COVID Deaths are an Undercount

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Icarus
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COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Icarus »

The more we learn the more it seems to be the case that far more people were infected far earlier.

The implications for this? The death toll is very likely under reported. Deaths in early February being described as the "tip of an iceberg" coupled with an early surge in what we thought was a influenza spike, could mean we're off on the numbers by thousands.''

California Finds New Coronavirus Deaths Weeks Earlier Than First Reported In U.S.
A county in California said Tuesday it had identified two people who died from COVID-19 in early- and mid-February, weeks before what was initially reported as the nation’s first coronavirus was found in Washington State. The news may shift the timeline for the virus’ spread in the country earlier that initially believed.

Santa Clara County said Tuesday a medical examiner had performed autopsies on two people who died on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17, both of whom tested positive for the coronavirus.

“These … individuals died at home during a time when very limited testing was available only through the CDC,” the county said in a statement.
“Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms.“

It noted that: “As the Medical Examiner-Coroner continues to carefully investigate deaths throughout the county, we anticipate additional deaths from COVID-19 will be identified.”

Up until now, the first deaths in the United States linked to the coronavirus had been on Feb. 26 in the Seattle area. Washington quickly became a hot spot for cases of COVID-19, tearing through nursing homes and prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency on Feb. 29. More than 12,300 people have since been infected with the virus in Washington and 683 have died.

The new fatalities are significant in that they could dramatically extend the amount of time cases of the coronavirus were spreading undetected in parts of the country before social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders were put in place. Cases grew exponentially in the early weeks of the pandemic and more than 825,000 people in the U.S. have now been infected.

Dr. Jeff Smith, a physician and the Santa Clara County Executive, told The Mercury News the results, which were delivered to officials Tuesday, “means the virus has been around for a while.” He told the outlet he believed the cases originated somewhere within the community, building on his comments earlier this month that the virus had most likely been around in the area “a lot longer than we first believed.”

“This wasn’t recognized because we were having a severe flu season,” he told The Los Angeles Times on April 11.

Smith said at the time he thought the virus may have been spreading in the Santa Clara region since December of last year.

The county was one of the first in the nation to announce stay-at-home orders in mid-March, and California has instituted dramatic efforts to stop the spread of the virus statewide. But Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s chief medical officer, told The New York Times the two reported deaths were “probably the tip of an iceberg of unknown size.”

“We had so few pixels you could hardly pick out the image,” she told the outlet on Tuesday. “Suddenly we have many pixels that all of sudden that we didn’t even realize that we were looking for.”

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by EAllusion »

Oh, the official numbers are almost certainly highly conservative if only because we are only counting confirmed tested deaths for the most part as probable cause comes online, we know people are dying before they get a test, and there's a huge spike in all-cause mortality beyond official COVID deaths. Researchers will eventually catch up to this, but the national discourse unfortunately has become hyper-focused on that official number because it is so daunting by itself. People are citing that number all the time as *the* number. I'm not sure what's going to happen when people are told that the real number is 70% higher (or whatever) than what they've been used to. If we really were closing in on 80k deaths right now, that wouldn't be a surprising finding, but I do think the public would be blown away by that and it likely would produce ridiculous anti-science commentary.

The "it's just the flu, bro" crowd loves to point out thousands of people die from flu every year, so one way of trying to explain it to them is that people who die having tested positive for influenza is only a fraction of that estimated death toll.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by I have a question »

The death toll is definitely an undercount. The deaths reported from Covid-19 are only those that occur in a setting where the victim has been tested and found positive for Covid-19. Those people with symptoms who stay at home without being tested, those people who die at home or in care homes without being tested, are not included in the figures.

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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Here in the Heart of the Heart of Zion when a nursing home resident dies they aren’t automatically tested for the virus. It has to be requested by the facility, family, or health department. I wonder when 2020 wraps up how we’ll make a rough estimate of COVID-19 shark bite deaths? Does one just cap out swimming pool drownings at 50,000 and put the rest into shark bite deaths?

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Icarus »

I think it becomes significant politically given we're in an election year and Trump has already used anything under 100,000 deaths as a victory for himself. If we're just now peaking then the down-slope will see another 45,000 deaths over the next month and we'll likely be well over 100,000 deaths by the time November comes around, especially if Dr. Fauci's prediction about a second wave spike in the Fall comes true.

My experience on social media has been arguing with Trump supporters who firmly believe the numbers are an exaggeration and they're making dumb claims similar to the one subgenius made about deaths counting towards COVID when they were completely unrelated deaths. It seems that the more we learn, the exact opposite is true. Two weeks ago I heard about the story of a woman having her son's body autopsied and they determined it was COVID that killed him. At that point I had no idea people were actually dying from these symptoms and weren't getting tested.

