In an email blast from MoveOn.org, the organization said that “Republican Senator Joni Ernst just repeated a QAnon coronavirus conspiracy theory, saying she’s “so skeptical” of the death count and even suggesting that doctors and nurses are lying about cases to make money.”
MoveOn.org added “Yes, really, she said that. It’s appalling. And it comes at a time when Iowa is seeing cases spike in what scientists say is one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks regionally in the entire nation and even the world.”
“They do get reimbursed higher amounts if it’s a covid-related illness or death,” she said, referring to doctors and medical workers.
I heard the same thing on the news,” she continued. “They’re thinking there may be 10,000 or less deaths that were actually singularly COVID-19. … I’m just really curious. It would be interesting to know that.”Jonie Ernst, according to reporting from The Washington Post
The Washington Post printed an article in which it said that “Ernst’s comments echo conspiracy theories pushed by QAnon followers that have been debunked by doctors and public health experts.”
Senator Ernst never mentioned Q or Qanon, but that doesn’t mean the media will not attempt to smear her by attempting to associate her with Q followers.
Here’s a problem with the Washington Post report (and the other media reports) – Senator Ernst was repeating what U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said to Congress.
In congressional testimony, Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri questioned U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield during a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing on coronavirus containment. Luetkemeyer asked about the “perverse incentive” for hospitals to classify deaths as being coronavirus-related when the virus didn’t cause the death.
Redfield responded by telling the congressman, “I think you’re correct in that and we’ve seen this in other disease processes too.” He added, “In the HIV epidemic, somebody may have a heart attack but also have HIV,” Redfield explained. “The hospital would prefer the DRG [death report] for HIV because there’s greater reimbursement. So I do think there is some reality to that.”
Redfield continued, “I think it is less operable in the cause of death although I won’t say there are not some cases,” he said. “I do think, though, when it comes to hospital reimbursement issues for individuals that get discharged, there could be some play in that for sure.”
So, Senator Ernst was repeating what a public health official – the head of the U.S. CDC – testified to before Congress – NOT repeating a “conspiracy theory” “debunked by doctors and public health experts.”
Can Joni Ernst Or The American Public Expect An Apology?
Will The Washington Post or MoveOn.org apologize to Senator Ernst? Correct their article or email solicitation? Doubtful. Instead, much of the press is now repeating that Ernst is spreading “conspiracy theory” lies.
Ernst issued a statement yesterday noting the large U.S. death toll. “Over 180,000 Americans have died because of COVID-19,” Ernst said. “What matters is that we are getting the resources to Iowa that are needed to fight this virus, and that’s what I’m focused on.” Ernst and her staff likely know that fighting a media repeating the same storylines is too much to battle – especially since she is up for reelection this year.
Here’s a sampling of how the media is now spinning Ernst’s comments.
Read AND Magazine’s companion article on the media and the medical profession reporting new “cases” when in effect they are reporting positive test results that are now considered suspect or false positives – not symptomatic COVID-19 cases.