Two different analyses today took a closer look at the Johns Hopkins report last week that claimed there were no excess deaths in 2020, despite the COVID-19 epidemic.
Though I remain unconvinced that the Wuhan virus is the plague that the fear-mongers keep claiming, the first story makes a good argument, using CDC statistics, that there have been excess deaths in 2020, though this same analysis makes no claim as to the cause of those excess deaths. The conclusion:
Using the latest CDC data, we can know [the number of excess deaths] with relative precision for 2020 through the week ended September 16.
For the calendar years 2014-2019, through September 16, the average number of deaths from all causes (adjusted for population growth) was 1,991,648. For 2020 through September 16, the number of deaths from all causes was 2,302,633. This means that over the first 37 weeks of 2020, there were 310,985 more deaths in the United States than should be expected based on the averages from the six preceding years.
The fact that 310,000 people in the United States are dead who would likely still be alive in any ordinary year means, at the very least, we are not dealing with a hoax.
The author also makes it very clear that in doing this analysis he is not trying to justify the government’s dictatorial response to COVID-19. His analysis also does not tell us how many of these excess deaths are from those measures, instead of COVID-19 itself. He also does not factor in the reality that the number of deaths each year are going to go up regardless, as the population increases.
Nonetheless, his analysis is useful in providing a sense of the scale of the disaster of 2020. Compared to some of the worst past epidemics, these numbers are relatively low, and remained confined to the older and already sick population. They certainly do not justify the panic that has ensued.
The second article underlines the political nature of the panic, pointing out that, based on the apparent and completely unrealistic drop in deaths from heart disease as noted in the Johns Hopkins report, the numbers still appear cooked, and unreliable. The author notes:
But her analysis led to yet another revelation when she examined the 2020 data during the same period, because COVID-19-related deaths exceeded deaths from heart diseases. This was peculiar because heart disease is generally the leading cause of death. She finally discovered the truth: when she compared the frequency of deaths per cause during that period, she learned that as opposed to the predicted increase across all causes, there was a statistically significant decrease in deaths attributed to heart disease.
The most revealing finding is that “[t]his trend is completely contrary to the pattern observed in all previous years” and, most suspicious, “the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19.”
We should generally be skeptical when we see an overwhelming consensus among scientists, be it in the politically jaded world of climate change or, indeed, COVID-19. The unavoidable conclusion is that the statistics are fundamentally misleading and that for what appears to be political reasons, deaths from other diseases are being categorized as COVID-19 deaths.
Even if there is a lag in reporting of statistics from the CDC, that would not account for this data. There is no justification for the drop in heart attacks deaths, unless those deaths are being improperly assigned to COVID-19, and thus warping the data and making it less trustworthy.
All told, the data now (as well as from the very beginning of the epidemic in March) continues to tell us that some response to COVID-19 was certainly warranted. The data however still suggests that the actual response was inappropriate and a panicked over-reaction that not only did not address the problem properly, but very likely worsened it. In fact, there remains ample evidence — such as placement of infected patients in nursing homes in many states — that the response itself, not COVID-19, might have caused a large bulk of this year’s excess deaths.