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COVID-19 deaths in the US continue to be undercounted, research shows, despite claims of ‘overcounts’

Taking into consideration the number of excess deaths caused by COVID-19 compared with pre-pandemic years is critical to getting an accurate accounting…



An accurate count of COVID-19 deaths is critical both scientifically and politically. Douglas Rissing/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, a recurring topic of debate has been whether official COVID-19 death statistics in the U.S. accurately capture the fatalities associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Some politicians and a few public health practitioners have argued that COVID-19 deaths are overcounted. For instance, a January 2023 opinion piece in The Washington Post claims that COVID-19 death tallies include not only those who died from COVID-19 but those who died from other causes but happened to have COVID-19.

Most scientists, however, have suggested that COVID-19 death tallies represent underestimates because they fail to capture COVID-19 deaths that were misclassified to other causes of death.

We are part of a team of researchers at Boston University, University of Minnesota, University of California San Francisco and other institutions who have been tracking COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. A major goal for our team has been to assess whether the undercounting of COVID-19 deaths has occurred, and if so in which parts of the country.

Examining excess deaths

One way to examine the issue is to look at what population health researchers call excess mortality. It’s a measure which, in this case, compares the number of deaths that occurred during the pandemic to the number of deaths that would have been expected based on pre-pandemic trends.

Excess mortality captures deaths that arose from COVID-19 directly or through indirect pathways such as patients avoiding hospitals during COVID-19 surges. While determining a cause of death can be a complex process, recording whether or not someone died is more straightforward. For this reason, calculations of excess deaths are viewed as the least biased estimate of the pandemic’s death toll.

As a general rule of thumb – with some important caveats that we explain below – if there are more COVID-19 deaths than excess deaths, COVID-19 deaths were likely overestimated. If there are more excess deaths than COVID-19 deaths, COVID-19 deaths were likely underestimated.

In a newly released study that has not yet been peer-reviewed, our team found that during the first two years of the pandemic – from March 2020 to February 2022 – there were between 996,869 and 1,278,540 excess deaths in the U.S. Among these, 866,187 were recognized as COVID-19 on death certificates. This means that there were between 130,682 and 412,353 more excess deaths than COVID-19 deaths. The gap between excess deaths and COVID-19 deaths was large in both the first and second years of the pandemic. This suggests that COVID-19 deaths were undercounted even after the pandemic’s chaotic early months.

A stirring video demonstrating excess deaths from COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic.

Major studies have also concluded that excess deaths exceeded COVID-19 deaths at the national level during the first two years of the pandemic. And preliminary analyses by our team have found that the gap between excess deaths and COVID-19 deaths has persisted into the third year of the pandemic. This suggests that COVID-19 deaths are still being undercounted.

Making sense of the discrepancy

Explaining the discrepancy between excess deaths and reported COVID-19 deaths is a more challenging task. But several threads of evidence support the idea that the difference largely reflects uncounted COVID-19 deaths.

In a recent study, we found that excess deaths peaked immediately before spikes in reported COVID-19 deaths. This was the case even for excess deaths associated with causes like Alzheimer’s disease that are unlikely to rapidly change due to patients avoiding hospitals or other changes in behavior during the pandemic.

This finding aligns with the observation that COVID-19 deaths may go unrecognized – and be misclassified to other causes of death – at the beginning of COVID-19 surges. At this time, COVID-19 testing may be less frequent in the community, among medical providers and among death investigators. If excess deaths were not caused by COVID-19, they would instead either remain relatively constant during COVID-19 surges or they would peak afterwards when hospitals were overcrowded and deaths may have resulted from health care interruptions.

Excess deaths related to external causes of death such as drug overdose also increased during the pandemic. However, a preliminary study found that the scale of this increase was small relative to the overall increase in excess deaths. So deaths from external factors alone cannot explain the gap between excess and COVID-19 deaths.

This evidence is worth considering in light of the prominent opinion piece in the Washington Post mentioned earlier, which suggests that the U.S.‘s tally of COVID-19 deaths is a substantial overcount. The author argues that in some hospitals, widespread COVID-19 testing has led patients with COVID-19 who died of other causes to still have COVID-19 included as a cause on their death certificate. There is a fundamental misunderstanding, however, in generalizing these hospital deaths to the entire country.

