The White House Brain Trust has come up with a brand new plan to get those coronavirus deaths under control. WHAT IF you subtracted out everyone with a pre-existing condition from the final tally? You, know like how they've been trying to get rid of Obummercare's protections for pre-existing conditions forever, but, like, retroactively. Sound good?

The Daily Beast reports that Donald Trump and his coronavirus task force are leaning on the CDC to revise the death toll downwards to comport with some blather he saw on Fox News about COVID-19 only killing people who were already dead anyway.

But according to one of the sources with knowledge of Trump's private remarks, the president recently said that he'd like a "review" of how the coronavirus deaths are counted and studied by the government, citing hypothetical cases in which a person has the virus but is killed by other unnatural means, such as falling down a flight of stairs. The other source said that Trump pointed out that death estimates for other incidents—such as natural disasters and wars—are revised down or up "all the time," and that the coronavirus pandemic could have similar fluctuations in the numbers published by public and private entities.

No, they don't count someone who falls down the stairs and breaks his neck as a covid death just because he tests positive. Just because Laura Ingraham or Sebastian Gorka are willing to barf it out on air, doesn't mean it's actually true. In fact, it probably means that it isn't. And, as with the rest of these nutbag theories about the CDC declaring the REAL tally is half what's reported, it starts with some illiterate moron misreading a data point, and is then disingenuously regurgitated ad nauseam by the shameless wingnut hacks in Trumpland.

And right on cue ...

"When you attribute a death to the coronavirus today, what that means is that the guy had the coronavirus and died. It doesn't matter if he got hit by a car and died, and he would still be categorized as a coronavirus death," the White House's crank economist Art Laffer told the Beast, adding, "You need the whole transcribed medical records on a disk so people can sit there, maybe without names, and look for causes and correlations."

Which is, of course, complete bullshit. Here on Planet Earth, we have a major testing shortage — despite Trump's constant braying about his tremendous tests, available to anyone who wants one, the envy of the world and in high demand among all your better first world nations — and are almost certainly undercounting the number of deaths — just like that tyrant Anthony Fauci testified to the Senate yesterday. Fatalities from car accidents and school shootings are way down, and yet we still have many thousands of "excess deaths" over normal mortality figures, probably attributable to undiagnosed coronavirus.

Worse still, it appears that Dr. Deborah Birx is wiling to go along with this craven hackery. The Beast notes that Birx "has urged CDC officials to exclude from coronavirus death-count reporting some of those individuals who either do not have confirmed lab results and are presumed positive or who have the virus and may not have died as a direct result of it, according to three senior administration officials."

Which is ... not a good look.

"I don't worry about this overreporting issue," Bob Anderson, the chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch in CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, told the Beast. "We're almost certainly underestimating the number of deaths [in the country]."

Which means, it's time to shoot the messenger. Of course.

The GOP spin machine is gearing up for an all-out assault on the CDC because, like Trump, they don't like "the numbers," and they don't like the science, and they don't like those damn, dirty Deep State experts telling red-blooded patriots to stay inside so another 80,000 Americans don't drop dead of contagious disease.

Yesterday glorified mall optometrist Rand Paul snarked in a Senate hearing that Dr. Anthony Fauci was not his real daddy, which is a hilarious lack-of-virtue signaling. But more seriously, the White House shitcanned the CDC's guidance for safely re-opening businesses because it was, as Chief of Staff Mark Meadows put it, "too prescriptive." On May 1, Press Secretary Kayleigh "I Will Never Lie to You" McEnany swore on the full can of extra-strength Aquanet holding her hair in place that those guidelines were still pending approval by CDC chief Robert Redfield.

Except — whoopsie! — AP's got the emails proving that Redfield had been desperately trying to get the White House to sign off on the guidelines since April 10 and reports that, "After The AP reported about the burying of the guidance last week, the White House asked the CDC to revive parts of it, which were sent back for approval, according to emails and interviews." Apparently, non-essential travel is a sticking point, with the CDC saying that individuals can "consider" taking non-essential trips after 42 days of declining cases, and the White House urging Americans to get out there and see this beautiful country.

There's also the matter of CDC recommendations for resumption of social distancing if cases start to tick back up. Which is negative thinking, designed to tank the economy, and not permitted in Trumpland.

It is all so, very stupid and tiresome. TLDR, the White House will kill us all and pretend we all tripped over the cat and fell down the stairs. So book your cruise today!

[Beast / AP]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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