An opinion piece was published in The Washington Post on January 13, 2023, by Leana S. Wen, a contributing columnist focusing on public health. She’s also a professor of health policy at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

In her piece, Wen explains how COVID deaths and hospitalizations have been over-counted in the United States:

“Two infectious-disease experts I spoke with believe that the number of deaths attributed to covid is far greater than the actual number of people dying from covid. Robin Dretler, an attending physician at Emory Decatur Hospital and the former president of Georgia’s chapter of Infectious Diseases Society of America, estimates that at his hospital, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with covid are actually in the hospital for some other illness.”

Her article goes on to explain in more detail how COVID was likely not the primary cause of death in many cases. Something that was spoken about in independent media for over two years. She explains why physician, Robin Dretler, is concerned about over-counting and claims there no truth to hospitals over-counting on purpose:

“Dretler is quick to add that the imprecise reporting is not because of bad intent. There is no truth to the conspiracy theory that hospitals are trying to exaggerate coronavirus numbers for some nefarious purpose. But, he said, “Inadvertently overstating risk can make the anxious more anxious and the skeptical more skeptical.”

Finally, Wen concludes the following in her piece:

“To be clear, if the covid death count turns out to be 30 percent of what’s currently reported, that’s still unacceptably high. But that knowledge could help people better gauge the risks of traveling, indoor dining and activities they have yet to resume.

Most importantly, knowing who exactly is dying from covid can help us identify who is truly vulnerable.”

The tough part to swallow about this is that media outlets like us, The Pulse, were fact checked when we shed light on this fact that presented itself very early on in the pandemic. For example, in May of 2020, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health at the time,  pointed out that all people who pass away and test positive for COVID-19, regardless of the cause of death, will be marked as a COVID-19 death, even if it was clear that they died from an alternate cause.

In June 2022, Toronto public health stated that “Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

This means that throughout the pandemic, people were being added to the COVID death count who really didn’t die from COVID. This also included people who were shot or killed in traffic accidents but tested positive for COVID.

This would logically inflate the number of deaths from what they actually are, thus driving the true infection mortality rate and severeness of COVID even lower than what was being presented to us.

The numbers below don’t account for overcomunted deaths, and were taken from seroprevalence data early on at the height of the pandemic.

In the Summer of 2020, the CDC stated that for only 6% of the deaths attributed to COVID-19, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For all other deaths on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. This made headlines everywhere, and we already know that the majority of COVID deaths happen in the elderly with multiple comorbidities.

The signs were everywhere, yet those who were pointing them out and citing them were ridiculed, censored and called “conspiracy theorists.”

Wen points out in her recent article,

“If these patients die, covid might get added to their death certificate along with the other diagnoses. But the coronavirus was not the primary contributor to their death and often played no role at all.”

Back in 2020, 2021, and 2022, independent media outlets had a “false label” put over a story that said something like that. Their social media reach and distribution would be severely limited, and as a result they were demonetized.

According to, in April of 2020,

“One Facebook user has claimed the opposite, erroneously suggesting the count is being inflated by unrelated deaths, and copies of that claim have gone viral on the social media platform” and the idea that deaths are being miscalculated and in the opposite direction of what mainstream media is claiming, is false.”

Why all of a sudden has a “conspiracy theory” turned in to acceptable fact? Why haven’t those who were covering these facts been given an apology or compensated for the ways in which they were punished? Why didn’t mainstream media outlets cover this story when it was quite evident early on in the pandemic?

This is simply one of multiple examples throughout the pandemic where factual information was labelled as false.

We are still seeing factual information and good science being labelled as a “conspiracy” within mainstream culture, and we are still seeing a plethora of information not even acknowledged within mainstream culture. Perhaps we’re just weeks away from the next “conspiracy theory” to “acceptable fact” flip.

Welcome to the age of “information.”

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