More than 9,000 People have Died of COVID-19
By now you have heard the claim that “only” 9,000 people have died and therefore, the official count of 200,000+ has been blown way out of proportion.
And then you have been given anecdotal evidence like that offered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis about someone in their twenties that died in a motorcycle accident that also tested positive for COVID-19.
Here are the facts:
On September 1, 2020 Dr. Anthony Fauci explained:
“That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of Covid didn’t die of Covid-19. They did. So the numbers you’ve been hearing — there are 180,000-plus deaths — are real deaths from Covid-19. Let (there) not be any confusion about that.”
The argument being made from Donald Trump and his supporters is that since the majority of COVID-19 related deaths are in people that had other conditions than it’s not really that dangerous.
The problem with that assertion is that over half the population has a pre-existing condition of some kind and COVID-19 related complications are still caused by COVID-19.
Sgt. Eric Twisdale of the Clay County Sheriff Department who passed away on September 16th “due to complications related to the coronavirus” is an example of a COVID-19 death being properly reported. The department is treating this as a “line of duty death” meaning that Sgt. Twisdale likely contracted COVID-19 (not any pre-existing conditions he may have compromised his immune system) while performing his law enforcement duties.
What about Governor DeSantis and his motorcyclist? The motorcyclist was removed from the official tally… which isn’t that uncommon. Most states review their numbers for deaths that may be caused by unrelated events like car accidents, acts of violence, and so on.
In a global pandemic, the belief that a disease isn’t that dangerous because it only affects those that are already week seems to be a mindset that is, unfortunately, uniquely American.
Contrary to what DeSantis stated, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance doesn’t direct caregivers to list all deaths as COVID-19 deaths simply because the disease was detected in the decedent. Instead, it instructs caregivers to list various factors contributing to death in appropriate sections of death certificates. In other words, it does not state that anyone who suffers an unnatural death such as a traffic accident should be listed as a COVID-19-caused death if they also happen to test positive, even if the disease didn’t cause to their death.
The CDC, however, considers the underlying cause of death as “the condition that began the chain of events that ultimately led to the person’s death,” and in 92% of all deaths that mention Covid-19, the virus was listed as the underlying cause of death, Bob Anderson, lead mortality statistician at NCHS, said in a statement.