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Thomas Gallatin / Jun. 5, 2020

Guns Don't Kill People, COVID-19 Does

In at least five instances, gunshot deaths have been classified as coronavirus.

Like the parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, seemingly any deaths registered since the China Virus pandemic hit the U.S. end up being listed with COVID-19 as the cause. As the mainstream media keeps a daily running total of coronavirus deaths, like macabre theater highlighting it whenever some “milestone” figure is reached, it becomes patently apparent that the motive is sensationalism and sowing fear. It’s as if the MSM is perpetually screaming, “This is a big deal!”

Therefore, it comes as little surprise to learn the running total of COVID-19 deaths is, to put it bluntly, padded. Now, this is not primarily the fault of the MSM, though reporters and pundits certainly have done little to clarify the situation. Instead, much of the fault appears to lie with the confusing guidelines for classifying COVID-19 and a monetary incentive to err on the side of assuming the possibility of COVID-19 as the cause of death even if no definitive testing has been done.

However, even these factors fail to explain how gunshot deaths could possibly be misclassified as COVID-19 deaths, but, according to a recent Freedom Foundation report based upon Washington State Department of Health documents and statements, in at least five instances they have. Washington State’s DOH health statistics manager Katie Hutchinson noted, “Our [DOH COVID-19] dashboard numbers do include any deaths to a person that has tested positive to COVID-19.” She then explained, “We don’t always know the cause of death for a death when it is first reported on our dashboard. That is true. Over the course of the outbreak, we have been monitoring and recording the causes of death as we know it. We currently do have some deaths that are being reported that are clearly from other causes. We have about five deaths — less than five deaths — that we know of that are related to obvious other causes. In this case, they are from gunshot wounds.”

Now, of course, five is not five thousand, and this is not a major scandal. But it does prompt questions about whether the data can be trusted. While presenting rich fodder for comedians, the concern is whether anyone knows the real number of people who have died from COVID-19.

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