Doctor cries 'foul':
Whistleblower State Senator/Physician investigated for 'misinformation', 'reckless advice'

'Is it okay for physicians to certify on death certificate that someone died of COVID-19 even if there was never a positive test obtained?'

Mordechai Sones ,

Minnesota COVID-19
Minnesota COVID-19
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Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Committee Vice-Chairman State Senator (District 47) Dr. Scott Jensen was notified by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota that he is under investigation for "misinformation" and providing "reckless advice" regarding COVID-19. He explained the background in a video message.

"Less than a week ago, I was notified by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota that I was being investigated because of public statements I made. They listed two allegations: They said I'd been spreading 'misinformation' in regards to the completion of death certificates on a news program, which happened to take place on April 7th, and you could find that one - it was with Chris Berg - if you wanted to. And the other allegation was that I provided 'reckless advice' in my willingness to compare COVID-19 and the flu.

"When I got this letter I was ticked, and quite frankly I leaned into the comfort and wisdom of my family, to help them, let them walk me, talk me off the cliff. But, dog-gonnit, if this can happen to me, my view is that it could happen to anybody. I mean, I've been a family doctor for forty years. I work hard, I love my patients, I do house calls, I've been Medical Director, I've held staff positions in hospitals to help make things work better. I've been in the Senate for four years and I've learned a lot. I've never had anything like this happen.

"Shoot, about five years ago I was named the Minnesota Family Doctor of the Year. And I get this because a couple people complained, and I don't get to know who those people are. I don't know if they're routinely in a political camp, if they're activists; I've gone online and looked at what it takes to complete a complaint that the Board of Medical Practice has to follow up on: It's a one-page deal! You can say what you want. You could be a huge donor for the other party and I wouldn't get to know it, I wouldn't get to know if you live in my district; I don't get to know anything. I checked.

"So, here I am. I've spent the better part of the last six days preparing a response. I understand how important the work is the Board of Medical Practice does. I mean, physicians do screw up. Two of the big ares where physicians mess up is inappropriate sexual behavior, inappropriate self-medicating, certainly with opiates. But this in an odd position for me to be in, and I am just stunned.

"But I should have seen it coming. Because I saw the threats on social media; I've seen them for the last two or three months. I've seen them come from physicians. I've seen them come from people in all walks of life. They didn't agree with me, they didn't like it that I was trying to provide some context for the flu, for COVID-19. We've had some 35-40,000 cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota thus far. According to the Department of Health people, that might translate into ten times that many. And if it does translate into ten times that many, that's 350,000 cases.

"But in 2018, we had more than a half-a-million Minnesotans with the flu; when I say that, am I recklessly giving advise regarding COVID-19 and the flu? Dr. Anthony Fauci has come out and compared them all the time. Dr. Mike Osterholm has.

"In terms of the death certificates, on April 3rd, I got an email from the Department of Health that said very clearly that we should report COVID-19 on death certificates if it is assumed to have caused or contributed. Well, that's not how we do death certificates. The official ICD-10 coding for April 1st 2020 through September 30th, 2020 - during the time frame in question - says this: 'If the provider documents suspected, possible, probable, or inconclusive COVID-19, do not assign U07.1,' which is COVID-19 disease. It says: 'Assign a code explaining the reason for the encounter, such as fever, or cough, or shortness of breath'. That's what the official instructions say.

"So, I get this on April 3rd, I end up inadvertantly, sort of accidentally running it up the flagpole with Chris Berg on April 7th, and what happens? The Department of Health a few days later comes out with a clarification. And then, a few weeks later they come out with another clarification. And I appreciate it. The fact of the matter is I'm proud of the Department of Health in Minnesota for saying, 'We are not going to list non-confirmed cases as deaths in Minnesota. We are going to put an asterisk by them, and we'll follow up on those later.' But that's not what Pennsylvania was doing; that's why they has to subtract two hundred patients from their COVID-19 death count. Colorado did the same thing.

"New York went the other direction. New York said, 'We're having more deaths in a certain period than we normally have, so those deaths must be COVID-19. We just didn't pick them up. So never mind the testing; we're adding 37,000 to our total, and, well, that does increase our total by 50%.'

"So I'm in a position where I have to explain that I wasn't spreading misinformation. And, I'm not being reckless when I talk about COVID-19 and influenza both being single-stranded RNA viruses that are respiratory in nature with similar symptoms and can be spread through particulate matter and aerosol transmission.

"I've got an eight-page document that I've put together for the Board of Medical Practice, and let me be clear: They do important work, and I'm going to fully cooperate with them.

