On October 12, 2020, me and a team of independent researchers published a peer reviewed study titled: ‘COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective’. The study was published in the journal ‘Science, Public Health Policy & The Law’ (the full study can be read at this link). Our study has since been used as a key exhibit in several lawsuits filed in the U.S.
The major points from our study are:
- The CDC violated multiple federal laws when it decided to unilaterally change fatality-reporting guidelines, which enabled COVID-19 to be listed as a primary cause of death. These federal laws include violations of the PRA (paperwork reduction act), the IQA (information quality act), and the associated 44 U.S.C.
- As a result of these new and illegally-created fatality-reporting guidelines, all fatality data for COVID-19 was permanently corrupted.
We viewed our study as the major smoking gun of government corruption and illegality for COVID-19 data reporting. After our study was published, our team sent hard copies, and email copies to every U.S. Attorney in the United States. Unfortunately, no U.S. Attorney responded to us. However, since the time of publication, our study has been used as key evidence in at least 5 separate lawsuits in the U.S. Recently, the attorneys in a federal court case (Beckman Vs. HHS) has used our identical legal arguments against the HHS and CDC.
Furthermore, our lead author, Dr. Henele Ealy has recently submitted expert testimony to 3 counties in the State of Oregon, regarding COVID-19 data and statistics from the state of Oregon. As of this date, in 2/3 instances, the counties passed resolutions that enabled businesses to remain open.
What is the IQA and Why Is It Relevant for COVID-19 & The CDC?
The Information Quality Act (IQA) was enacted by Congress in December of 2000. It is an essential rulebook with which all U.S. Federal agencies must be in compliance. Upon enactment of the IQA, the law required the OMB (office of management of budget) to create procedural guidelines for how all federal agencies must collect and disseminate data (including statistical data) from the public. For 21 years, the IQA has been readily implemented as a series of checks and balances between federal agencies who collect and disseminate data and statistics from the public, and the executive branch’s oversight.
ALL federal agencies within the United States (including the CDC) are required to submit notification to the U.S. Federal Register when that agency proposes to make any changes to data collection. A review of the U.S. Federal Register enables any member of the public to view all entries, their review processes and decisions.
On March 24th, 2020, the CDC decided to unilaterally change fatality-reporting guidelines exclusively and preferentially for COVID-19, when that agency issued ‘COVID-19 Alert No. 2′ to all physicians, medical examiners and coroners. This change in fatality reporting was a sudden divergence from the manner in which fatality reporting had been conducted for the past 17 years.
Moreover, the adoption of new fatality-reporting guidelines by the CDC occurred without notification to the U.S. Federal Register. When a federal agency submits a request for their proposed data collection changes to the U.S. Federal Register, this triggers a notification to the director of the OMB (who has direct oversight over the federal agency’s proposal, and the implementation of IQA procedural law). As a result of this process of notifying the OMB, a public review process is opened, in which the public is able to engage in free discourse, debate and discussion. The ultimate decision of data collection adoption or rejection results from these discourses, and the OMB has the final call. This never happened.
IQA procedural law exists, explicitly to prevent unilateral decision making by federal agencies. Data being collected, analyzed, and published by any federal agency is required to meet the highest standards for accuracy, quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity as defined by the PRA, IQA, as well as additional guidelines issued by the OMB. The IQA is an important “check and balance” of power between a federal agency such as the CDC, with the OMB, whose office is within the executive branch of government. In the case of ‘COVID Alert No. 2’, this never occurred. The CDC went rogue. The IQA, and 44 U.S.C were blatantly violated. The OMB and the public was kept out of any of these very important decisions.
As a consequence of these federal law violations by the CDC, new fatality reporting guidelines were issued that instructed physicians, coroners and medical examiners to preferentially list COVID-19 as a primary cause of death, regardless if any preexisting comorbid diseases had been present. Compared to the previous guidelines, which were in effect for at least the past 17 years (2003 CDC Medical Examiner’s and Coroner’s Handbook on Death Registration), the new guidelines are very different.
It is critical to examine this closely, because nearly 90% of COVID-attributed fatalities had preexisting medical conditions. The previous fatality-reporting guidelines would have instructed that the preexisting medical condition would more than likely be listed as the primary cause of death. In the case of influenza, this would most likely be listed as a contributing factor, leading to death, and not the primary cause of death.
The illegally created fatality-reporting guidelines by the CDC changed that. It’s now well understand that significant financial incentives existed, which incentivized COVID-19 diagnosis. Indeed, corruption becomes contagion if it is not properly contained by a functioning, democratic process.
- The newly adopted fatality-reporting guidelines on March 24, 2020 enabled COVID-19 to be listed as a primary cause of death on death certificates, regardless of preexisting comorbidities. This is not how fatality reporting was previously conducted.
- The newly adopted fatality-reporting guidelines were illegally created by the CDC. In the issuance of fatality-reporting guidelines to physicians, medical examiners and coroners, the CDC violated U.S. Federal Law, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3506, and effectively bypassed the IQA, and the oversight of the OMB.
The result of the unilateral and illegal actions of the CDC has resulted in permanent corruption of all COVID-19 fatality-reporting in the U.S. Moreover, the CDC’s rogue actions to erect new fatality-reporting guidelines has removed any remaining public trust in this agency.
Beckman Vs. HHS
On December 21st, 2020 a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Beckman Vs. HHS, used these exact legal arguments in a landmark case against U.S. Federal Agencies. You can read more about this lawsuit, in the press release issued by the lead attorneys Thomas Renz and Ana Garner.
If successful, this lawsuit will open the floodgates of litigation against the CDC and its parent agency, HHS.
Useful Links & More
- Special thanks to Minnesota Senator Dr. Scott Jensen, MD. Dr. Jensen gave an excellent interview in April 2020, that tipped us off on national fatality-reporting guidelines being changed. As a physician with more than 30 years of experience, which includes filling out death certificates, Dr. Jensen was alarmed at the new CDC guidelines for fatality reporting. This interview between Dr. Jensen and Dr. Henele is an informative and engaging discussion.
- Interview Discussion Between Our Lead Author Dr. Henele & Dr. Jack-Lyons Weiler Discussing the paper, ‘COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective’
- Link to our Published Study: ‘COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective’
- Link to Dr. Henele’s presentation to Oregon County BOC Meetings: 01/04/21 – Curry County Board of Commissioners Workshop with Dr. Ealy presenting.Go to 5:22:15 in the video.