Claim: Only 6% of COVID deaths are "real" - the rest died due to comorbidities

Arugula

Member
I have been seeing a lot of people spreading this misinterpretation of COVID statistics (including a people in my personal life who should know better and I don't feel are acting in good faith)

Source: https://twitter.com/TRHLofficial/status/1300292247674662913


Source: https://twitter.com/pastorlocke/status/1300282148281352192


Including the President of the United States, which Twitter later removed:

trump_cdc_mel_tweet.png


Here is the primary source they are referring to: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/...9tOHPGAHWFVO3DfslkJ0KsDEPQpWmPbKtp6EsoVV2Qs1Q

First of all, this data a report of death certificates, which list out all conditions and complications that contributed to a person's death. If you aren't familiar, a death certificate is a pretty much standardized form, with many slots to put all causes of death. Here is an example: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/blue_form.pdf Doctors are to report the chain of events - diseases, injuries, complications, that directly led to the death, as well as other contributing factors. These are what's known as Comorbidities. There can be many comorbidities contributing to a person's death, but each person is only given one death certificate.

The space can include chronic conditions, like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, because these are otherwise survivable conditions that add to complications causing COVID-19 deaths. Likewise, if someone develops a condition like respiratory failure, pneumonia, heart attack, kidney failure, etc - these are developed due to COVID-19. The human body is one organism, and you can not disaggregate a condition to blame it on one thing, and not the other. A person can have hypertension for years, then contract COVID and it causes cause heart inflammation, which can lead to a heart attack, and a person ultimately dying of cardiac arrest. All 3 conditions contributed to their death and would be listed on their death certificate.

Revisiting table 3, hopefully the chart now makes more sense:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/...9tOHPGAHWFVO3DfslkJ0KsDEPQpWmPbKtp6EsoVV2Qs1Q

It's also important to note that this is not new or controversial information, the CDC has made this concept very clear from the beginning. For example, here is President Trump himself speaking at the very first coronavirus taskforce meeting (March 13th), saying that people with underlying health conditions are the most at risk:

Source: https://youtu.be/DeTYINvuWM4?t=1797


https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing...rs-coronavirus-task-force-press-conference-3/

It is important keep everything in perspective, because you or people you interact with may have existing comorbidities that you are not aware of. If you want to learn more about how COVID-19 itself does to the body, here is a good easy-to-read explainer:

https://www.healthing.ca/diseases-a...nd-side-effects/how-covid-19-attacks-the-body
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It is important keep everything in perspective, because you or people you interact with may have existing comorbidities that you are not aware of

and even if they don't have any comorbidities and are young and healthy they can still die (blood clots, strokes, pneumonia) or suffer life long damage.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
https://nowthisnews.com/news/dr-fauci-debunks-claims-that-cdc-quietly-changed-covid-19-deaths
 

Agent K

Active Member
The German Association of Pathologists did a study on 154 autopsies of Covid-19 victims and found that 86% died of infection with Coronavirus and not of their comorbidities.

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/article214363586/Covid-19-Tote-in-Deutschland-86-sterben-nicht-mit-sondern-an-Corona.html

It would be interesting to run the same analysis on, say, people who died while sick with the common cold, as they most likely died with the cold rather than of the cold.
Mortality statistics typically compare deaths between different groups of patients, such as young and old, or men and women, or obese and non-obese.
But it's also useful to compare mortality rates of a given group with and without the disease in question, for example elderly people with the disease versus elderly people without the disease.
If the disease is a common cold, then elderly people with a cold will die more often than young people with a cold, but not more often than elderly people without a cold.
But if it's COVID-19, then elderly people with COVID-19 will die much more often than those without COVID-19.
 

Lighteater

New Member
I think this thread might benefit from this conversation between a doctor and a death registration clerk (who is also, on her own admission, a data nerd!). It's about an hour long, very undramatic and sober, but also very informative. One of my main takeaways was all the ways in which mortality data (in the US at least) are not scientific, are bias, and are routinely manipulated through changing definitions and normal human failings. Here are a few highlights;

10.08 - 13.00 - she clarifies this whole 6% of Covid deaths issue, and explains carefully that comorbidities and underlying conditions are NOT the same thing. Underlying conditions are something that folks might live with for a long time, like obesity or diabetes, whereas medically, comorbidities are literally "together with" a disease. So with Covid, a comorbidity might be respiratory distress. Also, Part 1 of the US death certificate is a place where the doctor is meant to provide a timeline (within all sorts of restrictions that she goes into later) leading up to death, and only the last line makes it into the mortality data. Furthermore, a huge amount of this is subjective, professional judgement at best; at worst, it's lazy or overworked doctors just trying to get another death certificate off their desk.

