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‘COVID deaths' caused by infections from ventilators pushed by feds, New York: ICU study

Would help explain Big Apple's inexplicable spike in COVID mortality early on. Anthony Fauci belatedly admitted ventilator strategy "might've actually caused more harm than good."

Published: May 31, 2023 11:24pm

Updated: June 1, 2023 3:15pm

Bacterial infections associated with ventilators may have caused most of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 among intubated patients, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that reinforces ongoing scrutiny of early treatment protocols and official COVID death figures.

The findings could help explain why New York City, where ventilators were heavily used early in the pandemic, experienced a dramatic spike in COVID mortality even among non-elderly people that wasn't seen in areas with similar demographics and climate.

The Big Apple went so far as splitting ventilators between patients amid a perceived shortage despite the known risks of lung injury from single-user devices delivering too much or too little oxygen to each shared patient.

Northwestern University researchers used machine learning on medical record data to study the trajectory of nearly 600 "mechanically ventilated patients with severe pneumonia and respiratory failure" in the university hospital's ICU, The Journal of Clinical Investigation paper states. A third tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

They found "high rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia" in the COVID patients, "suggesting that bacterial super-infections such as VAP may contribute to mortality" credited to COVID, whose "relatively low mortality rate" would be "offset by a greater risk of death attributable to unresolving VAP."

"If unresolving episodes of VAP rather than the primary viral pneumonia contribute to mortality in a substantial fraction of patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, it might explain why therapies that attenuate the host response … are more effective when administered early in the clinical course, before patients are intubated and at risk for VAP," the paper concludes.

Wrongly attributing deaths from secondary infections to SARS-CoV-2 would further undermine the reliability of the official COVID death toll. Oregon lawmakers are seeking a federal grand jury investigation of death certificate protocols designed specifically for COVID.

Massachusetts law student John Beaudoin sued the state last summer for allegedly sending "fraudulent" COVID death data to the feds, whose resulting guidance was used by his private school to develop vaccine mandates he refused to follow.

Commonwealth officials filed a motion to dismiss in March, and Beaudoin, representing himself, belatedly filed a motion for oral argument last week.

The Northwestern study "leads to the stunning potential that perhaps 58% of 'COVID' cases were respiratory issues other than COVID (43% bacterial pneumonia, 16% non-pathogen causes of respiratory failure)," former University of Pittsburgh senior research scientist James Lyons-Weiler wrote in his newsletter, analyzing the study.

While it's not clear to what extent "standard therapy" for bacterial pneumonia could have reduced the purported COVID death rate, "sending patients home to do nothing – no corticosteroids, no antibiotics just in case it was bacterial – drove the COVID-19 death rate up far higher than it had to be," Lyons-Weiler wrote. 

He attributed the "do nothing" approach to former NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who spread alarm in spring 2020 that the U.S. didn't have enough ventilators to treat a predicted wave of life-threatening infections.

The Northwestern paper cites Fauci's 2008 paper on the "unexpectedly important" role of secondary bacterial infection in viral pneumonia deaths, based on autopsy samples from the 1918 influenza pandemic.

When asked about "treatment mistakes" early in the pandemic at a 2022 lecture at which Fauci received an award for "significant contributions to medicine," he conceded that "we very, very readily would put people on mechanical ventilation" but did not say it was a mistake. 

They learned "through clinical experience it might've been better just to make sure we position [COVID patients] properly in the prone or supine position," he said. Intubating "so readily  … might've actually caused more harm than good." 

"This 'learning,' as Fauci calls it, very likely contributed to the incredible increase in hospital inpatient deaths among 20-69" year old in New York City in spring 2020, according to COVID analyst Jessica Hockett, who has closely studied The Big Apple's inexplicably high COVID mortality during its initial lockdown.

President Trump was "greatly misled" by advisers who claimed "the ventilator is the way out," Paul Alexander, who then served as Department of Health and Human Services senior COVID adviser, told Just the News when asked about the agency's contemporaneous view. 

He also that because the agency was "getting reports that the ventilator was blowing up lungs and causing trauma," HHS Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Michael Caputo emphasized in meetings "the messages had to go out nationwide to calibrate and train all those using the ventilator and not just carte blanche use it."

Human rights lawyer Michael Senger, a plaintiff in a failed COVID censorship lawsuit scheduled for oral argument June 15 in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, last week published an extensive history of warnings about ventilator overuse.

"It’s long been something of a mystery why there have been no major studies on how many COVID patients were killed by mechanical ventilators in spring 2020," despite firsthand accounts from frontline doctors including NYC's Cameron Kyle-Sidell and Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) that ventilators were the wrong treatment for what they were observing, Senger wrote.

Doctors told mainstream media they were intubating patients to minimize aerosolized viral spread in hospitals, Senger noted. That was also the basis for the recommendation to "presumptively" intubate by future White House COVID response coordinator Ashish Jha.

Senger preserved deleted tweet threads by a medical resident that cited her NYC hospital's aerosolization fears and the "many days if not weeks" patients were spending on ventilation to reduce exposure of hospital staff, "which in turn means more time to develop complications."

Critical care nurse Michelle Mammana found "numerous examples of negligence and malpractice" in records of her father's fatal COVID ventilator experience, prompting her to dig deeper, and she wrote in a listserv message she gave permission to share.

The "tidal volume" for ventilators was set so low that "acidosis and death [followed] in a matter of days by retaining CO2," Mammana wrote. When removed, her father among others "were still under the effects of paralytics which freeze respiratory muscles and cause quick death. This is not normal protocol," she also wrote. 

While most patients she has treated over 25 years have done well on ventilators, Mammana told Just the News she found "shocking deviations in standards" when combing through 2,000 pages of records. 

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