The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week deleted a paragraph about COVID-19 deaths among children from its website after a report by AFLDS Frontline News.
The now-deleted paragraph read:
“As of mid-October 2021, children ages 5 through 11 years have experienced more than 8,300 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths from COVID-19. In fact, COVID-19 ranks as one of the top 10 causes of death for children ages 5 through 11 years.”
But as AFLDS Frontline News reported on Wednesday, the CDC officially admitted to having no data on child deaths from COVID-19 in response last month to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from attorney Aaron Siri.
On Monday, just days after the report, the paragraph was quietly deleted.
However, it seems the CDC forgot to also remove the paragraph from its FAQ section, last updated on January 11, 2022 as of this writing.
Siri originally requested four sets of documents. The CDC denied having any of them.
First Siri asked for “documents reflecting all confirmed cases of a child 11 years of age or younger, without pre-existing health conditions, dying of COVID-19.” Siri asked the same for children aged 12-15.
In response, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) responded that they didn’t have them.
“NCHS has not conducted the analyses requested and therefore cannot provide a data product. Pre-existing medical conditions should only reported [sic] on a death certificate if they led to, or contributed to, a death. In the case of deaths from COVID-19, pre-existing conditions would only be reported if they led to, or contributed to a death from COVID-19. NCHS does not have information on other, pre-existing medical conditions a decedent may have had, and therefore cannot provide a count of COVID-19-related deaths among individuals with no pre-existing conditions.”
Then Siri asked for documents reflecting all confirmed cases of children 11 years of age or younger dying of COVID-19, and asked the same for children aged 12-15. This time, he did not mention pre-existing conditions.
The CDC responded that they do not have these data either.
“NCHS has not conducted the analyses requested and therefore cannot provide a data product,” the letter read. It went on to say that it is exempt from having to “perform research, create new records, or perform analysis of existing records for FOIA request.”
The CDC also came under fire last month for falsely adding 72,000 deaths - including 416 child deaths - to its COVID-19 death count, which the center said was a “coding error”.
While the CDC subsequently fixed the “error”, it continued its claim on its website that COVID-19 is a leading cause of death among children and that there have been almost 100 child deaths from COVID, despite having no data showing that.