13.00 - 14.00 - the doc wades in to ask about the new emergency ICD code in the WHO guidance on this, UO7.2, which states that 'virus not identified’ is assigned to a clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID-19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available. In other words, if there's a suspicion of Covid-19, it's Covid-19! He also says that there are over 100 coronaviruses and, as of right now, any coronavirus death is marked as a Covid-19 death, regardless of whether this is known, suspected, guessed, or opined.

39.20 - a beautifully elegent take-down of the excess deaths numbers, and how they are being manipulated, which becomes especially clear when you ask the blindingly obvious question - excess to what? Now they are baselined at the 2017/18 mortality data, when there was no pandemic. So she gets curious and goes back to 2014/15, three years back again, when there was still no pandemic. She wanted to know what the excess deaths were in 17/18 compared to 14/15 and found that there were around 180,000 excess deaths in 17/18 compared to 14/15. (She didn't have the exact numbers to hand, but she guides you to her public Facebook page where all the maths is laid out). Today, officially, if the US sees a 5% increase in deaths by the end of the year, the predicted excess deaths figure is around 140,000. So that will be around 40,000 FEWER excess deaths in the 17/18 to 20/21 bracket than in the 14/15 to 17/18 bracket. It's all about context, folks!

53.00 - here she gets into how medical beliefs take on a life of their own and become self-fulfilling prophesies - not in the sense of what's happening in the real world, but what's happening in the data. There used to be a thing called Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, for example. That was once an acceptable cause of death, and it was everywhere at one time, but we've learned much since then. The more Covid is pushed into the data, the more the data confirms the belief that Covid is this deadly, hugely infectious killer. (Which it is, to a tiny proportion of the population who are old and sick, and perhaps an even tinier population who are plain unlucky).

54.30 "We have data capture issues."

I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 
Last edited:

JohnJones

Member
39.20 - a beautifully elegant take-down of the excess deaths numbers, and how they are being manipulated, which becomes especially clear when you ask the blindingly obvious question - excess to what? Now they are baselined at the 2017/18 mortality data, when there was no pandemic. So she gets curious and goes back to 2014/15, three years back again, when there was still no pandemic. She wanted to know what the excess deaths were in 17/18 compared to 14/15 and found that there were around 180,000 excess deaths in 17/18 compared to 14/15. (She didn't have the exact numbers to hand, but she guides you to her public Facebook page where all the maths is laid out). Today, officially, if the US sees a 5% increase in deaths by the end of the year, the predicted excess deaths figure is around 140,000. So that will be around 40,000 FEWER excess deaths in the 17/18 to 20/21 bracket than in the 14/15 to 17/18 bracket.

You are making a particular claim, that there were 180,000 excess deaths in the USA in "2017/2018" compared to "2014/2015". It would be helpful if, instead of pointing at someone's website, you could link directly to data supporting this claim.

Your claim that excess death figures are baselined on 2017/2018 data is false. Here, https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid, for example, are data baselined on the 2015-2019 average.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It would be helpful if, instead of pointing at someone's website, you could link directly to data supporting this claim.

Your post is better certainly, but it still breaks Posting Guidelines. (although how your link proves his claim is false is beyond me)... anyway, a proper post should look like this:

" Your claim that excess death figures are baselined on 2017/2018 data is false. Here, https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid, for example, are data baselined on the 2015-2019 average. "
1600128894159.png
 

JohnJones

Member
Your post is better certainly, but it still breaks Posting Guidelines. (although how your link proves his claim is false is beyond me)... anyway, a proper post should look like this:

" Your claim that excess death figures are baselined on 2017/2018 data is false. Here, https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid, for example, are data baselined on the 2015-2019 average. "
View attachment 41613

Thank you for the correction, Deidre. Am I right in thinking that this is the "no click" policy -- all the evidence should presented in the posted text, with no need to click on any link?