One reason this overgeneralization is flawed is because hospital deaths are distinct from out-of-hospital deaths. In out-of-hospital settings, COVID-19 testing is often lacking and death investigators have less training and less information about the deceased. In fact, our research suggests that COVID-19 deaths are largely undercounted in out-of-hospital settings.

Investigative reporting among coroners in rural areas has also revealed significant variability in out-of-hospital cause of death assignment. Some coroners have even gone on record to state that they do not include COVID-19 on death records if it contradicts their own political beliefs or if families wish for it to be omitted.

The other problem with the overgeneralization is geographic. Our preliminary study demonstrates that excess deaths exceeded COVID-19 deaths in the vast majority of counties across the U.S. In particular, counties in the South, the Rocky Mountain states and rural areas had many more excess deaths than COVID-19 deaths. This suggests that COVID-19 deaths were likely undercounted in these areas.

The idea that COVID-19 deaths are sometimes overreported is, to a very limited extent, supported by our analyses. A select number of large and medium-sized metro areas in New England and the mid-Atlantic states have had more COVID-19 deaths than excess deaths. But most of the country has not followed the patterns of this small group of counties.

While it is possible that some deaths assigned to COVID-19 in New England and the mid-Atlantic states were not actually caused by COVID-19, other explanations are also possible. First, COVID-19 mitigation efforts could have prevented deaths in these areas via pathways unrelated to COVID-19, reducing excess deaths. For example, some people living in wealthy, urban counties had the privilege to work from home and avoid household crowding, which may have reduced their risk of dying from flu. Flu is typically responsible for as many as 50,000 deaths each year.

In fact, the 2020-2021 flu season was minimal, likely because of social distancing. Another possible explanation is that later in the first two years of the pandemic, there may have also been fewer deaths than expected in some areas because some of the least healthy people in the area had already died of COVID-19. These alternative explanations imply that, even in those New England and mid-Atlantic counties where more COVID-19 deaths were recorded than estimated excess deaths, many COVID-19 deaths may still have occurred even as other kinds of deaths decreased.

Why it matters

Ultimately, figuring out how many people have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major scientific undertaking that has significant political importance. Knowing how many people died and where these deaths occurred has widespread implications for informing how current pandemic response resources are allocated and for preparing for future public health emergencies.

As a result, in our view, it is critical that the scientific community carefully reviews the rigor of the science behind the counting of COVID-19 deaths. Given the intense politicization of the pandemic, claims of overcounting or undercounting need to be made cautiously.

Finally, research by our team and investigative reporting conducted in partnership with our team has found that the undercounting of COVID-19 deaths is significantly more common in Black, Hispanic and Native American communities as well as low-income areas. Claims that COVID-19 deaths have been overcounted undermine efforts to reconcile the undercounts in these communities and to ensure resources are being allocated to those most affected. For example, if a person does not have COVID-19 assigned as a cause on their death certificate, their family is ineligible for pandemic social programs such as the FEMA funeral assistance program.

To understand where the U.S. public health system has succeeded and fallen short during the pandemic, a full accounting of deaths caused by COVID-19 is needed. More than that, families, friends and loved ones of those who have died so far also deserve to know the true toll that COVID-19 has taken.

Andrew Stokes receives funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Institute on Aging.

Dielle Lundberg receives funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Question through grant number T32HS013853. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field receives funding from the Minnesota Population Center, funded through a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD, grant number P2CHD041023).

Yea-Hung Chen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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A Climate Of Fear

A Climate Of Fear

Authored by James Gorrie via The Epoch Times,

The medical, media, and political elites’ focus has shifted from facts…



A Climate Of Fear

Authored by James Gorrie via The Epoch Times,

The medical, media, and political elites’ focus has shifted from facts to fomenting and magnifying fear.

In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address in 1933, the new president told a nation in the depths of the Great Depression that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Those words were true and rightfully spoken at that time. Roosevelt knew that fear is a powerful emotion that limits our ability to reason, act wisely, and work together. It’s also an emotion that’s contagious and not easily diminished or dissipated.

