U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials were alerted that they spread misinformation about child COVID-19 deaths but still did not issue corrections, according to emails obtained by The Epoch Times.
Drs. Katherine Fleming-Dutra and Sara Oliver were told within days of presenting to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the CDC’s vaccine advisory panel, in June that statistics from a preprint study they shared were wrong, the emails show. But after internal discussion about how to respond, neither the CDC nor the officials corrected the false information.
Fleming-Dutra and Oliver both referenced the study, which has not been peer reviewed, while the CDC’s advisers weighed whether to recommend the agency grant emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccines for babies and toddlers.
The committee ultimately recommended the CDC authorize Pfizer and Moderna shots for children as young as 6 months of age and the CDC quickly accepted the recommendation.
A week later, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky appeared to cite the false statistics while urging parents to get their children vaccinated, despite no evidence the vaccines protect against severe illness and despite the clinical trials returning substandard or unreliable results for shielding against infection.
Kelley Krohnert, a citizen researcher and mother who flagged the preprint, triggered the internal discussions among CDC officials, according to the emails. When Krohnert pointed Fleming-Dutra to a blog post that detailed the issues with the study, Fleming-Dutra sent the email to others, including Oliver.
“I am not sure who this should go through. Let me know what I need to do,” Fleming-Dutra said.
Megan Freedman, a CDC health communications specialist, looped in a CDC spokeswoman, and they informed Fleming-Dutra that she and other subject matter experts “would need to determine if there’s any validity to the complaint.” If the complaint was deemed valid, possible next steps might include pulling the slide or adding a footnote, Freedman said.
Oliver jumped in, saying that Krohnert “appears [redacted], but there are my thoughts.” Her thoughts were redacted.
“I’m sure you guys can make it sound prettier, but something like this would be how I would respond,” Oliver said. “And the general sentiment that ‘even 1 death from COVID that’s preventable is too many, regardless of how you count them.’”