Wednesday, January 5, 2022

What Is Going On With Deaths?

Proponents of the Covid vaccines argue that they should not be judged on the number of cases we are seeing but their ability to reduce deaths in the population.

I think we can see why you hear that argument a lot these days.

Over 1 million new cases were reported in the United States yesterday. Some of these are a result of delayed reporting during the holidays but it is still an astounding number.

That is over 3x higher than any single day in last season's peak. The 7-day average is twice as high as last winter's peak.

Source: The New York Times

We are seeing similar patterns in other highly vaccinated countries.

Source Data; Our World in Data
Chart: BeeLine

Let's take a look at the mortality data and put this subject in context.

Before the pandemic, there were about 2.8 million deaths per year in the United States. It has been remarkably consistent number year in and year out in the past. 

Of these, about 2.1 million were of those age 65+ and .7 million were under age 65.

In 2020, total deaths increased to 3.35 million----an increase of over 500,000.

The CDC official tally shows 385,430 Covid deaths in 2020.

This chart provides you with a graphic view of where we were on deaths pre-pandemic and what 2020 looked like.

Complete data on deaths in the United States for 2021 is not available as the reports lag between the death certificates being filed in each state and those deaths being reported to the CDC.

However, as of December 29, the CDC was showing 3,231,874 deaths thus far in 2021 of which 429,376 were Covid deaths.

The CDC data typically lags at least one month behind actual death reports. Therefore, it would be expected that the final numbers for deaths in 2021 would need a completion factor of at least 1.08 (1/12) so that we can compare the expected final mortality numbers in 2021 with 2020.

Below is the same chart above with 2021 included using  CDC actual numbers (as of 12/29/21) adjusted by a 1.08 completion factor on all deaths and Covid deaths.

As you can see, total deaths, deaths from Covid and excess deaths will be higher in 2021 than in 2020.

The vaccines have been effective at reducing deaths but overall deaths and Covid deaths have increased in 2021 with vaccines compared to 2020 without them?

Where is the logic in this?

How can this be called "effective"?

What is most troubling is to see the breakdowns in deaths between those under age 65 compared to those over age 65.

Deaths for those age 65+ are up 19% in both 2020 and 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

However, deaths for those under age 65 are up 35% in 2021compared to the 2019 level. Deaths were up 22% in these ages between 2019 and 2020.

When in human history has there ever been an effective vaccine introduced in which deaths went up?

This is particularly true for those under age 65 comparing 2021 vs. 2020.

Covid deaths in this age group almost doubled despite vaccines being available in 2021?

Vaccine advocates would argue that is because the Delta variant is more deadly. That is the reason that Covid deaths increased in 2021. It would have been SO MUCH WORSE without the vaccines.

They would further argue that the fact that age 65+ deaths did not increase further in 2021 was due to high vaccination rates in this age group. Covid deaths doubled in those under age 65 in 2021 because these age groups were not as fully vaccinated.

It is good argument if it could be proven that the Delta variant was actually much more lethal than the original Covid strain.

However, there is no hard evidence to prove that. The CDC even admits that in their discussion of Delta on its website.

The CDC states that it is the unvaccinated who should have greatest concern about Delta while the "highly effective" Covid vaccines will continue to almost always prevent severe disease and death for the vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant. But they are not 100% effective, and some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For all people, the vaccine provides the best protection against serious illness and death.


This is the best article I could find that summarized the data on the science concerning the lethality of the Delta variant.



The delta variant is the dominant COVID-19 strain worldwide, but is it deadlier than the other variants?

The delta variant is often called “highly transmissible” and “more-deadly,” but is that true?
To verify, we compiled studies out of China, India, Scotland and consulted with Dr. Larry Corey, who is coordinating all of the COVID-19 vaccine research in the U.S.

"There's no evidence that it's more deadly,” said Corey. “There is evidence that it's more infectious and more infectious to others, i.e., more transmissible. But [is it] actually more severe? There's really not good hard evidence of that."

Therefore, if there is no good evidence that Covid was more lethal in 2021 than 2020, why are deaths up in 2021?

More and more questions are starting to be asked.

An example is the recent statement from the CEO of life insurance company OneAmerica that they are seeing deaths rates that are up 40% over pre-pandemic levels in their group life claims among working age people ages 18-64.

The head of Indianapolis-based insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people.

“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica,” the company’s CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. “The data is consistent across every player in that business.”

“And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic,” he said.

“Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”

The 40% increase he cites in the death rate of 18-64 year olds is very similar to the 35% rate I calculated above in the under age 65 CDC data. When you exclude the observed low death rates in the 1-17 year old age groups in the last two years ( which are included in my numbers), the 40% number this CEO cites appears to be very close to the CDC data referenced above.

Let me provide some more context on what a 40% deviation from the norm means in statistical terms.

The life insurance CEO refers to a 10% deviation as a three-sigma event. The CEO said that this would be classified statistically as a one-in-200 year catastrophe.

A six-sigma event, which is the 20% deviation seen in deaths for the age 65+ age group, would be considered to be a one-in-300,000 year event.

A 40% deviation (what we have seen in the 18-64 age group at OneAmerica) would be considered by statisticians to be a 12-sigma event. A statistician that I follow commented on the OneAmerica data and explained what the chances of that occurring are.

A 12-sigma event is where geeky statisticians who have seen enough tables to know the round-numbers by heart have to look up the capacity of their software package to see if it's well enough powered to perform the calculation. Whatever it is, it's far more likely that an asteroid collides with Indiana tomorrow, ejecting 400 basketball-sized fragments as it falls that each make a perfect swoosh through the nets in every cornfield basketball hoop in the Hoosier state two seconds before destroying all of human civilization (really, I computed that in my head).

The CEO explained that the huge increase in morality in the insurance claims they have received cannot be explained by Covid based on the death certificates accompanying the death claims.

That statement is also supported in the CDC data I used in developing the charts above.

Covid deaths explain only about half of the increase in excess deaths in the under age 65 age group.

What is causing the other excess deaths?

We know drug overdoses are up over the last two years.

We know suicides have increased.

What else could it be?

I found it interesting that the CEO  stated that OneAmerica was also seeing an increase in disability claims in the working age population at the same time that deaths were increasing.

He said at the same time, the company is seeing an “uptick” in disability claims, saying at first it was short-term disability claims, and now the increase is in long-term disability claims.

Why is it that you can have deaths increasing by 40% in the working age population of the country (those most responsible for keeping the economy going and paying the taxes that support the society) and there are not more people asking what is going on?

Why is this happening?

One thing is for certain.

You don't see this CEO or much of anyone else who risks being censored raising any question as to whether the policy responses to the pandemic (lockdowns, school closures, etc) did more harm than good.

Are the excess deaths related to the response?

What other explanation could there be?

You also certainly don't see him questioning what role the vaccines might be playing in all of this. That would be a sure path for this man to soon being an ex-CEO considering the current environment.

I don't know the answer as to what is going on with deaths.

However, it is difficult to find support for the argument that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing deaths when deaths have increased over the last year.

It is especially troubling that deaths in the working age cohort have increased even more after the introduction of the vaccines. 

Not just a little.

By orders of magnitude that are almost incomprehensible when viewed through science----actuarial science.

In the end, the data always wins.

However, as has been the case from the beginning of this pandemic, very few people in charge are looking at the data and most everyone is afraid to challenge the narrative.

If there is one thing we should hope and pray for in 2022 it is that more people will start asking two simple questions.

What is going on?

Why has this happened?

And those in a position to know should start providing honest answers.

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