The Power of Fear to Fragment Society

Unfortunately, Roosevelt’s words are even more applicable today.

On a personal level, decisions made under the emotional duress of fear are rarely the best ones and often the worst. Fear can bring out the best in us, but can often bring out the worst. That’s more likely to occur the more fragmented a society becomes. Fear among different groups of people creates an us-versus-them context in the minds of individuals, or even an “every-man-for-himself” attitude, which pits one group against another or even each of us against each other.

Now elevate that sense of fear to the level of the national electorate. A people or a nation that's paralyzed with fear makes rash decisions based on their fears of what could happen, not necessarily what the current situation truly is. When that happens, a society can quickly degenerate, where our base instincts determine our behavior in a law-of-the-jungle social environment.

Roosevelt knew this, as do our leaders today. The difference is that today, rather than seeking to dispel fear, our political and media elites create it, expand it, and revel in it. Rather than promote hope and strength of character in us, in a Roosevelt- or even a Reagan-like fashion, they traffic in fear and its fellow traveler social division in order to fragment our society.

It’s the old but effective divide-and-conquer strategy, and sadly, it works far too well. The mechanism for divide and conquer is the constant drumbeat of the Big Lie, which is also a tried and true method for controlling society. It was first practiced and perfected by Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany using the mass media, but has been successfully used by the USSR and every other communist and dictatorial regime in the world since the 1930s.

Social Media Is Magnitudes More Powerful Than Legacy Media

The difference today is the massive and pervasive presence of social media. Its reach and social saturation throughout society are magnitudes greater than have ever been possible before. What’s more, our political and media elites create and exaggerate fear without even mentioning the word. “Fear” is driven into our collective psyches under the guise of our government keeping us “safe,” while demonizing anyone who challenges that narrative.

The repetition by the media and the pharmaceutical industry of how to stay safe from COVID-19 always involves more drugs and less freedom. That’s by design. The elites that run society know that once enough of our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others with whom we interact become more fearful than rational, they’re easily manipulated and divided into confrontational groups.

Does that sound like a conspiracy theory?

Yes, it probably does, but it’s also how the Stasi, the East German security agency, turned virtually every neighbor into an informant. The result was that people were fearful of doing anything that could be construed as being against the communist East German government. In light of what we’ve been through the last three years—and what looks to be on the horizon—the conspiracy theory accusation has lost its sting.

From Conspiracy Theory to Fact

Recall, for example, how those who received the COVID-19 vaccine turned against those who remained unvaccinated. The contrast and social division couldn’t have been clearer or more deliberate. Vaccinated people were characterized by the media and government agency spokespeople as selfless, smarter, and better human beings than those who refused the vaccine.

On the flip side, the “anti-vaxxers,” as they came to be called, were publicly derided by the medical, pharmaceutical, media, and government elites. They were accused of being low-intelligence conspiracy theory nuts who wouldn’t or couldn’t “follow the science,” even when they followed the science from experts such as Robert Malone, one of the inventors of the mRNA technology, and other medical doctors in Europe and Asia, including former Pfizer Vice President Dr. Michael Yeadon, all of whom were de-platformed from mainstream media and social media.

In fact, any “alternative” remedy to the experimental and highly dangerous mRNA vaccines, such as ivermectin, was summarily dismissed, even though nations that used ivermectin had the lowest mortality rates. As noted above, many media personalities and even medical experts with contrary opinions were silenced, shamed, and shunted into professional oblivion, being substituted by compliant replacements. That practice continues to this day, with Russell Brand being the latest example of being de-monetized by YouTube.

In light of vaccine injuries and deaths, and the staggering profits that vaccines have delivered to the pharmaceutical industry, the number of people who believe the mainstream media, the government, and in the vaccines, is much smaller today than three years ago.

Conspiracy theory narratives have become conspiracy facts.

The Endgame of Fear

So, what’s the endgame of promoting and enforcing a climate of fear throughout society?

It’s simple. Fearful people are far more compliant and, therefore, are easily controlled, pacified, monitored, and dehumanized. Next thing you know, we’ll all be eating bugs and liking it.

