CDC Director Rochelle Walensky (Video screenshot)

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky acknowledged Monday the premise on which advocates of a pandemic response of “focused-protection” rather than universal restrictions have relied — that the vast majority of deaths from COVID-19 are among people who already were seriously ill.

“The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities,” she said Friday in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.

“So really these are people who were unwell to begin with,” Walensky said.

The CDC chief’s remarks drew considerable criticism on social media from people who thought she was minimizing the deaths of people who are critically ill.

However, her statement was spotlighted by epidemiologists who have been calling for “focus protection” of the vulnerable in light of the fact that age and underlying conditions are a significant risk factor, and the healthy have a minuscule risk.

See Walensky’s remarks to “Good Morning America”:

On Sunday, “Fox News Sunday” host Bret Baier asked Walensky how many “of the 836,000 deaths in the U.S. linked to COVID are from COVID or how many are with COVID but they had other comorbidities, do you have that breakdown?”

“Yes, of course. With omicron, we are following that very carefully. Our death registry, of course, takes a few weeks to — it takes a few weeks to collect and, of course, omicron has just been with us for a few weeks. But those data will be forthcoming.”

See Walensky’s remarks to Bret Baier:

Walensky’s comments were regarded by many Twitter users as disrespectful toward disabled or chronically ill people, with some using the hashtag #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy, Newsweek reported.

Disability rights activist Imani Barbarin wrote: “Contrary to popular belief, CDC Director, disabled people aren’t just data points. … How callous to say you’re encouraged by the prospect of their deaths.”

Matthew Courtland, a lawyer who describes himself as “chronically ill” and “disabled,” wrote that it’s “no wonder that @CDCgov has consistently refused to issue guidance protecting the health & wellbeing of chronically ill Americans – our deaths clearly don’t count.”

Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health has actively opposed the strategy of focusing protection on the vulnerable.

Emails released last month, as WND reported, showed then-NIH Director Francis Collins asking White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci to carry out a “quick and devastating published takedown” of the Great Barrington Declaration, which called for focused protection of the vulnerable older population based on data showing they are more than a thousand times more likely to die from COVID infection than the young. Collins described the three Harvard, Stanford and Oxford scientists who created the declaration as “fringe epidemiologists.”

Critics of the federal government’s response to the pandemic point out that data on the CDC website more than one year ago indicated that only 6% of COVID-19 deaths were from COVID alone, with 94%, in August 2020, having an average of 2.6 comorbidities.

Walensky reacted to the criticism from activists of her remarks Sunday with a tweet in which she emphasized the importance of protecting the vulnerable.

“We must protect people with comorbidities from severe COVID-19,” she wrote. “I went into medicine — HIV specifically — and public health to protect our most at-risk,” she wrote. “CDC is taking steps to protect those at highest risk, including those with chronic health conditions, disabilities and older adults.”

In an interview with MSNBC, Walensky said the CDC is “recommending people be boosted if they are over the age of 65, if they live in longterm care facilities and if they have high risk of severe disease by virtue of the fact that they have other comorbidities.”

See Walensky’s remarks to MSNBC:

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last year, America’s doctors, nurses and paramedics were celebrated as frontline heroes battling a fearsome new pandemic. Today, under Joe Biden, tens of thousands of these same heroes are denounced as rebels, conspiracy theorists, extremists and potential terrorists. Along with massive numbers of police, firemen, Border Patrol agents, Navy SEALs, pilots, air-traffic controllers, and countless other truly essential Americans, they’re all considered so dangerous as to merit termination, their professional and personal lives turned upside down due to their decision not to be injected with the experimental COVID vaccines. Biden’s tyrannical mandate threatens to cripple American society – from law enforcement to airlines to commercial supply chains to hospitals. It’s already happening. But the good news is that huge numbers of “yesterday’s heroes” are now fighting back – bravely and boldly. The whole epic showdown is laid out as never before in the sensational October issue of WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE GREAT AMERICAN REBELLION: ‘We will not comply!’ COVID-19 power grab ignites bold new era of national defiance.”

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