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People are impressed by numbers, especially large numbers. Paraphrasing a quote attributed to Josef Stalin illustrates the large number quandary; One man’s death is a tragedy, millions of deaths are a merely a statistic.
Numbers can be manipulated for political purposes. When someone has driven to an empty school parking lot at 0230 hours and commits suicide by shooting themselves in the head there will be an advocacy group that will list that death as a school shooting. That death is a tragedy, but it should not be used to make the number of school shootings appear greater than they are.
The State of Washington Department of Health, and they are probably not the only DOH in the United States doing this, have been inaccurate in the reporting of deaths due to Covid-19.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently announced it will subtract hundreds of deaths from its count of COVID-19 fatalities as a result of methodological improvements.
However, while the changes are welcome, the Freedom Foundation’s analysis indicates they may still not be enough to correct continued deficiencies in DOH’s reporting of deaths due to COVID-19.
Combining several data sources obtained from DOH, the Freedom Foundation has compiled and analyzed the cause of death information from the death certificates of the nearly 2,000 fatalities DOH had attributed to COVID-19 as of early September.
Here are some examples from the Freedom Foundation report:
A- 64-year-old male who died of “acute combined fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, and methadone intoxication”;
A- 65-year-old male who died from “alcoholic liver disease”;
A- 69-year-old male suffering from Parkinson’s and vascular dementia who died from malnutrition/dehydration after refusing to eat;
A- 73-year-old female with underlying health conditions who died after declining treatment for an intestinal abscess;
A- 75-year-old-male who died following a “pacemaker infection”; and
A- 99-year-old female who died after losing her balance and falling while trying to retrieve an item from the top of her dresser.
Some individuals that were gunshot victims were listed as Covid deaths.
First, since the start of the pandemic, DOH has attributed to COVID-19 the death of any person who tested positive for COVID-19 before their death. In May, the Freedom Foundation reported how this method resulted in the inclusion of deaths clearly unrelated to COVID-19. After admitting that it was attributing even deaths caused by things like gunshot wounds to COVID-19, DOH announced it would take steps to clean up its reporting process and removed some of the most obviously inappropriate deaths from its COVID-19 tally.
You can click on the link I provided for an in depth look at the report.Published in