Funny how those COVID causes of death have dropped off...

As if there were not enough scandals with COVID and its horrendous mismanagement by the government, Steven Hayward of Power Line has found yet another one: a causal link between whether "COVID" was listed as a cause of death or a contributing factor and federal funding dollars.

He has a chart on Power Line, showing the steep drop in deaths due to COVID, or with COVID as an underlying factor, which spanned from March 2020 to February 2022, the first part of the COVID pandemic.  Then the line on the chart continues, steeply dropping as from a cliff as of March 2022 to May 2023.

See the chart here.

And why did people suddenly stop dying of COVID?

Well, because hospitals were suddenly not getting federal funding dollars for claiming COVID as a cause of death.

This was clearly something a lot of us suspected, given the huge death rate from COVID in the U.S. as compared to other places in the world, particularly undeveloped countries, and the individual reports of gunshot victims, drug overdose victims, and cancer victims getting COVID listed on their death certificates as the primary cause.  Only in rare, politically important instances for the left was this practice not followed — as in the death of George Floyd, who more likely died from a drug overdose than police manhandling yet also had COVID in his system.  COVID was not listed as his cause of death. 

But for hundreds of thousands of less politically useful Americans, it most certainly was.

Hayward notes that it's a case of "follow the money."

Supposedly we’re on the cusp of — or already in the middle of — another COVID variant outbreak, with calls for reviving mask and vaccine mandates. The Branch COVIDians will not be denied. Funny thing, though. Is it merely a coincidence that the sharp drop in COVID diagnoses coincided with the end of special federal reimbursement for COVID cases? 

The money came from the CARES Act, passed by the Democrat-led Congress, which included the $178-billion "Provider Relief Fund."

The money was doled out to hospitals for increased expenses due to treating COVID cases, but also from lost revenue as patients put off elective surgery and even necessary medical care. 

According to STAT, a website about the medical field, it was quite the money spigot.  (According to these government charts, California was the most ravenous user of these funds by far.)

The federal government allocated more than $170 billion in subsidies to hospitals across the country. These subsidies not only defrayed their operational losses but also substantially improved their financial standing, particularly helping the most vulnerable hospitals. For those with January-December fiscal years, from January 2019 to December 2020, the average annual profit margin stayed stable around 7%, but increased from 4% to 7% for government and small hospitals, and from 2% to 8% for rural ones. 

Payouts dropped off sharply around January 2022 as Phase Four distributions came to a close, as this government chart shows...and suddenly people weren't dying of COVID.  Amazing how these medical miracles happen when government money is cut off.

So let's cut to the chase: the numbers of COVID deaths was highly contingent on whether hospitals and other providers were getting paid extra from the taxpayers with COVID relief funds.  Lots of funds, lots of COVID deaths, and too bad about science.

This is a textbook case of government money corrupting science itself.  Those stats on COVID deaths during the money-spigot period are absolutely worthless, given the incentive the government created for hospitals to over-report COVID deaths to ensure higher profits.  Maybe they needed them, given all the unnecessary red tape government imposes on them, which cuts their profits artificially, but that too is another corruption of science.

COVID corrupted a lot — from public trust in government pronunciamentos to massive fraud in payouts to Nigerian and Mexican cartel scam artists to vaccine issues to the demonization of doctors who told the truth about hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin treatments to medical and social media censorship to lockdown damage to the monster inflation we see today.  So much bad came out of this that the only conclusion is that government needs to be a lot smaller and less powerful. 

Now we have the phony COVID death statistics to gum up science preparing for the next pandemic.  If you dangle money out there for COVID deaths, don't be surprised if there are COVID deaths.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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