The antidote to fear, of course, is freedom and access to real and contrary information so that each person can make up his or her own mind. The encouragement, enablement, and empowerment of private individuals to exercise informed judgment about their health and their livelihoods are also part of the solution. A vibrant, thinking, and active society of informed individuals isn't nearly as vulnerable to the polarizing climate of fear our elites are foisting upon us.

In short, to live in fear is to live in bondage.

Tyler Durden Sat, 09/30/2023 - 20:50

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COVID-19 Vaccine Found In The Hearts Of Dead People: Study

COVID-19 Vaccine Found In The Hearts Of Dead People: Study

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours)

COVID-19 vaccine…



COVID-19 Vaccine Found In The Hearts Of Dead People: Study

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours)

COVID-19 vaccine was detected in patients who died within a month of vaccination, according to a new study.

COVID-19 vaccines in Massachusetts in a file image. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. researchers analyzed tissue samples from the autopsies of 25 people, including 20 who were vaccinated.

Samples from the hearts of three patients, all of whom died within 30 days of a Pfizer shot, tested positive for messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA).

Eight bilateral axillary lymph node samples, from people who died within 30 days of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, also tested positive. The companies' shots utilize mRNA.

The research shows "the vaccine can persist for up to 30 days, including in the heart," Dr. James Stone, with the departments of pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, told The Epoch Times via email.

The study was published by npj Vaccines. Authors declared no conflicts of interest. They said the research was supported by Massachusetts General Hospital, which is in Boston.

In testing of heart and bilateral axillary lymph node tissues from other vaccinated people who died, no vaccine was detected.

Additionally, no vaccine was detected in the liver, spleen, or mediastinal lymph nodes—vaccine was detected in the liver and spleen in preclinical rodent studies before—nor was any detected in tissues from the unvaccinated patients.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are known to cause myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation that can result in death.

The people who had mRNA detected in the heart did not have myocarditis, though they did have detectable heart injuries, researchers found.

The researchers said they believed the heart injuries stemmed from underlying diseases and not the vaccines.

"There is no indication as yet that the vaccine in the heart is causing any problems in these patients; neither the causes of death nor the causes of the myocardial injury were linked to the vaccines in that study," said Dr. Stone, one of the authors of the paper.

A health care worker prepares a dose Pfizer/BioNTEch COVID-19 vaccine at The Michener Institute, in Toronto, Canada, on Dec.14, 2020. (Carlos Osorio/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

That position was challenged by Dr. Clare Craig, a British pathologist who reviewed the research.

"The vaccine should not have been there. There was evidence of heart damage. Those three people are now dead," Dr. Craig told The Epoch Times in a message.

She said the researchers were setting too high of a bar for causality.

"At postmortem if there is significant narrowing of the coronary arteries then heart damage is attributed to it on the balance of probabilities. Here this is a clear cut association, an unusual picture of myocardial injury, and a failure to call it out for what it is," Dr. Craig said.

More on Research

The tissues were collected from autopsies performed between January 2021 and February 2022 at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Researchers excluded tissues from some dead people, including from patients who had no clear history of vaccination or non-vaccination and those who had a documented prior COVID-19 infection.

The researchers wanted to test the tissue for vaccine in light of research that has found both spike protein and mRNA persisting in axillary lymph nodes and blood for weeks or even months after vaccination. The testing would help "gain a better understanding of the biodistribution and persistence of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines," they said. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers ended up with tissues from 20 vaccinated patients, including six who received one dose, 12 who received two doses, and two who received three doses. They also formed a control group of five unvaccinated patients.

Six bilateral axillary lymph node samples were available for people vaccinated with Moderna's shot. Two tested positive for the vaccine. Thirteen were available for people vaccinated with Pfizer's shot. Six tested positive for the vaccine.

Overall, of the 11 bilateral axillary lymph node samples from patients who died within 30 days of a shot, eight tested positive. None of the samples from patients who died beyond 30 days of vaccination tested positive.

Researchers also examined samples from each of the vaccinated people from the cardiac left ventricle and cardiac right ventricle. Of those, four samples tested positive across three patients. These were the three who received Pfizer's shot within 30 days of dying. The samples also tested negative for COVID-19.

Vaccine was not detected in any of the unvaccinated people.

