Is this okay to say now?
Two counties in California have reviewed every COVID-19 fatality, refining the approach to classifying the cause of death. Santa Clara and Alameda County delineated those patients who died due to the illness progression of COVID-19 and those who tested positive at the time of death but were not symptomatic. This exercise reduced the number of COVID-19 deaths in both counties by nearly 25%.
Early in the pandemic, questioning the COVID-19 death count was labeled a conspiracy theory by the corporate media. This position was always absurd based on the very loose criteria put out by the National Center for Health Statistics for counting a COVID-19 death. The ability to presume COVID-19 and place it as a cause of death during a period of perverse financial incentives for hospitals invited inflation of the fatality numbers. Medicare increased payment for COVID-19 patients, and private insurers covered the charges in full. These policies prevented the loss of co-pays and co-insurance unpaid by patients and additional reimbursement from government programs.