Now I understand why Trump has been so adamant against testing. He cut funding two weeks ago, and it is likely because he understands that more tests = more case counts = more deaths. I'm beginning to think the low deaths/case counts in states like Texas is due to lack of testing.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

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I have a question wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:53 am
The death toll is definitely an undercount. The deaths reported from Covid-19 are only those that occur in a setting where the victim has been tested and found positive for Covid-19. Those people with symptoms who stay at home without being tested, those people who die at home or in care homes without being tested, are not included in the figures.
Actually the CDC sent out guidelines in the first week of April to instruct doctors to include deaths that were "highly likely" to be due to COVID. This is why we saw a 4000 day spike in the death count a couple weeks back, after New York added all the deaths that they believed were COVID. This mandate led to the Right Wing media spreading stupid conspiracy theories that the media is intentionally inflating numbers by including people who died "with" COVID instead of "from" COVID. Hence, subgenius's baseless claim which he borrowed from Laura Ingraham.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by subgenius »

Apart from the tragic absurdity of you guys hoping for a higher death count, it must be noted that whomever you are sourcing your total from there is more probability that your are wrong. Yes, it could be more and yes, it could be less. But the hyperbole stemming from your hysteria is becoming more laughable and is perhaps the most damaging consequence of this whole hysteria. Like how many of you were blatantly wrong about the 30 day death rate claim on another thread.

When you review CDC reports (based on death certificate reporting) you can see the following clarifications:
1Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD–10 code U07.1.
2Pneumonia death counts exclude pneumonia deaths involving influenza.
3Influenza death counts include deaths with pneumonia or COVID-19 also listed as a cause of death.

The report stands that from Feb 01 to April 18 we have 21,050 deaths [b}confirmed AND presumed from COVID19[/b].
To speculate and then demand that this number is 500 or 50,000 more or less is speculation that only serves as masturbation for hysteria.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by EAllusion »

"Only 90k people died because I artificially set the bar at 100k, so when you think about it, I did great. Just shut up about preventable deaths," is just insane, but I can see cable news pundits going along with it and therefore a sizeable chunk of the public going along with it, because our country has gone insane.

This has been brewing for longer than the moment, but America is so very, very broken. The pandemic just makes certain things really clear.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by EAllusion »

The report you are citing subs specifically says in the data table:

[quote]NOTE: Number of deaths reported in this table are the total number of deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period.
*Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction, age, and cause of death.[/quote]

Which might help explain why this number is fewer than half the tally reported by *checks notes* the CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-North Carolina ... in-us.html

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Icarus »

It is almost as if subgenius is trying to hoodwink us. But he'd never do that, right?

From the article he cited:

"Note: Provisional death counts are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics as of April 22, 2020. Death counts are delayed and may differ from other published sources (see Technical Notes). Counts will be updated periodically. Additional information will be added to this site as available."

And again:

"NOTE: Number of deaths reported in this table are the total number of deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period."

And we're still waiting for subgenius to support his previous claim that people who died from completely unrelated causes are counted towards COVID.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Icarus »

As to EAllusion's point about all cause mortality, it is definitely up across the globe and here is the New York Times showing how there are thousands of excessive deaths unaccounted for in New York alone: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 ... eaths.html

We're likely missing more than 1,000 deaths per week just in New York.

Hey EAllusion, I thought you'd get a kick out of this https://mises.org/wire/march-us-deaths- ... all-deaths
Last edited by Icarus on Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

"The numbers are beautiful."

- President Trump talking about COVID-19 deaths.

What I want is accurate testing, accurate care, competent capacity, and accurate tracking. I'd be more than happy to accept a second Trump term if, say, we could've kept death and infections low through competent leadership. The problem with discussing this with the Right is they'll never admit to their misinformation spread through FOX and shows like Limbaugh, gutting agencies that could've abated the effects of this pandemic, not following the literal book on a pandemic created by the previous administration, so on and so forth.

They just say stuff. And just saying stuff is enough. It doesn't matter if what they said yesterday was a lie, or inaccurate, or stupid, because they'll just say more things today completely ignoring what they said yesterday. They're the most Orwellian ____ I've ever seen. It's absolutely mind boggling to see someone so abjectly r____, like subgenius, just say stuff. Vrooooom. Drive-by. Say some stuff. Don't engage for more than a post or two, wait a few days, and vrrrroooooom! Another drive-by! And that is the state of American politics and its electorate. Facts don't matter.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by DarkHelmet »

subgenius wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:24 am
Apart from the tragic absurdity of you guys hoping for a higher death count, it must be noted that whomever you are sourcing your total from there is more probability that your are wrong. Yes, it could be more and yes, it could be less. But the hyperbole stemming from your hysteria is becoming more laughable and is perhaps the most damaging consequence of this whole hysteria. Like how many of you were blatantly wrong about the 30 day death rate claim on another thread.

