Reported pediatric deaths decline by almost one-fourth following the agency's "coding logic error."
Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic two years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID Data Tracker has provided insight on the severity of the coronavirus situation in the U.S. It had often been hailed by health authorities as the go to for reliable information about the pandemic domestically. But now, it appears that the data provided by the agency specifically on the number of child COVID deaths has been inaccurate by up to 24%.
According to the Washington Examiner, the CDC's COVID Data Tracker had "presented a misleading impression before it fixed its "coding logic error," reporting that children were "dying at a sharply amplified rate" when the Omicron variant of COVID spread earlier this year. The agency reported that there were 1,755 all-time deaths among children aged 0 to 17. The agency said that 738 of those deaths occurred in the first 10 weeks of 2022.
However, the agency released updated data after it found a "coding logic error." The result was that the COVID Data Tracker showed 1,339 all time deaths compared to the initial 1,755. This was a 23.7% reduction from the previously reported figure. Not the Bee pointed out the "insanely low the risk of COVID is to children," compared to 1,115 child cancer deaths in 2019.
"On March 15, 2022, data on deaths were adjusted after resolving a coding logic error. This resulted in decreased death counts across all demographic categories," the tracker reported. CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reed explained that the tracker had accidentally counted non-COVID related deaths.
Reed said they made an "adjustment" on the CDC tracker's "mortality data" on March 14, removing up to 72,277 deaths, including 416 pediatric deaths which were "previously reported across 26 states" due to the algorithm "accidentally counting deaths that were not COVID-19-related." She explained further that while it was "critical" to work with "near real-time data," it also meant that they "often have incomplete information when data are first reported."
The CDC has long been under fire for its lack of transparency when it comes to reporting COVID data. Republican Senator Ron Johnson is one of the more vocal detractors of the CDC who criticized the agency in a March 1 letter decrying its "disturbing and shameful" lack of transparency. The Republican leader said it was "unacceptable" for CDC to "withhold relevant data on COVID-19 that could inform the public and potentially save lives."
Sen. Johnson is not alone in criticizing the CDC. According to The Blaze, American Commitment president Phil Kerpen took to Twitter to describe the agency's data as "totally opaque and out-of-line with CDC's more accurate (NCHS) count."
Former Fox News writer Kyle Becker also took to social media to criticize the CDC, writing, "'Experts' knowingly panicked parents and damaged America's kids for political reasons. Criminals."
Back in January, Fox News anchor Bret Baier confronted CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and asked her to disclose how many deaths were there in the U.S. "from COVID" versus "with COVID," a distinction that showed deaths due to COVID alone or deaths among patients who had COVID but had other comorbidities. Dr. Walensky failed to provide a clear answer but said that the agency was "following that very carefully."