Oh, So That's Why Massachusetts' COVID Death Toll Was Revised

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Posted: Mar 11, 2022 1:45 PM
Oh, So That's Why Massachusetts' COVID Death Toll Was Revised

Source: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

We all knew this was going to happen. The COVID death count was going to be revised. There were too many. The metric was too broad. The same goes for hospitalizations. During Omicron, how many children were hospitalized for other more serious health matters but also happened to test positive for COVID upon admission? COVID doesn't really impact young kids. We've known this since the beginning, and by this standard—a trip to the hospital for a broken arm was used to pad the numbers for child COVID hospitalizations. It's all about keeping the panic going for Democrats and the news media. 

Then, something happened—even the most ardent liberals started to get tired of masks, the mandates, and everything about COVID because it's not an apocalyptic pathogen. Over 99 percent of those infected survived. We've noted this for weeks: the political science changed. COVID is over. The trackers are gone from the CNN screens. No one cares. As everyone is distracted by the Ukraine war, officials are now combing through the death tolls and finding significant overcounts. In Massachusetts, they finally declared that thousands of deaths were indeed not due to COVID. The new protocol is still too broad, but it's a start (via The Blaze): 

The Massachusetts Department of Health announced this week that it would be tweaking its health tracking methodology after the approach led to a "significant overcount" in COVID-19 deaths in the state.

In a press release Thursday, the department acknowledged it would be retroactively removing 4,081 deaths from the state's overall count while adding 400 deaths, making the net change a decrease of roughly 3,700.

The overcount was reportedly the result of a faulty criterion for inclusions that logged deaths as resulting from COVID-19 if the individual had a confirmed positive test within a certain timeframe prior to their passing.

[…]

In accordance with guidance from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the department decided to cut that timeframe in half. Moving forward, the state will log a COVID-19 death insofar as the individual had a confirmed positive test within 30 days of their passing.

"This strategy worked well at the beginning of the pandemic," Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke told the outlet. "But over time, our approach proved to be too expansive and led to a significant overcount of deaths in Massachusetts. People who had gotten COVID earlier in 2020 and died for other reasons ended up still being included in COVID-associated death counts."

Critics will note that the state's new methodology — though an improvement — will likely still produce inflated results since, remarkably, it continues to log deaths as COVID-19 deaths so long as the deceased merely presented with an infection before they passed away, regardless of whether the virus could be determined as an actual cause of death.

It "worked well at the beginning"? 

No. It didn't "work." Who the hell buys that line? The car worked when we started the engine, but when the wheels fell off and the axel cracked—we knew the car was bad. No, the car was always trash in that case. We saw a glimpse of this Chinese math drill with COVID in the summer of 2020 when a Florida man who died in a motorcycle accident was counted as a COVID death because it determined he was infected at the time of his death. There have been other data issues with gauging accurate death counts throughout the pandemic.

We've known this for months. There is a difference between dying with COVID and dying from COVID. We're glad to see liberal America start to catch on to this simple concept, and the timing for this change is also quite predictable. 

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