Minnesota Republican State Rep. Mary Franson and Republican State Sen. Scott Jensen, a practicing physician, have alleged their state’s total deaths from the coronavirus are inaccurate, demanding a nationwide audit to uncover how many Americans who died of other causes were lumped into the tally of deaths from coronavirus.
After compiling a research team to examine data from Minnesota’s health department, Rep. Franson announced they allegedly discovered multiple deaths not directly linked to the coronavirus. “We found clear-cut examples from the Minnesota Department of Health’s own files—public records—of suicide, a drowning, an auto accident where the passenger was ejected from the vehicle, we found dementia … and strokes,” Franson said during an interview with Fox News.
“The citizens of our country are being led in fear, and that fear is leading them to make irrational decisions based on the governors with their shutdowns,” she added. “So we need this audit. We need the truth.”
Sen. Jensen echoed Franson’s calls for a national audit. As the victim of two state probes for arguing state and national guidelines provided incentives for inflating deaths from the coronavirus to hospitals and doctors, as extra funding was provided to hospitals with a certain amount of diagonsis.
“If you could hit a threshold of 161 admissions to your hospital with COVID-19 diagnosis between January and June, you received $77,000 of additional money for each one of those admissions” through the CARES Act, Jensen told Fox News. “I don’t think there’s any questions that reverse incentives have been created.”
Of course, Minnesota Department of Health vehemently denied the allegations, maintaining they have not strayed from national guidelines for death reporting.
“We’re absolutely following the national guidance on how we are doing our death reporting from COVID-19,” Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann told Fox News. “If someone had tested positive for COVID and then subsequently died, we would review the death certificate and motor vehicle accident would be the cause of death and so it would not be considered a COVID death.”
Over the course of the pandemic, spotty reporting for death numbers has occured in numerous states. Colorado had to reduce their death total by nearly three hundred after the Colorado Department of Health and Environment concluded the state’s reporting included those who died with the virus but necessarily from COVID-19. The Washington State Department of Health outright confirmed that the state has “about five deaths…from gunshot wounds” included in their death total, according to DOH health statistics manager Katie Hutchinson.
State health officials report more than 413,000 Minnesotans have tested positive for the CCP virus since March and 5,262 people have died.