Minnesota doctor questions coronavirus death toll, claims 'influenza deaths ... have been called COVID-19'

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Dr. Scott Jensen, a Minnesota family physician and Republican state senator, told "The Ingraham Angle" Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for doctors to certify whether a patient has died of coronavirus are a "mess" and predicted that some fatalities initially reported to be COVID-19-related would be reclassified.

"We both know," Jensen told host Laura Ingraham, "that there have been influenza deaths, influenza cases, that have been called COVID-19 [deaths] because nobody bothered to swab their throats. If you want to find out what the data is, I don't care if they're dead or alive, swab them. We can always run a test later and then actually get real information."

Earlier this month, Jensen told Ingraham that under the CDC guidelines, a patient who died after being hit by a bus and tested positive for coronavirus would be listed as having presumed to have died from the virus regardless of whatever damage was caused by the bus.

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Jensen also gave a hypothetical example of a patient who died while suffering from influenza. If the patient was elderly and had symptoms like fever and cough a few days before passing away, the doctor explained, he would have listed "respiratory arrest" as the primary cause of death.

"There's been so much garbage going in that we are going to get garbage out," Jensen said Tuesday. "Three weeks ago, you and I talked about this and we've seen since then, [in] Pennsylvania, the coroners have pushed back and said 'These aren't COVID-19 deaths,' and Pennsylvania reduces its numbers.

"New York says it's going to come out and add 3,700 [coronavirus deaths] in a day," Jensen continued. "The Illinois public health director tried to define what a COVID-19 death looks like and stumbled all over herself -- made it very clear didn't she have a clue.

DOCTOR BLASTS 'RIDICULOUS' CDC CORONAVIRUS DEATH GUIDELINES

"We've got people ... in the southeastern part of the country saying they want accountability, we’ve got California and Minnesota saying 'We're going to count only confirmed cases' ... so it's a mess," Jensen said.

New data published this week by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projected more than than 74,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the United States by Aug. 4, an increase of nearly 6,000 projected deaths from its latest report.

Fox News' Charles Creitz contributed to this report.