By Joel S. Hirschhorn – October 30, 2021
During the pandemic many deaths have occurred, approaching 2 million Americans. Ponder this: Have large numbers of excess deaths over pre-pandemic years resulted from something other than COVID infections?
There have been increasing articles and studies about excess deaths during the pandemic. Too many of these seem aimed at getting attention rather than being accurate and balanced. The concept of excess deaths is simple: deaths above what was normally observed before the pandemic. But why are more people dying even after accounting for COVID infection deaths? Getting to the correct answer is the goal of this article.
The core issue in seeking truth is how to evaluate excess deaths during the pandemic and then explain them if they are not caused by COVID infections. If there really are non-infection excess deaths, then the goal is to rise above often bad and uncertain data from government agencies to correctly figure out whether something especially concerning is happening.
Perhaps something that governments do not want to acknowledge and deal with, as we shall see.
Classification of deaths
To get to the truth about excess deaths it is important to make a critical distinction by defining two classes of deaths.
Class 1: First, direct pandemic effects are twofold.
Most attention is needed to assess the magnitude of deaths from COVID infection. These include breakthrough cases that are COVID infections despite full vaccination.
The other direct impact is deaths from COVID vaccines.
Class 2: The second class is very different. They are indirect health impacts resulting from actions other than from direct medical actions aimed at addressing COVID.
These are the many collateral deaths resulting from severe contagion controls used by federal and state governments, especially lockdowns, stay at home mandates, limited hospital and physician access, school closings, job losses, travel restrictions and widespread impacts on personal and medical freedom.
These many indirect impacts cause large numbers of deaths across the entire population. They are the collateral damage caused by pandemic government authoritarian actions, but not infections nor COVID vaccines. They are done, supposedly, in the name of public health.
The government does not collect comprehensive data on these indirect deaths. Be clear about this category of deaths. They are caused by all the public health systems to address the pandemic.
To be clear, deaths directly associated with COVID infections cover a range of situations. Government agencies report COVID related deaths. That word “related” is very important, because proving causality has proven contentious. Most physicians see causality when deaths occur soon after COVID symptoms or a positive test result.
There are reasons why there are legitimate concerns and criticisms of official COVID death data. It comes down to what criteria are used to declare a death as either caused by COVID or just, in some way, related to the infection.
US federal and state agencies have, for the most part, been very liberal in declaring deaths as COVID ones. This has resulted from both financial incentives, political motivations (maintaining public fear and acceptance of authoritarian government actions) and procedural government guidance.
In the latter category are guidelines from CDC for death certificates issued in March 2020 that replaced a practice used for the previous 17 years. This change allowed physicians, medical examiners and coroners to place less importance on all kinds of health problems contributing to a death and, if there was any evidence of COVID virus infection from testing (before or after death) or symptoms, to declare a death as a COVID one.
In other words, many people, especially the elderly, could have died with COVID but NOT from COVID . . .