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21 Dec, 2020 19:48

Iowa senator who questioned Covid-19 profiteering gets excoriated online after receiving state’s first vaccine dose

Iowa senator who questioned Covid-19 profiteering gets excoriated online after receiving state’s first vaccine dose

Republican Senator Joni Ernst has been savaged on Twitter for being the first in Iowa to get the Covid-19 vaccine – months after she claimed the pandemic death count was being exaggerated for financial reasons.

Ernst tweeted a photo of herself getting the shot on Monday, noting that she had gotten the state’s first dose of the vaccine “at the recommendation of the Office of the Attending Physician.”

She encouraged “all Iowans and Americans” to follow in her footsteps “when their time comes.

The Iowa senator suggested back in September that Covid-19 death numbers were being inflated in order to pad hospitals’ bank accounts, telling a crowd of supporters she was “so skeptical” of the death toll after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics showing that only six percent of recorded Covid-19 casualties had no other health conditions that could have contributed to their deaths.

Many on social media framed the supposedly “anti-science Republican” receiving the vaccine for a virus she “lied about” as rank hypocrisy.

Others attacked her for supposedly muscling to the head of the vaccine line – despite her claim it was the state physician who picked her to go first.

Several blamed her for pandemic deaths into the bargain.

Hospitals indeed receive a 20 percent bonus on Medicare reimbursement for patients with Covid-19, and the government pays for the treatment of uninsured patients with the virus. 

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Combined with the CDC’s guidance encouraging doctors to mark down Covid-19 on death certificates even in cases where it’s only “suspected” or “likely,” those payments have given rise to numerous unproven accusations hospitals are deliberately goosing their coronavirus numbers. The cancellation of elective surgeries and other expensive procedures due to the pandemic has left many healthcare facilities struggling to make ends meet.

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