Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Many Really Died of COVID-19?

 

Quite a stunning video revelation in the Twitter post below and harkens back to the questions I posed on another Ricochet post a few days ago:

How many people who have reportedly died of COVID-19 actually had serious underlying complications and may have died from those instead? What is the median age – regionally (by city, by state, by country, and globally) for verified fatalities attributable only to COVID-19 and not for any other underlying conditions?

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  1. Lockdowns Are Precious Coolidge
    Lockdowns Are Precious Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nakatomi Plaza, baby. Follow the money.

    • #1
    • April 8, 2020, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Lilly B Coolidge

    I keep wondering in my own county what the total number of cases and deaths actually reflect. Hearing reports of COVID-19 outbreaks in specific situations, I think it would be helpful to know if there’s a concentration of cases who interacted somehow, particularly whether they are health care workers. It would be interesting to know if there were outbreaks caused by schools back when we were in session. It seems no one is reporting on that, but maybe they are studying it. If people know that there was an outbreak from skiing, shouldn’t we be able to tell that there were outbreaks at schools, offices or restaurants? If not, does it suggest the virus has been circulating widely and mostly affecting people with existing health problems?

    • #2
    • April 8, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Stina Member

    There’s a graph of pneumonia deaths in the comments. I’d like to see that transposed over the COVID deaths.

    • #3
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:07 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Merrijane Thatcher

    Well, you could turn that question around. How many people were fragile and at risk, but wouldn’t have died if they didn’t get COVID? Reporting is going to be difficult and problematic no matter what, but if a 93-year-old dies after getting hit by a car, they don’t report it as death by natural causes just because they were old and would have died soon anyway. 

    • #4
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Are the people counting COVID deaths in Cook County the same ones who count the votes?

    • #5
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:11 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Lockdowns Are Precious Coolidge
    Lockdowns Are Precious Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Are the people counting COVID deaths in Cook County the same ones who count the votes?

    Dead people are Democrat voters forever.

    • #6
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:12 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Are the people counting COVID deaths in Cook County the same ones who count the votes?

    No truth to the rumor that Nancy Pelosi will push legislation that people who died before Election Day from COVID-19 but intended to vote Democrat be considered eligible voters and have their intended votes counted. None whatsoever. Move along. (<— Might or might not be satire).

    • #7
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:15 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Merrijane (View Comment):

    Well, you could turn that question around. How many people were fragile and at risk, but wouldn’t have died if they didn’t get COVID? Reporting is going to be difficult and problematic no matter what, but if a 93-year-old dies after getting hit by a car, they don’t report it as death by natural causes just because they were old and would have died soon anyway.

    Great. Now please address what the Senator/Doctor expresses in the video about receiving guidance to label deaths from COVID-19 even if there is no evidence of COVID-19 infection.

    • #8
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here in Oregon, the State reports the ages of COVID-19 deaths. Monday we had four; one in his mid-90s, two in their 80s and a youngster of 73 as I recall.

    Oldsters and those with conditions that make them especially at risk should isolate; others should be able to go back to work. For younger persons, the risk seems to be very similar to the usual flu.

    • #9
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is how Deborah Birx explained it yesterday: 

    So, I think in this country we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality. And I think the reporting here has been pretty straightforward over the last five to six weeks. Prior to that when there wasn’t testing in January and February that’s a very different situation and unknown.

    There are other countries that if you had a preexisting condition and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem some countries are recording as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. Right now we are still recording it and we will I mean the great thing about having forms that come in and a form that has the ability to market as COVID-19 infection the intent is right now that those if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.

    I think she’s saying that anyone in the US who tests positive, and who dies in pretty short order thereafter, is counted as a COVID-19 death.

    Someone yesterday (it may have been her, I can’t remember, but I think it was at the briefing) also alluded to the fact that pneumonia deaths were down during this period, and talked about the need to “look at” that to see if one cause of death was superseding the other, and if that was appropriate.

    I have a feeling that, when all is said and done, the numbers will be revised again, probably downward from whatever total number they end up at. But it appears as though people are getting wise to what may be mistakes made in the heat of battle, or deliberate deceptions. I haven’t quite decided which yet.

    • #10
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:00 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    Merrijane (View Comment):

    Well, you could turn that question around. How many people were fragile and at risk, but wouldn’t have died if they didn’t get COVID?

    No one lives forever. Suppose COVID-19 cause someone in fragile condition to die six hours earlier than they would have anyway. Or a day. Does that really warrant calling COVID-19 the cause of death?

     

    • #11
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:04 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Oh dear God.

    This the same thing we do with every other disease.

    People have been prattling on about “there are 80 thousand flu deaths a year!”.

    No. Almost no one dies of their Influenza infection.

    They all die of comorbidities. The bacterial pneumonia or sepsis they develop. The exacerbation of their underlying asthma or COPD. Their diabetes made uncontrollable. 

