Saturday, May 30, 2020

Auto Accidents Reported as COVID-19 Deaths

The CDC currently puts the number of confirmed deaths at about 100,000. But even the “best estimate” 0.26% fatality rate is a significant overestimate because of how the CDC is counting deaths. The actual rate is fairly close to a recent bad year for the seasonal flu. And though public health officials have been transparent about how they are counting coronavirus deaths, the implications for calculating the infection fatality rate are not appreciated.

“The case definition is very simplistic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, explains. “It means, at the time of death, it was a COVID positive diagnosis. That means, that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means, technically even if you died of [a] clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.”

Medical examiners from Colorado to Michigan use the same definition. In Macomb and Oakland counties in Michigan, where most of the deaths in that state occurred, medical examiners classify any death as a coronavirus death when the postmortem test is positive. Even people who died in suicides and automobile accidents meet that definition.

How bad is it really?  I have no idea.  But news media have an economic interest inn exaggerating, and CDC may have a similar economic interest, not for ad revenue, but justifying its budget.

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