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Joni Ernst Pushing Crackpot Conspiracy Theory About COVID Deaths

Iowa's embarrassment of a senator opined that hospitals inflate their death totals to get higher reimbursements.

It's extremely galling to many of us that some states send substandard politicians like Joni Ernst to the U.S. Senate. Not only is she repeating Trump's nonsense that just 9000 of the COVID deaths in the United States are attributable to the virus, but she's also layering on some QAnon-like gibberish about hospitals doing this so they can make more money, when the complete opposite is true. Caring for COVID patients is extemely expensive and time-consuming. Many smaller hospitals have gone or will go bankrupt, with an estimated loss of $50 billion per month for hospitals fighting the pandemic. So everything she is saying in this brief soundclip is demonstrably false and she's knowingly or unknowingly ( I'm not sure which is worse) spreading misinformation.

Basically, whenever a Republican starts a sentence with "What I've heard is..." , they're almost certainly going to repeat some Trumpian bullshit they've pulled off the internet somewhere. Wherever they've got it from, it won't be factual or reality-based.

Source: Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

One attendee told Ernst during the question-and-answer period he believed COVID-19 cases and deaths are being overcounted, a theory discounted by medical professionals who say the actual numbers are probably much higher than official tallies.

Ernst said she was “so skeptical” of those numbers as well.

“These health-care providers and others are reimbursed at a higher rate if COVID is tied to it, so what do you think they’re doing?” she told the crowd.

Asked to clarify her remarks after the event, Ernst said that’s “what I’ve heard” from health-care providers, but wasn’t sure if that meant numbers were being inflated.

“They do get reimbursed higher amounts if it’s a COVID-related illness or death,” she said. “I heard the same thing on the news. ... 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.”

You can do so much better than this, Iowa.

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