CDC Responds to ICAN’s Demand That the Agency Change Its Misleading COVID Indicators

In September, ICAN wrote a letter to the CDC detailing the multitude of problems with its method of tracking community level COVID data.  The CDC’s shamefully deficient response shows that it prefers to maintain a system of inaccurate data reporting. The CDC is apparently fine with counting someone who comes to the hospital with a broken arm, is otherwise healthy, but tests positive for COVID, as a COVID case in its tracking system.

As some of ICAN’s citizen petitions have covered, the indicators the CDC utilizes for assessing community COVID levels have many glaring issues, including the fact that they grossly inflate COVID cases and hospitalizations. 

In an effort to correct this issue, ICAN’s attorneys sent a letter to the CDC demanding that it modify its method of assessing community COVID levels in light of the unfortunate, real-world consequences these flawed metrics are having on the public. 

Specifically, ICAN demanded that the CDC stop including in its hospitalization count the cases where an individual was hospitalized with COVID-19 instead of for COVID-19.  This method of counting hospitalizations vastly overinflates the purported “risk” level.  For example, if a person, who is otherwise healthy breaks his arm from an accident and goes to the hospital and tests positive for COVID-19, he will be considered a COVID-19 hospitalization.

This overcounting is a serious issue because state and local jurisdictions then base their policies on the CDC’s high/medium/low risk indicator table.  So, for instance, when a certain number of hospitalizations are reached in a given locality, it will be pushed into CDC’s “medium” or “high” risk level.  When that happens, many employers, schools, and other entities automatically require masking and testing (which should never be required anyway) based on that misleading data.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a December 2021 interview, when asked about the rising number of child COVID hospitalizations: “Many of them are hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID… They may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that, so it’s overcounting the number of children who are ‘hospitalized with COVID’ as opposed to because of COVID.”  But CDC simply does not care as evidenced by its disgraceful two-sentence response to ICAN’s attorneys.

ICAN will continue to demand accountability of our health agencies and ensure the public receives accurate data.

ICAN has consistently raised issues concerning the CDC’s tracking of COVID-19 data (or lack thereof) and will continue to build this record it can use to take legal action.  You can read some of ICAN’s prior work in this area below: