The White House Is Using a Flawed Study to Stoke COVID Fears

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

“COVID is a far greater threat to kids than flu is,” tweeted Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid response coordinator, before insisting that parents get their eligible children vaccinated. He cited a study by Harvard Medical School instructor Jeremy Faust, which claims that COVID killed over 600 children in 2021, while the seasonal flu kills roughly 120 children annually on average.

The study is pure garbage. But the White House seems intent on stoking fears about COVID and children to get parents to unnecessarily vaccinate their kids. According to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of health policy at Stanford and a founding fellow at the Academy for Science and Freedom, Faust’s data is “severely skewed.” He cited three reasons why.

“First, while flu is seldom tested, everyone admitted to a hospital for any reason gets a Covid test. Between October 2018 and September 2019, 1.4 million flu tests were reported to public-health and clinical labs. As of May 31, 2022, there had been 897 million PCR tests for Covid,” Bhattacharya writes in the Wall Street Journal.

The second reason is that audits of death certificates found that 35% of all pediatric COVID deaths in 2020 “had co-occurring diagnosis codes that could not be plausibly categorized as either a chain-of-event or significant contributing condition.” In other words, at least 35% of pediatric deaths attributed to COVID may not have been caused by COVID.

Related: Four Reasons Not to Vaccinate Your Kids Against COVID

Bhattacharya also says that Dr. Faust “relies on a figure for confirmed flu deaths that is well-known to underestimate actual flu deaths by an order of magnitude.” Once the figure is corrected for the lack of flu testing, “the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases estimated 1,161 pediatric flu deaths in the 2012-13 season rather than the 142 that Dr. Faust reported.”

We’ve known for nearly two years that school-aged children have a COVID recovery rate of 99.997%—which we’ve known all along is better than their mortality risk from the seasonal flu. Yet, the Biden White House has banked its entire COVID strategy on getting everyone vaccinated, even kids, even though we know, based on a study from the UK last year, that unvaccinated children are safer from COVID than even vaccinated adults of any age. “In assessing an individual’s risk of dying from covid, age appears still as important—and maybe even more important—than vaccination status,” explained David Wallace-Wells of New York Magazine. And earlier this year, health officials in Sweden decided against recommending COVID vaccines for kids aged 5-12, arguing that the benefits don’t outweigh the risks.

What’s with the push to vaccinate kids despite their superior natural protection from COVID? Big Pharma wants to leave no stone unturned when it comes to making money off of COVID and is still pushing to vaccinate people unnecessarily, even though studies have shown that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are more likely to cause myocarditis in young men than natural infection from COVID.

Bhattacharya argues that the most significant risk for kids is disruptions in their schooling, which the fearmongering from the White House makes worse. “We will be cleaning up the school-closing mess for years, and fomenting baseless fear only makes the task harder.”

“For the White House to amplify a false message of high Covid risk for children undermines public health and erodes public confidence,” Bhattacharya says. “It foments an erroneous assessment of risk and is the kind of misinformation that leads to more school closings as well as burdensome mask and quarantine mandates.”


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