GOP Sen. Joni Ernst Goes QAnon On COVID Death Toll

The Washington Post reports:

When a man in the crowd of her Iowa campaign stop told Sen. Joni Ernst (R) on Monday that he believed the number of U.S. coronavirus deaths had been overcounted, Ernst replied that she too was “so skeptical.” “These health-care providers and others are reimbursed at a higher rate if COVID is tied to it, so what do you think they’re doing?” she said to the crowd outside Waterloo, Iowa, according to a report by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

Ernst’s comments echo conspiracy theories pushed by QAnon followers that have been debunked by doctors and public health experts. According to fact-checking site PolitiFact, public health experts believe the number of coronavirus deaths is probably undercounted, because many of the hardest-hit cities lacked the resources to effectively document every death early in the pandemic.