When you review CDC reports (based on death certificate reporting) you can see the following clarifications:
1Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD–10 code U07.1.
2Pneumonia death counts exclude pneumonia deaths involving influenza.
3Influenza death counts include deaths with pneumonia or COVID-19 also listed as a cause of death.

The report stands that from Feb 01 to April 18 we have 21,050 deaths [b}confirmed AND presumed from COVID19[/b].
To speculate and then demand that this number is 500 or 50,000 more or less is speculation that only serves as masturbation for hysteria.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/
Says the guy who claimed this whole thing was a media exaggeration that would be over by now. Your gift of discernment is underwhelming.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Icarus »

Subgenius projects like no other.

His claim that we want more deaths is really him projecting that he and his ilk are the one desperately needing the numbers to be fake.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by EAllusion »

[quote=Icarus post_id=1222447 time=1587573365 user_id=19355]

Hey EAllusion, I thought you'd get a kick out of this https://mises.org/wire/march-us-deaths- ... all-deaths
[/quote]Yeah, the libertarian-verse hasn't been great here. Fortunately, the libertarians I like and are ideologically similar to me (Julian Sanchez, Radley Balko, Ken White, etc.) have been good, but it's not been great for libertarianism as a brand.

Your reference doesn't go to this, but three very famous libertarian figures in the legal world, arguably the three most prominent of all, have absolutely beclowned themselves. Just total embarrassment. Liberals already understand and strawman libertarianism about as well as MAGAtwitter gets liberalism, and this is just going to napalm any hope of clearing things up for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure it's even salvageable.

In response to this specific article - the Lew Rockwell paleolibertarians are the worst - I wonder if the author has changed his view now that it is clear the all-cause mortality numbers are way above normal.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by canpakes »

subgenius wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:24 am
The report stands that from Feb 01 to April 18 we have 21,050 deaths [b}confirmed AND presumed from COVID19[/b].
To speculate and then demand that this number is 500 or 50,000 more or less is speculation that only serves as masturbation for hysteria.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/
Except, as others have noted, that your statement is incorrect.

From your site:

“COVID-19 death counts shown here may differ from other published sources, as data currently are lagged by an average of 1–2 weeks.”

The figure that you list - 21,050 - has a note, as indicated by an asterisk, stating: “Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction, age, and cause of death.”

You are quoting a figure that is known to be incomplete and that cautions as such, and therefore provides a lower count than the actual figure given complementary reporting. And in the midst of promoting your incorrect POV, you’re chiding others who are providing arguably more realistic figures.

I’m always amazed at how you try so hard to be wrong so often.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by EAllusion »

After subs posted that, I learned that this is actually spreading through the conservative-verse as propaganda and is not a subs specific thing. People who don't know or don't care about the difference between signed death certificate processing and mortality stats are just running with it to confuse people.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by canpakes »

EAllusion -

Perhaps all of subs’s posts should have a similar disclaimer:

“Posts during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the conservative web source or 4chan meme page that I’m mindlessly copy and pasting from and when I have been able to add my own rambling and incoherent text to it is completed, submitted to Mormon Discussions and processed for posting. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on whether or not there are any big words in the original source, or how badly misinformed or purposefully disingenuous I need to make myself appear.”

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Res Ipsa »

EAllusion wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:37 pm
After subs posted that, I learned that this is actually spreading through the conservative-verse as propaganda and is not a subs specific thing. People who don't know or don't care about the difference between signed death certificate processing and mortality stats are just running with it to confuse people.
Of course it is. Otherwise Subs wouldn’t have known to post it. This week’s local health district press conference was mostly devoted to this nonsense. The local health district and the county medical examiner went through determining cause of death, and they handle COVID 19 like they handle flu or any other disease. One numbnut asked the medical examiner if a person with COVID-19 died in a car accident, would it be classified as COVID-19? I could hear the eye rolls over the feed.

We have flu surveillance in the US. If a case is confirmed by a test, it’s listed as flu. If not, it’s recorded as influenza-like illness. You can see COVID spreading in the US by looking at ILI spiking as influenza it’s decreasing.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by DarkHelmet »

Res Ipsa wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:52 pm
EAllusion wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:37 pm
After subs posted that, I learned that this is actually spreading through the conservative-verse as propaganda and is not a subs specific thing. People who don't know or don't care about the difference between signed death certificate processing and mortality stats are just running with it to confuse people.
Of course it is. Otherwise Subs wouldn’t have known to post it.
You have to give him credit for his loyalty to alternative right-wing media. They are good at getting out consistent talking points. Subgenius is practically indistinguishable from every right-wing "friend" who posts stuff on social media. The right is really good at creating a unified message and then having their little foot soldiers spread that message. I've pruned several of my conservative friends off my friends list to cut down on the duplicate meme's and talking points.

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Re: COVID Deaths are an Undercount

Post by Icarus »

And then we find out that 15% of all negative tests could be false negatives.

https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus ... sed-in-ri/

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