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Op-Ed: The Media Spun The Gateway Pundit’s ‘6% of COVID-19 Deaths’ Article’s Narrative

How the numbers and words were spun.

Okay, so by now we’ve all heard about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updating the COVID-19 figures to admit only six percent of all people who contract COVID-19 have died directly from the illness; the narrative around this story is inaccurate. But, it’s not inaccurate in the way you might think.

Firstly, the CDC updates these figures regularly based on healthcare codes entered into individual health networks’ databases from which the CDC collects their figures. In this case, the CDC would be looking for one code: U07.1.

The code, U07.1, is entered into a patient’s chart when COVID-19 is the “probable” or “presumed” cause of death. The requirements of this code are problematic, but I’ll get into the reason later.

Now, onto how the narrative is inaccurate.

The mainstream media has been passing around this story published by The Gateway Pundit and its claims incorrectly. The story was never about the total death rate of the virus being six percent, or that the reported death toll by the CDC is actually only six percent of what they’re reporting – no.

The story (and update by the CDC) is about how only six percent of people who have died from COVID-19 died solely from COVID-19 itself with no other existing health conditions at the time of death.

The story by The Gateway Pundit itself is actually clear about this fact. Nowhere in the article does the author write about the 160,000+ deaths from COVID-19 being inaccurate or changed by the CDC, but rather that “only 6% of all coronavirus deaths were completely due to the coronavirus alone.”

How the message was unclear in the article, I don’t know, but I do know it has caused quite the stink.

President Trump chimed into the mix by retweeting the same article and received heavy backlash for doing so, but why? What is so inflammatory about the president sharing this article? Again, this Gateway Pundit article DOES NOT state the six percent statistic is the actual death toll or even the provisional death toll (yes, they’re different). It says that only six percent of the deaths are solely due to COVID-19.

Honestly, at this point, it seems the leftist media is just looking for something other than the riots in Portland, Kenosha, etc., so they can place the accusatory spotlight back onto the president.


Let’s go back to that healthcare code being reported by healthcare professionals to insurance and governmental agencies such as the CDC.

The healthcare code.

The code is used for persons presumed to have died from COVID-19 and would read as “U07.1.” This code tells the insurance companies and US government this person died as a possible cause from contracting the coronavirus.

Patients with this code on their chart DO NOT have to be lab confirmed to have COVID-19 be their cause of death, rather a hunch by the healthcare professional.

This could be a patient presenting to the ER with “pneumonia-like” symptoms, and could actually only have pneumonia, die and then be marked as a COVID-19 death. If you look at the table below (Table 2 by CDC found here), the number being used by the media (164,280) is listed under the U07.1 code, i.e. the deaths are not all lab confirmed.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020.

While not having to test patients when they’re considered to have the coronavirus makes some sense on the surface (the labs would be even more overwhelmed), the possibility of tampering with the numbers for political or other reasons comes into play.

There will be those who make the case that these tampered numbers would be sorted out once the death moves from the “provisional” numbers to the actual death toll. But if these patients are coded with U07.1, then they will be marked as an actual death in the toll because they don’t have to be tested and marked positive for COVID-19 at the time of death.

The narrative around this update by the CDC is so spun that it has families arguing about the numbers; the media has caused mass confusion and distrust, not President Trump. These are the kinds of tactics used by the mainstream media to confuse the public and get them to move toward one side of the story or the other.

In my opinion, the mainstream media wants the public to be scared. Why? Because they want the candidate they’ve chosen to become president. That can only happen if the American people vote President Trump out of office (or can it?). One of the ways these so-called “journalists” are attempting to influence, yes influence, the election is to scare people into voting for the other guy.

We mustn’t let the real fear tactics being used by the media affect us. We must see through all the rhetoric and spun stories being spewed out by these propaganda machines. These stories aren’t being “reported” for you to develop your own opinion – nope, they’re giving you their opinion as fact.

When it comes to the numbers presented to us by the media and even the CDC, we must be careful and look into the source of the numbers. In this case, we can see that there’s a possibility of tampering due to the requirements of the code U07.1; the numbers listed under this code CAN be tampered with and it isn’t even that hard for healthcare professionals to do.

Why would these professionals tamper with the numbers? Well, it is an election year, and doctors, nurses, and administrators have their own opinions too – they could like Trump, or they could hate him; and hating the president in this day-and-age is more than enough reason for someone to tag a patient as a possible COVID-19 death when cancer actually took their life, and they didn’t even have the coronavirus, but the practitioner presumed they did because they were in the hospital for so long; so yes, COVID-19 could’ve actually killed them.

See? It’s not that hard to reason how the numbers could be skewed.

All I’m saying is look into it – we are being presented with information left and right and have no idea nowadays whether it’s real, honest information or if it has been subjected to biases and opinions, and then edited in a way to hide all of the biases and opinions loaded into the information.

Elections are important and we owe it to ourselves and our country to care about the information we absorb. Do your own research and then come to your own conclusions – not one told to you by some pundit on TV.

God bless you and your family, God bless our troops and God bless the United States of America.

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Conner Womble

Conner Womble is a 27-year-old Baylor University graduate. He started his career in corporate sales, but is now pursuing a freelance writing and political commentary career. If you have any possible stories, questions, and/or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out via any of the provided contacts. Follow Conner on Twitter @connerwomble.

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