I saw a headline today about coronavirus deaths in the United States might be overstated by as much as 30%.
Summary of Worldwide Deaths
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ I did a quick calculation of several countries with the Worldometers website. I did a simple calculation of the number of reported COVID-19 deaths as a percentage of the population. The United States (0.07%), India (0.008%), Brazil (0.07%), Spain (0.07%), Mexico (0.07%), France (0.05), United Kingdom (0.06%), Italy (0.06%), Sweden (0.06%), and China (0.0003%).
Does anything look out of place? India is the second-largest country by population. Is it possible that India is still below 0.01%? I think it could be true. However, China, with the largest population in the world has managed to stop coronavirus cold in its tracks since the first month or so. And the rest of the world cannot make a dent in the spread of the virus?
Notwithstanding reported numbers, the overall percentage of 0.05-0.07% for most industrialized countries seem reasonably close. If the death count in the United States was overstated by 30%, then the coronavirus deaths would be 0.04% of the population. A bit low, but not unbelievable.
The death reporting in the United States has been confusing with deaths caused by COVID-19 and deaths with COVID-19 are lumped into the same pot. Yes, I can believe that the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States can be overstated by 20-30%.
COVID-19 Death Study
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, VA and the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT compared death statistics from previous years. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/1-in-3-excess-deaths-in-the-us-not-directly-caused-by-covid-19 This study was published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2771761
Delays, errors, disruptions, acute emergencies, chronic disease overdoses, suicide, and more are speculations that the true number of COVID-19 deaths is not accurate.
We have seen the headlines of elderly patients in nursing homes were killed by COVID-19 because patients with coronavirus were sent to their facilities. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ap-count-4300-virus-patients-ny-nursing-homes-70825470.
Should those thousands of deaths be counted? Yes, because they were caused by coronavirus, but there should be a disclaimer saying that errors were processing patients that accounted for a large increase in deaths in a short period of time.
In 1961, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s 1927 home run record of 60 home runs in a season. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/roger-maris-breaks-home-run-record In 1927, only 154 games were played. In 1961, 162 games were played.
An asterisk marked Roger’s record for a long time indicating that those extra games allowed him to break the record. It was important because the baseball world loved the memory of the almost immortal Babe Ruth.
Yet, it is not important to accurately collect the real cause of deaths involving COVID-19. The World Health Organization guidelines state that “COVID-19 should be recorded on the medical certificate of cause of death for ALL decedents where the disease, or is assumed to have caused, or contributed to death is the underlying cause of death.” https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/death-certificate-data-covid-19-as-the-underlying-cause-of-death/
One must ask the question why? If a person died of pneumonia, why not report the death as pneumonia? If a person died in an automobile accident and was found to be infected with the disease, the death certificate will state that the cyclist died of COVID-19!
There are many reported instances of COVID-19 reporting that make a sane person wonder why things are done the way they are. Autopsies are not going to be done on those buried months ago. Analysis of health records will not be done to find a more exact cause of death. In some cases, payments to hospitals are increased when COVID-19 is in the medical record. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/24/fact-check-medicare-hospitals-paid-more-covid-19-patients-coronavirus/3000638001/
Emergency treatment at many hospitals was stopped when COVID-19 patients overwhelmed staff and facilities. How many perished from disruptions in treatment or denial of treatment? There are many lingering questions about medical record-keeping when a pandemic enters our world.
I believe that COVID-19 death statistics are inflated. Is it 20% or more? I believe it is at least 20% and maybe not 30% the study hypothesized. Regardless, deaths may have been counted that way in the past. Should we continue to pile on the ‘extra’ deaths that might not have any relationship to coronavirus?
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com