Miscounting Deaths from Coronavirus?

Miscounting Deaths from Coronavirus?

On Mar. 19, 2020, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Italy reached 3,405. The number was significant in that it surpassed the number of COVID-19 deaths in China, which stood at 3,245 at the time, and thus it was widely reported by the media.1 2 3 4 The following day, the president of the Italian Civil Protection Department, Angelo Borrelli, held a press briefing regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in the country and he specifically addressed the death count.5 6 7 Borrelli stressed…

I want you to remember these people died with the coronavirus and not from the coronavirus.6 7

Borrelli was clarifying that the 3,405 people who died did not all die from COVID-19 even though they tested positive for the coronavirus that can cause the disease. He was making the distinction between dying with the virus and dying from the virus, which is not a negligible thing. Particularly when the perceived lethality of the virus may be the key factor behind public policy decisions to encourage “social distancing,” quarantine certain people and mandate the closure of large segments of society and even potentially institute martial law, suspend constitutional rights and violate basic civil liberties.

Professor Walter Ricciardi, who is an adviser to Italy’s Ministry of Health, confirms Borrelli’s point. He recently noted that the way in which doctors code deaths in Italy is “very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”7 8 9 10

So why offer what appears to be an inflated figure for COVID-19 deaths in Italy? Why not simply provide the actual number of people who died from COVID-19? In a health crisis where the public is already fearful, why put publish inaccurate information that can only serve to panic people further? Padding the numbers doesn’t make sense unless the goal is to create more fear and panic.

So if 3,405 people reportedly died of COVID-19 in Italy by Mar. 19 and not all of them died with COVID-19 as the primary cause of death, then what was the real number? According to Prof. Ricciardi:

On re-evaluation by the [Italian] National Institute of Health, only 12 percent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 percent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity—many had two or three.7 8 9 10 11

If that’s true, then, of the 3,405 deaths initially reported in Italy as being solely caused by COVID-19, only 409 of them actually can be classified as COVID-19 deaths. That is a huge discrepancy, and one that can dramatically skew the public’s view of the impact of COVID-19 in Italy.

What if this same dynamic were in play in the United States? What if only 12 percent of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. were actually caused by the virus?

It turns out that such a question may not be as implausible as some may think. On Apr. 7, 2020, Minnesota state senator and family physician Scott Jensen, MD said in an interview that he had received a seven-page document from the Minnesota Department of Health “coaching” him on how to fill out death certificates. He said he felt he was being told that he didn’t have to have a “confirmed laboratory test for COVID-19 in order to make the death certificate be COVID-19.12

Dr. Jensen expressed concern about this policy and how it misrepresents the deaths due to COVID-19. “When we start talking about the data that goes into the modeling, we have to ask ourselves a question. ‘Are we being forthright [with the  public]?’ he said. “We don’t need to be having it sugarcoated.”12

When asked why he thought health authorities would want to skew the mortality numbers for COVID-19, Dr. Jensen said:

Well, fear is a great way to control people, and I worry about that. I worry that sometimes we’re so darn interested in just jazzing up the fear factor that sometimes people’s ability to think for themselves is paralyzed if they’re frightened enough, and that’s not where I want people to be. I want people to say we’re going to get through this, I’m going to use my head. I’m going to go to different sources. I’m going to listen to different sources, and I’m going to think for myself… because that’s what America is about.12

Internal medicine specialist Annie Bukacek, MD of Hosanna Health Care in Kalispell, Montana also recently expressed concern about the way the U.S. health authorities are reporting COVID-19 deaths. “Is this death rate based on truth?”asked Dr. Bukacek. “Are the reported deaths from COVID-19 truly deaths from COVID-19?”

Dr. Bukacek added:

The Center for Disease Control […] still states that “mortality” data includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. The CDC counts both true COVID-19 cases and speculative guesses of COVID-19 the same, they call it death by COVID-19. They automatically overestimate the real death numbers by their own admission. …We need to understand how the CDC and the National Vital Statistics System are instructing physicians to fill out death certificates related to COVID-19. Brace yourselves, and please pay attention and let what I’m about to tell you sink in. The assumption of COVID-19 death could be made even without testing. Based on assumption alone, the death can be reported to the public as another COVID-19 casualty.13

If a patient is positive for COVID-19 and dies from another cause such as pneumococcal sepsis, it may be considered accurate to say that person died with COVID-19 not from COVID-19. Yet the CDC guideline lists this case as one more COVID-19 death and they go to the next questionable death, they label that as COVID-19 and it goes on and on. You could see how these statistics have been made to look scary when it is so easy to add false numbers to the official database. Those false numbers are sanctioned by the CDC…13

Dr. Bukacek believes that the “real number” of deaths from COVID-19 are “not what most people are told and what they then think.” She thinks that the real number is “anyone’s guess.”13

This is a stunning revelation. COVID-19 mortality figures have been used to institute unprecedented federal government guidelines for quarantining healthy people and state laws for restricting civil liberties. How can there be this level of inaccurate, incomplete mortality data on a health crisis of this apparent magnitude?


