November 28, 2020


The U.S. counts coronavirus deaths differently from other countries. Indeed, we are counting deaths differently than we have for any other disease.

“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.” . . . Beyond including people with the virus who clearly didn’t die from it, the numbers are inflated by counting people who weren’t even infected. New York has classified many cases as coronavirus deaths even when postmortem tests have been negative. The diagnosis can be based on symptoms, which are often similar to those of the seasonal flu.

Just a reminder.

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