September 23, 2023

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials who spread misinformation about child COVID-19 deaths should be investigated for violations of the agency’s scientific integrity policies, a watchdog group says.

Drs. Katherine Fleming-Dutra and Sara Oliver both claimed that COVID-19 deaths among children were higher than they actually were, and refused to correct the misinformation after they were told the correct figures, the complaint says, citing reporting from The Epoch Times.

The CDC’s scientific integrity guidelines say that the agency holds accountability and integrity as core values, stating in part that “all information products authored, published, and released by CDC for public use are of the highest quality and are scientifically sound, technically accurate, and useful to the intended audience.”

Protect the Public’s Trust, the watchdog that filed the complaint, urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general to investigate the apparent violations. The CDC is part of the HHS.

“Ideally, they would investigate the incident and what happened and determine whether or not certain officials within the CDC violated the agency’s scientific integrity policies. We believe that that they have,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, told The Epoch Times.

The inspector general’s office said it received the complaint and declined to comment further. The CDC and the HHS didn’t respond to requests for comment by print deadline. Fleming-Dutra and Oliver have not returned repeated inquiries as of press time.

Misleading Claims

Fleming-Dutra and Oliver both said that COVID-19 was a leading cause of death among children while presenting data to the CDC’s vaccine advisory panel before the panel voted to recommend that the CDC allow all children in the United States between 6 months and 5 years of age to receive a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

Slides from their presentations cited a non-peer-reviewed paper from British scientists, who analyzed death certificate data from the CDC.

The scientists later corrected the study after admitting that they didn’t fully understand how the certificate data was reported.

Within days of the presentations, both officials were alerted to having spread misinformation, emails obtained by The Epoch Times show. But the officials brushed off the concerns and never issued a correction.

By Zachary Stieber

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