References:

Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.

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22 Responses to "Miscounting Deaths from Coronavirus?"

  1. Brian James   April 19, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    The global dinosaur media are all on the same talking points page. The new ‘NORMAL’

    Mar 18, 2020 Australians need to adapt to a ‘new usual’ shaped by the coronavirus crisis

    6PR’s Oliver Peterson says Australian’s need to learn to operate in what will become the “new usual” in the wake of government action to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    https://youtu.be/_ygvc1joi2M

    Reply
  2. Brian James   April 19, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    They cannot count what is not happening and why everything we view and read is full out propaganda.

    Apr 4, 2020 ΝYC-ΙCU DR unknowingly describes the EFFECTS of 60GHz on patients.

    https://youtu.be/1EWQPgF6-UQ

    Mar 31, 2020 More good news? Citizen reporters go & do what the media won’t!

    https://youtu.be/5pIMD1enwd4

    Reply
  3. Anna   April 20, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Would these people have died from their co-morbidity if they were not sickened by the virus?

    Reply
  4. Barb   April 20, 2020 at 9:44 am

    It actually is more complicated. You could say the pneumococcal patient actually died of complications of COVID-19. Which means to me: if he/she had contracted COVID-19 before hospital stay it is still directly related to COVID-19 even though it was a later complication and if contracted while in hospital- that’s a totally different matter.
    It has to be unbelievably difficult for MDs and nurses who are dealing with so many patients many of whom are unable to talk and have no family there for support or to answer questions for them.

    Reply
    • Dick Atlee   April 20, 2020 at 5:03 pm

      I think from the comments here that a lot of people are missing the point, which is why I suggested (below) looking at the CDC advisories. One can always argue about whether they might not have died “yet” had it not been for the virus. But the point is that the CDC is telling doctors to put COVID-19 in the first (determinant) box even if there is no solid evidence that the virus was present (test results haven’t come back, or no test was even given but the virus is “assumed” or likely to have “contributed” to the death, with any other co-morbidities confined to the second box, which plays no role in final attribution. The advisory goes further to say that NCHS won’t be following up on such vague filings, giving doctors carte blanche to use that approach with no threat of repercussions. And as Dr. Jensen observed, this flies in the face of guidance elsewhere (on filling out death certificates) on the importance of being extremely accurate, since a lot can depend on that in future proceedings.

      The Highwire staff did an interesting analysis of U.S. death stats relating to the “10-most-common” co-morbidities in specific weeks over the past several years, and there wasn’t a big difference between those figures and those with the virus included now. So to say “they would have died anyway” is just a simple statistical statement rather than a callous disregard for the virus or “food for skeptics” as Richard King says below.

      Reply
  5. nathalie   April 20, 2020 at 9:53 am

    I sincerely appreciate the information presented here as it at a minimum suggests, if not confirms, what some have postulated all along… i.e. that it may be a way to test the public reaction, and what is even more problematic pave the way to mandatory vaccination at a time when many started questioning not only the usefulness of such but more importantly the safety. Unfortunately the tactic worked even on some of us who are prone to be skepitcal of public hype and would analyze the situation more rationally, and the simple reason here is that, as presented here, we do not even have accurate data to make an educated analysis! I heard last night on the news that a study of more than 10,000 baseball players and people asociated with the sport wil get tested to eventually determined the number of carriers and those who have been infected but had no symptoms and are now showing immunity… I wonder how those data wil get twisted, if we even get to see them at all.

    Reply
  6. Richard King   April 20, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Anyone who reads this article (and the author himself) seriously needs to read this blog post, which injects a much-needed measure of common sense into some of the hype surrounding the many claims made about the handling of coronavirus reporting and related topics:

    https://deniseminger.com/2020/04/16/some-thoughts-on-thinking-critically-in-times-of-uncertainty-and-the-trap-of-lopsided-skepticism-coronaspiracy-theory-edition/

    The linked article also has a rather different view of Dr Bucacek’s pronouncements.

    The work of NVIC is important. We really don’t need articles such as this one which simply give more ammunition to those who want to paint vaccine sceptics as nothing more than conspiracy theorists.

    Reply
  7. chesley brion   April 20, 2020 at 10:18 am

    simple …FRAUD AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS!!!

    Reply
  8. ROBERT Travis   April 20, 2020 at 10:45 am

    That is the same criteria used to count annual flu deaths.