    Why can’t you face the fact that the vast majority of those dying from Covid 19 would not have died of their underlying diseases if not for getting infected?

    • #12
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  13. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Oh dear God.

    This the same thing we do with every other disease.

    People have been prattling on about “there are 80 thousand flu deaths a year!”.

    No. Almost no one dies of their Influenza infection.

    They all die of comorbidities. The bacterial pneumonia or sepsis they develop. The exacerbation of their underlying asthma or COPD. Their diabetes made uncontrollable.

    Why can’t you face the fact that the vast majority of those dying from Covid 19 would not have died of their underlying diseases if not for getting infected?

    This doesn’t address the issue of being instructed to label a death as the result of COVID-19 if there’s no documented evidence that the deceased was ever infected as the senator/doctor from Minnesota reports. You’ve watched the video in the OP, yes?

    • #13
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:21 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Stina Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Oh dear God.

    This the same thing we do with every other disease.

    People have been prattling on about “there are 80 thousand flu deaths a year!”.

    No. Almost no one dies of their Influenza infection.

    They all die of comorbidities. The bacterial pneumonia or sepsis they develop. The exacerbation of their underlying asthma or COPD. Their diabetes made uncontrollable.

    Why can’t you face the fact that the vast majority of those dying from Covid 19 would not have died of their underlying diseases if not for getting infected?

    Will you stop being so impatient with people who are highly skeptical of the people promoting the removal of our freedoms?

    I get you are an Expert, but you have no more right to rule over people than Hillary Clinton does, nor does any other Expert.

    We have every right to regard with suspicion the origins, veracity, and intentions of the orders being pushed on us that are severely curbing our freedoms.

    • #14
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:33 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  15. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Oh dear God.

    This the same thing we do with every other disease.

    People have been prattling on about “there are 80 thousand flu deaths a year!”.

    No. Almost no one dies of their Influenza infection.

    They all die of comorbidities. The bacterial pneumonia or sepsis they develop. The exacerbation of their underlying asthma or COPD. Their diabetes made uncontrollable.

    Why can’t you face the fact that the vast majority of those dying from Covid 19 would not have died of their underlying diseases if not for getting infected?

    This doesn’t address the issue of being instructed to label a death as the result of COVID-19 if there’s no documented evidence that the deceased was ever infected as the senator/doctor from Minnesota reports. You’ve watched the video in the OP, yes?

    Yes it does. This is exactly how the annual CDC estimates of Influenza Like Illness deaths are gathered.

    If the elderly patient has pneumonia ( primary cause of death in Covid) and has an exposure to a known case, listing that as the cause of death is reasonable. I guess we could waste testing resources on dead people to improve data collection.

    In fact we are probably undercounting the deaths. For example in New York they are running about 200 home deaths a day, an 8 fold increase over normal. They don’t get counted. 

    • #15
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Okay, so that addresses my previous comment about this. It sounds like under normal circumstances, following a patient’s death, a physician records only known symptoms (like pneumonia) in absence of specific pathogen testing and the CDC later judges whether or not to include that death among flu estimates. Perhaps there are intermediary physicians or organizations between those two steps. 

    Would Ricochet’s physicians please clarify that process of hospital death records relative to flu estimates? 

    There is obviously potential for misidentification when simultaneous epidemics, such as COVID-19 and common flu viruses, share symptoms. There are also incentives for attributing deaths instigated by respiratory diseases to COVID-19. 

    It does not follow that COVID-19 diagnoses are exaggerated far beyond the usual flu estimates, which face similar difficulties. It’s reason for caution and skepticism, not for kneejerk disbelief. 

    • #16
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Full Size Tabby Member

    I understand the difficulties of specifying a specific cause of death when there are present several factors. But, for people like me who suspect some authorities and media of wanting to make the virus appear as threatening as possible, a particular instruction to automatically classify into the virus category deaths that might be ambiguous as to their causes reinforces the idea that someone wants to increase the apparent threat of the virus beyond its actual threat.

    • #17
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  18. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stina (View Comment):
    We have every right to regard with suspicion the origins, veracity, and intentions of the orders being pushed on us that are severely curbing our freedoms.

    Yes. But charity is needed on both sides. These repeated, gradually evolving, debates are frustrating for all involved. Let’s take a breath before responding, but also try to understand when people lose their cool. It’s going to happen a lot in the coming months. 

    • #18
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Stina Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    It’s reason for caution and skepticism, not for kneejerk disbelief.

    Agreed fully here.

    • #19
    • April 8, 2020, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    I think the problem here lies not with the way the statistics are gathered, but with the way the mainstream media report them. Epidemiologists and statisticians define their terms, and they know exactly what the numbers represent. It is the fault of the media if they misrepresent the numbers in oversimplified and sensationalist headlines.