The vaccinated patients were on average older, with a mean age of 64 compared to 57. A higher percentage—55 percent to 20 percent—had recent heart injury.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/29/2023 - 18:20

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T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ: TTOO) Breaks Ground: FDA Clearance, Market Trends, and Healthcare Impact

Shares of T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ:TTOO) are soaring up over 20% today on the heels of receiving a 510(k) clearance for its T2Biothreat from the FDA. This…



Shares of T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ:TTOO) are soaring up over 20% today on the heels of receiving a 510(k) clearance for its T2Biothreat from the FDA. This unique test directly detects six biothreat pathogens from a blood sample.

Spotting Biothreats Faster:

T2Biothreat Panel is a game-changer, being the first and only FDA-approved product that can spot these critical biothreat pathogens simultaneously. T2 Biosystems proudly stands as the first U.S. company to achieve this milestone, reshaping the field of biothreat detection.

Big Investor Sells:

Interestingly while celebrating this achievement, a significant investor, CR Group (CRG), decided to sell off a substantial chunk of shares. This sell-off, totaling 24.81 million shares, took place between Sept. 20 and Sept. 26. The timing of this sell-off alongside the FDA clearance raises some eyebrows.

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New CDC Guidelines:

Regardless of CR Group selling, there still appears to be a massive opportunity according to many retail investors. Following new CDC guidelines, the U.S. government now mandates that all hospitals in the country must adopt rapid testing protocols to combat the sepsis pandemic by 2026, or risk losing Medicare funding.

Buying opportunity of the year!!! Update
byu/den1183 inTTOOstock

T2 Biosystems stands as the exclusive FDA-cleared product capable of achieving 100% accurate sepsis detection within 3 to 5 hours. Anticipating widespread adoption of T2 instruments in hospitals, the CEO foresees significant revenue generation, potentially reaching $1.3 billion annually, given the mandate.

This development drastically alters the landscape, potentially influencing the stock’s trajectory positively. With the ongoing surge in manufacturing hires and likely acceleration in orders, coupled with potential government contracts or international sales, many beleive T2 Biosystems presents an undervalued opportunity for investors.

What Borrowing Costs Tell Us:

Another interesting indicator to look at is the cost to borrow (CTB) fee. In terms of TTOO’s case, the stock has seen a massive surge in CTB fees, indicating a high demand from short sellers. When compared to the average CTB fee for other stocks, it’s pretty drastic. While this is typically not a very positive sign, retail investors seem to be buzzing with interest, given there also could be a potential short squeeze if enough buying comes in to trap the shorts.

Better News for Patients:

But let’s not forget the real impact and that’s what TTOO can do for patients. @ChengKeki a user from Twitter also shared an article about Butler Memorial Hospital and their approach to Sepsis. The hospital came up with a 2 step approach to expedite patient care.  They’re utilizing the Beckman Coulter automation line to identify changes in a person’s blood cells that might indicate the development of sepsis. Which apparently has only been used in Europe and they’re the first in the US with the technology. Then shortly after, they use T2 Biosystems panels that as you know, quicken the process from 36 hours, to just 3-5 hours.

Catching sepsis quickly is crucial because it’s a life-threatening condition that rapidly progresses throughout your body and can lead to death if not promptly diagnosed and treated. Sepsis occurs when the body responds improperly to an infection, causing widespread inflammation and potentially damages multiple organ systems. Early detection allows for immediate medical intervention.


T2 Biosystems is hitting major milestones, not only in the market but in improving critical healthcare processes. The company is also a major hit with retail investors and continues to trade an astronomical amount of shares daily, the current average is ~115M shares. The FDA approval and its implications, along with the positive shift in sepsis diagnosis, showcase T2 Biosystems’ growing role in healthcare. Keep an eye on how this progresses—it’s exciting for both investors and patients alike.

We will update you on TTOO when more details emerge, subscribe to Microcapdaily to follow along!

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Picture by jarmoluk from Pixabay


The post T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ: TTOO) Breaks Ground: FDA Clearance, Market Trends, and Healthcare Impact first appeared on Micro Cap Daily.

The post T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ: TTOO) Breaks Ground: FDA Clearance, Market Trends, and Healthcare Impact appeared first on Micro Cap Daily.

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