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Texas Downgrades COVID-19 Deaths After ‘Automation Error’

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The Texas Department of State Health Services revealed this week that an “automation error” in a new method of reporting COVID-19 deaths led to hundreds of people being mistakenly reported as having died of the coronavirus.

The statistical error put 225 fatalities on the state’s COVID-19 related death toll. A local Texas NBC affiliate stated: “On July 27, the state said 675 deaths were being added to the list of those killed by COVID-19 and that the increase was due to a change in reporting method that relied on death certificates rather than reports from various public health departments.

According to the data changes from Texas DSHS and posted by NBC Dallas Fort Worth:

The state health department then revised the death totals published those days as follows:

  • June 27 — changed from 5,713 to 5,489, +451 instead of +675
  • June 28 — changed from 5,877 to 5,650, +161 instead of +164
  • June 29 — changed from 6,190 to 5,952, +302 instead of +313

On Thursday, the state said another 322 Texans had died after contracting the virus when they reported the state’s death total reached 6,274.

The Texas DSHS stated in a Tweet that it has corrected the “COVID-19 fatality counts for the week of July 27.”

“An automation error caused 225 fatalities to be included even though COVID-19 was not listed as a direct cause of the death on the death certificate,” it stated.

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TN Republican introduces legislation to fight opioid shipments into U.S.

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Tennessee Republican Representative Diana Harshbarger is attempting to fight the opioid crisis and epidemic through new legislation. Introduced Friday, Harshbarger told the Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the legislation, which addresses what Harshbarger calls a “loophole.” The legislation amends the Controlled Substances Act to specifically require registrants to investigate reports of suspicious orders of controlled substances and halt them if necessary. Under the version of the act currently in force, drug manufacturers and distributors are only required to report suspicious orders of opioids and other controlled substances to the DEA.

“Breaking the opioid epidemic’s stranglehold on our nation is one of my foremost priorities. In an effort to do so, my colleagues and I have identified a loophole that allows distributors to continue order fulfillment, even under suspicious circumstances.”

“My bill closes that loophole with the requirements and guardrails needed to ensure these addictive and potentially dangerous drugs do not fall into the wrong hands while the DEA investigates. The future of our nation depends on us solving the addiction crisis, and this is a step towards that outcome” Harshbarger continued.

The Daily Caller reports:

According to a congressional report released in September, the opioid crisis cost the U.S. $1.5 trillion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC says 93,331 people died from overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, the highest in 50 years. Opioid-related deaths made up nearly three-quarters of the total.

Pharmaceutical companies have been blamed for contributing to the opioid epidemic. The Department of Justice is currently suing the pharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen over allegations the company failed to report suspicious orders of opioids to federal law enforcement.

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