According to a new study in the United States, there are 20% more deaths than expected from March to August, 67% of which are due to COVID-19.
Researchers at the University of the United Kingdom (VCU) and Yale University published findings Tuesday in JAMA that analyzed death data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Although the total number of deaths in the United States is extremely consistent from year to year, mortality in the United States increased by 20% in March-July 2020,” the study authors wrote. “COVID-19 is the documented cause of only 67% of these unnecessary deaths.”
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“Contrary to skeptics who claim that COVID-19 deaths are fake or that the numbers are much smaller than we hear in the news, our research and many other studies on the same subject show just the opposite,” lead author Dr. Stephen Wolfe, honorary director of the VCU Center for Society and Health, wrote in a university news release.
During the study period, there were over 1.3 million deaths and 225,530 deaths in the United States (150,541 of which were attributed to COVID-19).
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 215,549 registered deaths from COVID-19 in the United States
There was a statistically significant increase in deaths related to causes other than COVID-19, such as heart disease and dementia in certain weeks, some of which researchers noted coincided with jumps in coronavirus cases.
Wolfe said some people who had never been infected may have died from pandemic-related disturbances. “These include people with acute emergencies, chronic illnesses such as diabetes that have not been properly cared for, or emotional crises that have led to overdoses or suicides,” he said in a statement.
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Also, several states with the highest mortality rates (New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts) account for 30% of redundant deaths nationwide, but have had the shortest outbreaks in less than 10 weeks. These states “distorted the curve” and reduced mortality, the researchers note, while other states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona saw longer jumps (16-17 weeks) later in the summer, according to the study.
“We cannot prove causation that the early resumption of these countries led to summer waves. But it looks pretty likely, Wolfe said. “And most models predict that our country will have more unnecessary deaths if countries do not take more decisive approaches to dealing with the spread of the community. The implementation of mandates and social distancing is really important to avoid these jumps and great losses of life. “
The authors of the study theorize that difficulties with the content of the virus and the undetected spread of the virus may have contributed to excessive mortality. The authors also note several limitations, such as inaccuracies related to death certificates and reliance on provisional data.
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