CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Thursday reportedly cited a questionable study to convince parents to inoculate their young children against COVID-19.
“Since January 2020, we’ve lost 215 children—each six months to four years—to COVID-19,” Walensky said, citing preliminary CDC data. Then, she took a leap, calling coronavirus a top-five killer of young children in the U.S.
“To put that in perspective, during March 2020 through April 2022, COVID-19 was among the top five leading causes of death in every age group of children under the age of 19 and the number one infectious cause of death in children,” said Walensky.
First, to put that data point into perspective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director could have noted the death of 215 children from COVID is a small subset of the more than 1 million COVID-19 related deaths recorded by the CDC. The sad part is that the number she quoted may not even be accurate in the first place.
Her remarks during a White House teleconference briefing apparently relied on a British study that has not been peer-reviewed. The lead author of the study, associate professor of computer science at Oxford University Seth Flaxman, acknowledged issues with the study’s methodology.
“We have received some feedback and criticism along several dimensions,” Flaxman said in a Sunday Twitter post. “We are planning to update the preprint to take into account some of this feedback, primarily by focusing on COVID as an underlying cause of death using CDC WONDER Provisional Mortality Statistics.”
“So far, as we update our analysis, our major conclusions are unchanged,” Flaxman remarked in a follow-up thread to his original post. “COVID is a top 10 cause of death in children of all ages, and the #1 cause of death from infectious / respiratory diseases.”
Walensky’s claim that COVID-19 is one of the top five causes of childhood death is directly contradicted by the study’s lead author who knocks it down to being among the top 10 causes.
Georgia native Kelley Krohnert first reported issues with the study to Flaxman.
“I’m so frustrated that this lie has just become accepted as truth at the highest levels,” she reportedly said to The Epoch Times in a Twitter post.