Dr. Leana Wen, a frequent contributor on CNN, claimed in an op-ed in The Washington Post that COVID hospitalizations and deaths are being overcounted, without citing any evidence, data or studies. Instead, Dr. Wen quoted two infectious disease doctors who didn’t present evidence, but anecdotes and a study on the use of dexamethasone in Massachusetts.
The claims about Massachusetts were debunked by Dr. Jeremy Faust, who studies COVID cases in Massachusetts, on his Substack page.
POLITICO reported in December 2021 that Dr. Wen is one of several doctors whom the Biden administration has been sharing COVID talking points with. However, some of the doctors — Not Dr. Wen — have split with the White House over its downplaying of COVID and vaccine boosters.
MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan noted that Dr. Wen’s rhetoric has joined the right wing chorus of COVID deniers who often appear on Fox News. Dr. Wen was slammed by doctors on Twitter.
Inside Medicine — Data Snapshot: Are we overcounting Covid-19 deaths? No. https://t.co/W1eBLAn02I— Jeremy Faust MD MS (ER physician) (@jeremyfaust) January 16, 2023
Covid deaths are NOT overcounted—if anything, they’re UNDERCOUNTED. #LongCovid also not counted.— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 20, 2023
Listen—@mehdirhasan debunks Leana Wen’s “dangerous & fact-free” @washingtonpost oped.
Please @PostOpinions—You’re killing people with misinfo & COVID denial.pic.twitter.com/3eyu894sOd
Lots of right wing pandemic denialists are sharing this clip. @DrLeanaWen is not only incorrect —the data shows COVID-19 deaths are *under* counted—but she’s sowing distrust in vaccines and public health to further her own political ambitions. pic.twitter.com/axkPRNTrvR— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) January 17, 2023
Please @DrLeanaWen call me. We don’t have to wonder or speculate. This data is public. We know exactly how many COVID deaths were primary vs contributing vs incidental.— Benjamin Mazer (@BenMazer) January 17, 2023
More deaths now are contributing but that doesn’t mean overcounted. https://t.co/VY0Cpv6WfV
I love this takedown of the chronically attention-seeking 🦆Dr. Leana Wen, and I hope that the @washingtonpost stops publishing her scientifically defunct opinion pieces.— Denise Dewald, MD 🗽 (@denise_dewald) January 20, 2023
She is complicit in a twisted movement to allow people to die from an avoidable disease. #BringBackMasks https://t.co/vfMTfJNt4B