    • #20
    • April 8, 2020, at 11:14 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    It’s amazing people are still falling for the hoax of JFK’s “assassination” all these decades later. Yeah, a bullet passed through his head shortly before his death, but with the underlying Addison’s Disease he was gonna die within the next few years anyway. People are so gullible.

    • #21
    • April 8, 2020, at 11:26 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Bob Thompson Member

    Does it really matter in terms of ‘understanding’ what is classified as the cause of death as long as one has actual data showing what the comorbidity facts are? It remains that this issue is just like everything else today in the media that is subject to presentation that makes it nothing more than fake news.

    • #22
    • April 8, 2020, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Oh dear God.

    This the same thing we do with every other disease.

    People have been prattling on about “there are 80 thousand flu deaths a year!”.

    No. Almost no one dies of their Influenza infection.

    They all die of comorbidities. The bacterial pneumonia or sepsis they develop. The exacerbation of their underlying asthma or COPD. Their diabetes made uncontrollable.

    Why can’t you face the fact that the vast majority of those dying from Covid 19 would not have died of their underlying diseases if not for getting infected?

    This doesn’t address the issue of being instructed to label a death as the result of COVID-19 if there’s no documented evidence that the deceased was ever infected as the senator/doctor from Minnesota reports. You’ve watched the video in the OP, yes?

    Yes it does. This is exactly how the annual CDC estimates of Influenza Like Illness deaths are gathered.

    If the elderly patient has pneumonia ( primary cause of death in Covid) and has an exposure to a known case, listing that as the cause of death is reasonable. I guess we could waste testing resources on dead people to improve data collection.

    In fact we are probably undercounting the deaths. For example in New York they are running about 200 home deaths a day, an 8 fold increase over normal. They don’t get counted.

    What part of “…if there’s no documented evidence that the deceased was ever infected…” are you not getting? Your response implies that a dead person was exposed which is exactly the opposite of what I stated. 

    • #23
    • April 8, 2020, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I watched the interview. Something’s missing: this seven page document. How come we don’t have a link to it? How many docs are there in Minnesota? And nobody has it on the web? Could it be that the one interview subject we’re offered has it wrong? He’s a state legislator and an MD–in short, a human being. Do we have any backup on his claims? Until then, he’s not “reporting”; he’s claiming, alleging, asserting, etc. 

    I’ve got no reason to be skeptical. I’ve also got no reason to believe him until I see a shred of evidence. 

    • #24
    • April 8, 2020, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I watched the interview. Something’s missing: this seven page document. How come we don’t have a link to it? How many docs are there in Minnesota? And nobody has it on the web? Could it be that the one interview subject we’re offered has it wrong? He’s a state legislator and an MD–in short, a human being. Do we have any backup on his claims? Until then, he’s not “reporting”; he’s claiming, alleging, asserting, etc.

    I’ve got no reason to be skeptical. I’ve also got no reason to believe him until I see a shred of evidence.

    Point taken.

    • #25
    • April 8, 2020, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I watched the interview. Something’s missing: this seven page document. How come we don’t have a link to it? How many docs are there in Minnesota? And nobody has it on the web? Could it be that the one interview subject we’re offered has it wrong? He’s a state legislator and an MD–in short, a human being. Do we have any backup on his claims? Until then, he’s not “reporting”; he’s claiming, alleging, asserting, etc.

    I’ve got no reason to be skeptical. I’ve also got no reason to believe him until I see a shred of evidence.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this article touches on some of these questions: Change to death certificates could boost COVID-19 counts.

    Some excerpts, which I am trying not to remove from whatever context there is (emphasis added in the last one):

    With rare exceptions, Minnesota officials have decided against postmortem testing to determine if undiagnosed people who died from severe respiratory problems were infected with COVID-19.

    That has raised doubt about the accuracy of the fatality count, which officially stands at 22 in Minnesota. Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann at the Minnesota Department of Health freely acknowledges it’s probably not a true reflection of the coronavirus toll.

    “When we’re reporting deaths from COVID, we know there may be illnesses that aren’t diagnosed,” Ehresmann said in an interview Thursday. Of deaths where a test hadn’t been done, she said, “We wouldn’t necessarily count it in our data points because it is not confirmed.”

    But new guidelines from the National Center for Health Statistics, which Minnesota follows, will err on the side of pinning more deaths on COVID-19, at least provisionally.

    An alert issued Thursday instructs those who fill out death certificates to categorize pneumonia deaths that can’t be traced to another underlying condition as presumptively COVID-19.

    The article goes on, and is worth reading in full.

    I would not be surprised if the new NVSS Covid-19 Formal Reporting Guidance linked to in the article is the document the doctor in the video is referring to. It is, after all, seven pages long!

    • #26
    • April 8, 2020, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member