CDC Director Attempts to Blame COVID Breakthrough Deaths on Comorbidities

In an ABC News interview, Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Rochelle Walensky tried to claim that the vast majority of people who died from COVID-19 even after getting vaccinated were killed by “comorbidities” rather than the disease itself.

As reported by Fox News, Walensky was asked by “Good Morning America” co-host Cecilia Vega about a study allegedly showing that vaccines “are working to prevent severe illness.”

“Given that, is it time to start rethinking how we’re living with this virus, that it’s potentially here to stay?” Vega asked.

“The overwhelming number of death, over 75 percent, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities,” Walensky responded, with the first part of her initial response apparently edited out by ABC. “So really, these are people who were unwell to begin with. And yes, really encouraging news in the context of omicron. This means not only just to get your primary series but to get your booster series, and yes, we’re really encouraged by these results.”

The CDC later issued a follow-up statement defending Walensky’s remarks, which appeared to claim that it was “really encouraging news” that people were dying even after getting vaccinated; the statement said she was referring to the studies that allegedly proved the vaccines were successful in preventing serious illness or death.

“Among 1,228,664 persons who completed primary vaccination during December 2020–October 2021, severe COVID-19–associated outcomes (0.015%) or death (0.0033%) were rare,” the CDC’s statement read on Friday. “Risk factors for severe outcomes included age ≥65 years, immunosuppressed, and six other underlying conditions. All persons with severe outcomes had at least one risk factor; 78% of persons who died had at least four.”

But after widespread backlash on social media over Walensky’s attempts to shift the blame for the death total onto the patients themselves, the CDC issued another statement defending Walensky and apologizing for the initial interpretation of her remarks.

“Dr. Walensky did not intend comments in a recent television appearance to be hurtful toward those with disabilities,” the CDC stated. “She is deeply concerned and cares about the health and well-being of people with disabilities and those with medical conditions who have been impacted by COVID-19.  The CDC director continues her commitment to protect all Americans in this next stage of the pandemic.”

Walensky herself took to Twitter to backpedal her initial remarks, saying that “we must protect people with comorbidities from severe #COVID19. I went into medicine – HIV specifically – and public health to protect our most at-risk,” she tweeted. “CDC is taking steps to protect those at highest risk, incl. those w/chronic health conditions, disabilities, & older adults.”

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 30: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks to the press after visiting the Hynes Convention Center FEMA Mass Vaccination Site on March 30, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Walensky recently said she had a sense of "impending doom" as the rate of coronavirus infection has recently been rising across the U.S. (Photo by Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

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