Dr. Rochelle Walensky, a director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told CNN reporters that 223 people died from COVID-19 even though they had been fully vaccinated.
The CDC director said that this number is ‘extraordinarily low,’ given that more than 115 million people got vaccinated until May 10th, the last day when the data was updated.
Walensky added that not all of 223 COVID-19 deaths following vaccination happened due to the COVID-19 infection itself.
She said that many people either just tested positive or had mild symptoms but died due to their primary diseases, such as a heart attack.
Covid killed you or…?
Understandably, this remark was received with widespread criticism.
Many commentators pointed out that Walensky failed to distinguish between ‘dying from’ and ‘dying with’ COVID-19 disease.
What particularly irritated many people was that, while counting the U.S. COVID-19 deaths overall, health agencies such as CDC insisted that the same distinction lacks any purpose.
One Twitter user asked how anyone could live with such a high level of deception regarding the COVID-19 deaths, adding that all deaths should be counted the same way.
Other users recommended that each case of more than 500,000 reported COVID-19 deaths should be re-examined so that the public knows how many people ‘died from COVID-19,’ as opposed to those who ‘died with COVID-19.’
The vaccination rates coming up
The controversy regarding the COVID-19 death reporting came amid the steady rise in the number of U.S. citizens getting vaccinated.
The CDC data revealed that, so far, almost 47% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated, whereas close to 60% of American citizens have received at least one vaccine dose.
It is believed that there would be an additional spike in the vaccination rate after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted that the Pfizer vaccine could be used on teenagers between 12 and 15 years old.
Experts remain confident that promptly continuing the vaccination program would halt the spread of the pandemic that got more than 32.7 million U.S. citizens infected, above 582,000 of whom died, either ‘from’ or ‘with’ COVID-19.