Ethics in Science and Technology
Ealy, H, M McEvoy, D Chong, J Nowicki, M Sava, S Gupta, D White, J Jordan, D Simon and P Anderson. COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective. Science, Public Health Policy & the Law Oct 2020 2:4-22. (Reviewing Editor: James Lyons-Weiler) Corresponding Author Dr. Ealy:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on August 23, 2020, “For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19 , on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.” For a nation tormented by restrictive public health policies mandated for healthy individuals and small businesses, this is the most important statistical revelation of this crisis. This revelation significantly impacts the published fatalities count due to COVID-19. More importantly, it exposes major problems with the process by which the CDC was able to generate inaccurate data during a crisis. The CDC has advocated for social isolation, social distancing, and personal protective equipment use as primary mitigation strategies in response to the COVID-19 crisis, while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge the promise of inexpensive pharmaceutical and natural treatments. These mitigation strategies were promoted largely in response to projection model fatality forecasts that have proven to be substantially inaccurate. Further investigation into the legality of the methods used to create these strategies raised additional concerns and questions. Why would the CDC decide against using a system of data collection and reporting they authored, and which has been in use nationwide for 17 years without incident, in favor of an untested & unproven system exclusively for COVID-19 without discussion and peer-review? Did the CDC’s decision to abandon a known and proven effective system also breach several federal laws that ensure data accuracy and integrity? Did the CDC knowingly alter rules for reporting cause of death in the presence of comorbidity exclusively for COVID-19? If so, why?
ERRATUM: On page 3 of the orginal distribution, a reference to SARS-COV was mistakenly referenced as "SARS-CoV-2".