Most of us knew deep down that the numbers were being inflated. But now a county in California has revealed the truth about COVID-19 deaths in their region.
Alameda County in the state of California has revised their COVID-19 death count by decreasing their number by 25%, that is 411 deaths. They initially counted all deaths with a positive COVID-19 test as a COVID-related death.
Now the county has changed their total deaths caused by the novel coronavirus from 1,634 to 1,223. This was reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Fox News reported on this change on Sunday’s broadcast, “County officials decided to revise the numbers to align with the California Department of Public Health’s guidance on how to classify deaths.” They explained further, “The county previously included deaths of anyone infected with the virus, regardless of whether COVID-19 was a direct or contributing cause of death.”
Neetu Balram, the Alameda County Public Health Department spokeswoman, said, “There are definitely people who died from reasons that were clearly not caused by COVID.” This was reported by The Oaklandside.
Balram also told The Oaklandside that 411 cases were dropped from the total “after reviewing codes entered by county coroners into CalREDIE, the state’s database for disease reporting and surveillance.”
She went on to note that the new numbers were prompted by a discrepancy in guidance between the county and the state.
This is what was actually written in The Oaklandside:
“The county’s original method was to attribute a death to COVID-19 if the coroner or medical provider (like a hospital) listed someone as being positive for the coronavirus at the time of their death.
Balram said the state’s definition was different: A death can only be attributed to COVID-19 if the coroner or medical provider can show that the person died ‘as a direct result of COVID-19, with COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death, or in whom death caused by COVID-19 could not be ruled out.’”
California’s definition originated in the middle of the pandemic. It was after Alameda County was already functioning with its method.
“Obviously our definition was broader than the state’s,” Balram said.
The Alameda County Public Health Department explained their actions in a statement saying, “When the state implemented these guidelines, Alameda County became aware of the conflicting definitions and made a plan to conduct the update when cases and deaths stabilized.”
Their health officer, Nicholas Moss, declared that the county is committed to giving locals accurate coronavirus information.
“We knew any change like this would have raised some eyebrows,” Moss said. “Nothing about this changes our policy decisions now or during the height of the pandemic.”
Infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adalja was critical of the 411-case drop, saying the 25% revision “seems high.”
Many have been focused on similar discrepancies. The Daily Wire highlighted in September a published update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report focused on data surrounding U.S. deaths linked to COVID. It included a section on “comorbidities” and revealed that of all the deaths attributed to COVID, only 6% of those deaths had COVID alone cited as the cause of death.
“For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death,” the CDC report stated.
This was enhanced by Axios in their “reality check” report: “While the cause of death listed as solely from the coronavirus occurred in 6% of the cases in the U.S. from Feb. 1 to Aug. 22, this doesn’t mean that the virus was not a contributing factor or, indeed, the leading cause in the other 94%,” the agency said. “The U.S. virus death toll would be much lower if this were the case.”