In my post, I was attempting to reply to two claims on Lighteater's part: that 180,000 more people died in the US in 2017/2018 than in 2014/2015; and that excess death figures are based on comparing the current year with the year 2017/2018. The second claim is shown to be false by the chart which you kindly included, since this chart calculates excess deaths based, not on a comparison with a particular year, but on a comparison with a weighted average over the five-year period 2015 to 2019. We will have to wait and see if Lighteater provides any substantiation of the first claim.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
all the evidence should presented in the posted text, with no need to click on any link?
Mostly because outside readers often will just dismiss a claim of evidence rather than go through the hassle to click a link, and search a page for the relevant information.

and that excess death figures are based on comparing the current year with the year 2017/2018.

this alleged doctor says "if you have an opinion on the excess deaths that the CDC recorded". First off - he is not a doctor, he has a BA in Philosphy. The former Death records Register Clerk (6 years as a clerk according to her FB page)then gives her opinion. Her facebook page linked in the video that lighteater talks about does not provide this link.

even on the cdc excess mortality page i cant figure out what she is referring to. they seem to using 2018-2019 or 2015-2019. i dont see an "asterisk" she talks about in the video that says 2017-2018. maybe she is confused or i just cant find it.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

but 2017-2018 is an outlier flu season year to use to compare to 2014-2015 as we did have an epidemic that year
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017–2018_United_States_flu_season

if the CDC used that flu season year to compare to COvid, that would be odd too. as it would technically lower their excess mortality.. but i can't find where they did.

and then she sometimes uses the flu season year (roughly august -august) and sometimes literal years. so its all a bit confusing.

Even then i think it disingenuous to look at the whole US for stats, as the whole US did not experience large outbreaks. and the reporting systems differ from state to state or sometimes county by county. Then this fall our flu deaths will be down obviously due to social distancing and masks/hand washing, traffic deaths have been down etc. on the other hand, some people may be dying due to being afraid to go to the hospital. Too many variables in my opinion to look at large areas (the country or world).

Either way in Connecticut (and NYC) in April and May there's no way only 6% of those deaths were due to Covid. our death numbers are just too high those months. you can water down NYCs numbers by adding in the whole state as the bulk of the stae didnt have big outbreaks. Even in Connecticut we got it mostly in the western part of the state as it oozed in and up our main highways from NYC.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Excess deaths is what you need to look at here.
39.20 - a beautifully elegent take-down of the excess deaths numbers, and how they are being manipulated, which becomes especially clear when you ask the blindingly obvious question - excess to what? Now they are baselined at the 2017/18 mortality data, when there was no pandemic. So she gets curious and goes back to 2014/15, three years back again, when there was still no pandemic. She wanted to know what the excess deaths were in 17/18 compared to 14/15 and found that there were around 180,000 excess deaths in 17/18 compared to 14/15. (She didn't have the exact numbers to hand, but she guides you to her public Facebook page where all the maths is laid out). Today, officially, if the US sees a 5% increase in deaths by the end of the year, the predicted excess deaths figure is around 140,000. So that will be around 40,000 FEWER excess deaths in the 17/18 to 20/21 bracket than in the 14/15 to 17/18 bracket. It's all about context, folks!
The biggest most obvious thought missing here is that the flu epidemic in 2017/18 went mostly unnoticed, we didn't have social isolation and hygiene measures heavily publicised and mandated. (We do know that these do inhibit the spread of the flu as well.) Now we do have all of these measures, and we still have a comparable amount of excess death; what would we have had without the distancing and hygiene?

Where do these excess come from if not from Covid-19? Why would people die of "excess comorbidities" in 2020 when they never did in any previous year? Shouldn't the cause for this amount of death be obvious? Yet no other obvious cause except Covid-19 presents itself, not anywhere in the world, but these excess deaths can be seen all over the world in those countries who went to hygiene/distancing interventions too late.

A great source for this is the European mortality data on EuroMomo.
You can also see very clearly that a flu epidemic excess deaths come as "wave crest" but the 2020 deaths come as a spike that terminates right after countries go into lockdown or other distancing measures.

So the data behind that "elegant takedown" really amounts to "thanks to widespread countermeasures, Covid-19 won't be that much worse than the worst flu epidemic in recent history". That's not a "takedown", on the contrary, it underscores that Covid-19 is a serious epidemic that fully justifies what the whole world is doing to prohibit it from spending.
 
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