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Excess Deaths not including COVID-19 in Florida, Texas, and other states increased in early April

2020-07-10

photo by Jakub Orisek courtesy of pixabay.com

Examining this CDC “data dashboard” of weekly excess deaths shows that there were significant increases in early April even in states that did not report significant numbers of COVID-19 deaths.

Looking at Florida, for example, there was a 2.1-7.6% excess of deaths (of any cause) totalling 4,562 for the week ending April 11– when only an average of 36 deaths a day (252 a week) due to the virus were reported.  This suggests that there may have been a dramatic undercount of deaths due to COVID-19 during that period– or else something unexplained was killing about 5% more Floridians than usual that week.

If we examine New Jersey for this period, we find that over 200% more people died than normal in the week ending April 11.  If we exclude COVID-19, the graphs still show 57-68% more people than normal died.  This suggests that people either died from the virus that were uncounted, or else people died from not going to the emergency room even when they didn’t have the virus.  For example, people could have died of heart attacks because they didn’t go to the hospital with chest pains due to fear of the virus.

I can’t go into this in detail because of time limitations today, but you can examine the data yourself and you will see that states reporting few deaths from the virus had unexplained increases in total death rates starting in early April.  States that reported a lot of virus deaths, like New Jersey, had large increases in death rates that were unexplained.

Your take-home assignment today is to look at the larger states, like California, Texas, Illinois, and so on, and ask yourself– did some states have higher death rates than expected since April?  Why?  Was it undiagnosed COVID-19 in places where there wasn’t testing for political reasons?  After all, in blue states, people could be tested for political reasons, but the tests would have turned out negative anyway… and a death is only counted as being from the virus if someone suspects it, tests for it, and puts it on the death certificate.

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