Two Minnesota legislators said Tuesday that coronavirus deaths in the state are being deliberately inflated and a national audit is required to determine how many people are actually dying from another cause.
“I enlisted some people that are really good at understanding data … to go through those death files and what I found was shocking because I was just hoping that it was a myth, but indeed, Minnesota is classifying some deaths as COVID when clearly, they should not be,” Republican Minnesota State Rep. Mary Franson told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“We should not have people dying in motor vehicle collisions, suicides, drownings, et cetera and being classified as a COVID death,” said Franson, adding that the presumed death toll is one of the chief reasons “our state is locked down. Our kids are now going to have to wear masks while playing basketball and hockey.” (RELATED: US Could Reach ‘Herd Immunity’ By Spring, Fauci Says)
She noted that people in the state are only allowed to eat at restaurants “but it’s got to be outside. Today in Minnesota, we’ve got a blizzard. People are losing their livelihoods, we have the greatest transfer of wealth taking place right now — and we need an audit.”
Republican Minnesota State Sen. Scott Jensen suggested health care dollars are affecting the official COVID-19 death rate.
“When the Department of Health and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] decided to change the rules that had been in place for 17 years by encouraging the diagnosis of COVID-19 in situations that we never would have otherwise, they were abandoning their long-held commitment to precisely identifying the inciting or the initiating event that would lead to a sequence of events that would lead to a person’s demise,” Jensen said.
“What we saw subsequently was … enhanced payments to hospitals for Medicare patients and then we saw … the old adage — follow the money — and we saw if hospitals could somehow hit 161 admissions with COVID-19, then they would be eligible for a $77,000 per admission payment through the CARES Act,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s any questions that reverse incentives have been created.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, suggested in May that some official COVID-19 statistics, including deaths, might have been inflated by up to may be inflated by up to 25%. (RELATED: Top Senate Dem Slams Pelosi Over Delays On COVID-19 Relief Deal)
At that time, two-thirds of Americans also expressed doubt over the official coronavirus numbers. A poll found that 40% of Republicans believed the coronavirus death toll was inflated, while just 7% of Democrats believed the number of deaths were being over-counted.
Coronavirus deaths have reached record levels in the U.S. throughout December.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci warned in November that the U.S. would experience a COVID-19 surge within a surge during the Thanksgiving holiday.