to overstate the danger of Covid. The overstatement provides a justification to continue the state of emergency, which keeps the perverse incentives going. With effective vaccines and treatments widely available, and an infection fatality rate on par with flu, it’s past time to recognize that Covid is no longer an emergency requiring special policies.

Where were these explanations and investigations over the last three years when they really mattered? The mainstream media abjectly and completely failed in doing its job on this.

For three years.

I feel a lot of personal vindication for this overdue but still major shift in the discussion because I’ve been writing about and discussing these issues for almost three years, and have been shouted down, castigated, called “dangerous” too many times to count, lost numerous friends, lost professional opportunities, and had my reputation in many ways ruined.

But I’ve been right on almost everything I’ve written about the pandemic. Here’s our essay (coauthored by me, Dr. Blaine Williams and Daniel Howard, Ph.D) from September 2021 going over the details of just how dramatically all Covid stats were systematically exaggerated:

And here’s the meat of analysis by the epidemiologist writing for Time magazine this week about just how much “Covid deaths” have been exaggerated (I highly recommend reading the entire article):

Misclassified hospitalizations obviously suggest there have also been miscategorized deaths, yet a parallel recognition that undoubtedly many official COVID-19 deaths are similarly due to persons dying with instead of from the coronavirus has only begun to emerge.

CDC guidelines still stipulate that any death from (any) illness occurring within 30 days of a positive test result automatically be classified as due to COVID-19. Hence, if the current prevalence in the population is, say, 3% (towards the lower end of typical levels during major surges like the present one) then the background prevalence among persons admitted to hospitals for other reasons — and also among those who end up dying — would similarly be around 3%. Considering about 9,200 total deaths occur daily in the U.S., then in this hypothetical scenario some 275 deaths ascribed to COVID (or approximately two-thirds of the official daily count) would in fact have been due to other causes.

The former Milwaukee County chief medical examiner conducted a careful review of some 4,000 COVID-19 deaths reported during the pandemic there. His research revealed that nearly half had no link to COVID or in some cases only a “marginal” association, such as end stage cancer patients whose demise was possibly hastened by a few days or weeks, from catching the disease.

An analysis of LA County and national data collected during the more recent waves of the highly contagious (but considerably less deadly) Omicron variants suggests that COVID-19 deaths are now likely being overcounted by at least fourfold.

A newly published investigation from Denmark documented that, following the emergence of Omicron a year ago, an astonishing 65–75% of deaths officially attributed to COVID-19 have been merely incidental to the coronavirus, consistent with the above hypothetical exercise.



Tam Hunt

Public policy, green energy, climate change, technology, law, philosophy, biology, evolution, physics, cosmology, foreign policy, futurism, spirituality