"I also have some seventy pages of attachments, and in the attachments I've got the Pennsylvania Department of Health slashing their numbers by 201. I've got the Department of Health in Illinois where one of the Directors said that 'just because we put COVID-19 down on the death certificate as cause of death, that doesn't mean the patient died of COVID-19.' She said that."

Dr. Jensen was referring to Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who, with a straight face, stated in a press conference that even if the cause of death is clearly something else, as long as one tests positive for COVID-19 when he dies, it does not matter how many other conditions were present, this is the cause of death:

Dr. Jensen continued: "Dr. Fauci, when he talks about influenza, he was the lead article in this New England Journal article, and he said this: 'If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases for COVID-19 is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza.' Thus, Dr. Fauci.

"And, oh, by the way: One of the contributing authors was Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC.

"Dr. Osterholm is a well-regarded epidemiologist, and he was saying this in the middle of March: 'The flu has become a pandemic more than once and killed millions of people. It still exists today. Unfortunately, we now have on our hands something else but it's caused by coronavirus which is acting very much like influenza.'

"Folks: Do I feel targeted? Yeah, I do. Do I know who my accusers are? No I don't get to know. Could I be disciplined by the Board of Medical Practice? Well sure I can. There's two allegations they're investigating.

"If I have been spreading misinformation, then what about Governor Wallace and the Department of Health?

"Right around March 1st, we had a Department of Health memo that talked about the purpose of, if you will, some of the measures that we'd be taking to dampen, delay, and decrease the peak; to allow the accumulation of PPE, and make sure that our hospital capacities weren't being overwhelmed. In that memo they say what the effective measures are, covering your mouth, don't go out if you have cough or fever, avoid touching your face, your eyes, or mouth, cover your mouth if you cough, wash your hands frequently, minimize outings, socially distance.

"But what did they say were not effective measures? They said wearing masks is not effective, taking antibiotics is not effective.

"A month later Governor Wallace comes out, talks about 74,000 Minnesotans died. Later on he went back to 29,000 and right around then I put a different video out saying just the facts and I said, 'I'm not buying 74,000 Minnesotans died; I'm not buying 29,000.' And then this one came out a month later, right around May 1st. This is a model that they're using. And it says on here, 'Minnesotan's model projects nearly a thousand deaths a day in mid-July. We'll folks, that's next week. So far we have less than right around 15,000, of which, all but 300 of them occurred in people in long-term care facilities in large part because the Department of Health participated in the decisions that put people with active COVID-19 disease in the nursing homes.

"And I'm spreading misinformation. Of course I am.

"I don't know what to tell you. I just know this is wrong. We're in a bad place. My wife asked me the other day, 'Scott, why did 9/11 pull us together as Americans so much, and why is COVID-19 breaking us apart?'

"I think physicians are part to blame; scientists are. We've become so darn political. Physicians and scientists in the past were supposed to be above the fray, they're not. I have this odd set of hats I'm wearing because I'm the Vice-Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee in the Senate, and I'm involved in policy discussions and involved in bills dealing with providing relief for COVID-19, and on the other hand I've been a physician in the trenches for 35 years. So I try to connect the dots. I don't try to present myself to be something I'm not; I'm not an epidemiologist. But yes, I've taken epidemiology classes. I'm not an infectious disease doctor. But I take care of infectious disease every day.

"I just want to leave you with a couple of questions you could maybe ask yourself: Do you think it's okay for physicians to certify on death certificates that someone died of COVID-19, even if there was never a COVID-19 positive test obtained? Even if there was never a COVID-19 test done? Even if a COVID-19 test hadn't even been considered? And maybe the worst 'even if': Even if the family had no clue that the death certificate they received for their loved one was going to say COVID-19? What do we want to be doing there?

"In Minnesota, I think the Department of Health is taking care of business. But there are important questions. I'm sure there are naysayers out there who think that I'm getting exactly what I deserve. Fine. If it can happen to me, I think frankly that it could happen to anybody. It feels ugly, it feels like some of the people who disagree with me don't want to have a conversation. I've asked many of you for conversations and you've not been interested.

"So, 'reckless advice regarding comparisons between COVID-19 and the flu. Spreading misinformation' because I cried 'foul' when I received a memorandum from the Department of Health on April 3rd, which directed me to a CDC link which says clearly that you could have a patient suffering from other medical problems, wheelchair-bound, severe stroke within the preceding year or two, no COVID-19 test ever done or ordered, and when that patient dies of pneumonia, it's a COVID-19 death. I cried 'foul'."

Minnesota
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