The higher death count is definitely an important number to bring up, but it’s important to know that they aren’t (entirely) undocumented COVID cases, instead, it’s an effect from an overtaxed health system and patients affected by other than COVID being hesitant on acknowledging their own ailments I think that’s exactly what the article is suggesting. These deaths are not from COVID but could be caused by COVID indirectly.
Some of them will be from COVID too. First, the mismatch between excess deaths and COVID deaths is bigger at the start of the outbreak (the world over), suggesting a large number of deaths might have been misclassified initially (I believe the early mismatch accounts for 20,000 extra deaths in New York alone). Second, not all states are applying the CDC guidelines to count suspected COVID deaths as deaths. This is a political decision in some states to keep the death count lower. If you die of COVID before you get a test in those states, it won’t get counted.
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