    Reply
  9. Nick Kottenstette   April 20, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Following the outbreak closely here in MA. It is important to get a handle on confirmed cases. This will drive down projections on worst case mortality numbers. If we look at the observed total of 50,000 more urns coming out of the crematoriums in Wuhan then it becomes pretty clear that mortality is around 0.45% in Wuhan, China [1].
    I’m estimating a similar number of 0.31% in Chelsea, MA which has 39 deaths with an estimated 30% of the town being infected. The key test in Chelsea, MA is that they randomly sampled 200 people [2].
    References:
    [1] https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/evidence-from-wuhans-morgues-crematoriums-suggests-covid-19-deaths-20-times-higher-than-official-count
    [2] https://www.foxnews.com/science/third-blood-samples-massachusetts-study-coronavirus

    Reply
  10. Kerrie Pratt   April 20, 2020 at 10:55 am

    thank you for sharing this, I already knew this and have been sharing this to many folks.

    Reply
  11. Steve Gold   April 20, 2020 at 11:07 am

    That is and was complete and utter nonsense… “He did not die from the multiple stab wounds, he died from the loss of blood” .. if you put earrings on a pig, its still a pig, no matter how hard you spin it they died from Covid 19

    Reply
  12. Dan Langlois   April 20, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Thank you for being such a valuable and trustworthy resource!

    Reply
  13. Michael   April 20, 2020 at 11:27 am

    This article and point of view don’t make good sense to me. I can certainly see the concern and add that I also see a connection between enforcement of stay-at-home orders and the numbers.

    However, if I have a heart condition and contract the Corona Virus, and then die, while I might have lived with the heart condition for many more years, it was the Corona Virus that made my heart disease deadly. In this example, it seems like “word games” to claim it was not Corona Virus that caused my death. Many people who are older have underlying conditions that are managed and may go for many more years without becoming terminal. If the virus comes along and caused that death to be earlier, then why wouldn’t we list the virus as the cause?

    One more thing – I suspect that the widespread practice of heading off testing to prove the cause of death is motivated by something far more sinister. There is no record or reporting of anyone doing the Kock Postulate test which is absolutely necessary for any viral infection – without it you cannot operate effectively with patients nor on public policy. https://science.umd.edu/classroom/bsci424/BSCI223WebSiteFiles/KochsPostulates.htm

    This is the gold standard for virologists and must be used without fail to establish what is real or imagined about virus’ – look carefully…

    1. the microorganism or other pathogen must be present in all cases of the disease

    2. the pathogen can be isolated from the diseased host and grown in pure culture

    3. the pathogen from the pure culture must cause the disease when inoculated into a healthy, susceptible laboratory animal

    4. the pathogen must be re-isolated from the new host and shown to be the same as the originally inoculated pathogen

    It would seem very likely that this “virus” is going to fail this test in some way that will indicate it was an engineered virus. I believe the US and China including the WHO and Dr. Fauci was using this blanket no testing order to hide the real evidence that would darken the world and their futures were it to come to light.

    Nobody has proved that Corona Virus passes the test for a virus.

    Reply
  14. Lash   April 20, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for your levelheaded and truthful reporting. I’ve unsubbed from a bunch of sites because of this whole mind-[…] going on. You’re one of the few I haven’t.

    Reply
  15. Hope Peterson   April 20, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you for publishing this. I enjoyed the article and I will share it. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  16. Ike Spangenberg   April 20, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    It has come to the point where we as citizens of this great country cannot rely on the statements by our so called experts about this virus as being true. And, not only can we not rely on those many times false statements, but we cannot generally trust our so called experts. Yes, the social distancing seems to work. The CDC just recently stated that we must begin wearing masks in public, after recommending just the opposite for many weeks. And on and on. We need better qualified folks in our leadership positions, period. If it isn’t to late maybe the November elections will offer a place for the public to really express themselves. That is if politics doesn’t win out as it usually does. Enough said. Everyone follow the obvious guide lines and do your (our) part in stopping this horrendous virus in its tracks. God Bless America.

    Reply
    • Fr. Mark M   October 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Are you the Ike Spangenberg from Appleton, WI?

      Reply
  17. Truth Seeker   April 20, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Mark 5:36 “…Do not be afraid; only believe.” The only virus is the virus of fear. Do not be afraid people! Spoiler alert: Jesus wins!

    Reply
  18. Dick Atlee   April 20, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    I’m really surprised you didn’t include links to the actual “smoking gun” CDC advisories of March 4th and 31st:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/coronavirus/alert-1-guidance-for-certifying-covid-19-deaths.pdf

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/coronavirus/Alert-2-New-ICD-code-introduced-for-COVID-19-deaths.pdf

    I just heard another came out in early April, but I haven’t found it yet.

    Reply
  19. ellie   April 21, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    There is no TEST for COVID19: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQQtOQUkUoI

    Reply
  20. sue greene   May 16, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    When a patient with commorbidities, perhaps elderly, comes in with pneumonia, no covid but the seasonal flu, do they code it as flu or pneumonia or pneumonia resulting (secondary) from the flu?

    Reply

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