Misinformation: Virus Transmission and Hospital Covid Deaths

When the vaccines came out, I was baffled when the “news” (and then everyone else) implied or outright stated that the shots provided immunization against the virus that causes the disease Covid-19. If you visit Pfizer’s website it said then, as it does now, that “the vaccine has been shown to prevent Covid-19” and that it may not “protect” everyone. That’s it. It did not say anywhere on the Fact Sheet available to recipients that the vaccine prevented a person from becoming infected with the Sars-CoV2 virus. But apparently, some were spreading “misinformation”….

Now the whole world can’t help but know that the vaccines do not immunize people against or stop transmission of the virus, and the powers that be have admitted it.

Similarly, some people think it is a lie (aka, misinformation) that hospitals were financially rewarded for cases and deaths labeled as “Covid.”

But it isn’t a lie.

In this very fact-checked article in USA Today from April 27, 2020, Senator Scott Jensen (who is also a physician), stated that hospitals receive higher Medicare allocations under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for Covid cases and deaths. Says Jensen: “If it’s a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for–if they’re Medicare–typically the diagnosis-related group lump-sum payment would be $5,000. But if it’s Covid-19 pneumonia, then it’s $13,000, and if that Covid-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000.”

Knowing how the promise of big money can lead to immoral or greedy behavior sometimes, Jensen reasonably speculated that hospital administrators might pressure doctors to cite all diagnoses, including “probable” Covid-19, on discharge papers and death certificates to get the higher Medicare allotment. Jensen was careful, however to not explicitly make this claim, only that it would be naive to “not believe that increasing the number of Covid-19 deaths may create an avenue for states to receive a larger portion of federal dollars.” The USA Today article also stated there have been no public reports of hospitals exaggerating or mislabeling deaths or cases.

Well, I guess if it hasn’t been publicly reported, then it can’t be happening! It’s not like regular people are ever hit with massive bills from hospitals….why on earth would a hospital try to hit Medicare with a massive bill? A hospital isn’t a money-making business!

This article was fact-checked by several “fact-checkers” (named in the article, including Snopes and FactCheck) and USA Today ultimately declared, “We rate the claim that hospitals get paid more if patients are listed as Covid-19 and on ventilators as TRUE.”