The study found that places like California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut had considerably higher numbers of excess deaths not attributed to COVID-19. Lead author Steven Woolf, M.D., director emeritus of VCU’s Center on Society and Health, told Science Daily: “There are several potential reasons for this under-count. Some of it may reflect under-reporting; it takes awhile for some of these data to come in. Some cases might involve patients with COVID-19 who died from related complications, such as heart disease, and those complications may have been listed as the cause of death rather than COVID-19.
“But a third possibility, the one we’re quite concerned about, is indirect mortality — deaths caused by the response to the pandemic. People who never had the virus may have died from other causes because of the spillover effects of the pandemic, such as delayed medical care, economic hardship or emotional distress.”
Taking this study in tandem with another study coming out of Yale University that Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner covered on Wednesday paints a picture familiar to many of us who are actually paying attention to this public health crisis: An untold number of people are dying and will continue to die because of our terribly inadequate response to this crisis and our greed-based healthcare infrastructure.