COVID-era all-cause mortality casts doubt on the mainstream narrative
All-cause mortality provides important clues to what really happened and what went wrong over the past two years.
Nearly two and a half years since the WHO declared a COVID-19 pandemic, there still seems to be plenty of debate about COVID, the ensuing response from governments all over the world, and the vaccines.
Just how much of a threat was COVID-19? Did lockdowns, masks, and an experimental vaccine save lives?
Though there are all sorts of analyses to answer these questions, we need to pay attention to all-cause mortality to understand the complete epidemiological situation over the past two and a half years.
All-cause mortality tells us the total number of people who died, regardless of whether it was from COVID, suicide, or old age. During the height of a pandemic, we would expect all-cause mortality to go up as people succumb to disease. A miracle cure would help the all-cause mortality rate to remain stable or decrease. We would also expect all-cause mortality to increase proportionally with the mortality rates of the disease.
A recent paper by Denis Rancourt, Marine Baudin, and Jéremie Mercier analyzes the all-cause mortality of the United States and draws some unique conclusions based on the data. What they find is quite different than what government officials and the media have been feeding us.
As we would expect in a pandemic, all-cause mortality increased. One would also expect that since COVID-19 was most dangerous for the elderly, all-cause mortality for those over 70 should have increased more than for 35-45 year olds.
But that is not what happened.
Here are the estimated values for excess mortality, as calculated in the paper:
Remarkably, the age group in the United States with the most excess deaths was not the one with the highest risk of dying from COVID-19. Persons aged 25-44 years experienced the highest change in excess mortality, while those at the highest risk of dying from COVID, ages 85 and up, had relatively much lower excess mortality.
The authors also determined that when compared across different states, all-cause mortality did not correlate with age, even though COVID mortality is very dependent on age. All-cause mortality did correlate strongly, however, with poverty, obesity, and median household income.
The all-cause mortality trends did not mirror typical seasonal mortality trends commonly attributed to the seasonality of respiratory illnesses.
Overall excess deaths did not change much between 2020 and 2021, even though a vaccination campaign was taking place for much of 2021. Excess deaths decreased for those over 65, but increased for all others.
(Chart below taken from page 62 of the paper)
Now keep in mind, all the data used here comes from the CDC, so I would take the numbers with a grain of salt. But considering that the CDC data is what the federal and state governments in the U.S. used to justify COVID-era restrictions, it would be reasonable to use the same data to determine whether those justifications were valid.
Looking at the raw numbers, it is clear that deaths “involving” COVID-19 cannot account for all the excess deaths from March 2020 to December 2021. If we include deaths from pneumonia, however, we get much closer to the actual number of excess deaths.
During this time frame, deaths from pneumonia skyrocketed compared to previous years. Because pneumonia deaths increased nearly ten fold, it is safe to assume that a significant portion of them qualify as excess deaths.
Rancourt et. al. contend that the co-epidemic of pneumonia was the primary driver behind the excess mortality in the United States. The fact that a pneumonia epidemic coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic raises a “chicken and egg” problem. Did COVID-19 cause many patients to develop the more deadly pneumonia? Or did government-imposed measures and restricted access to medication weaken people’s immune systems, which led to more people developing pneumonia, and these people happened to test positive when at the hospital?
The CDC numbers seem to indicate that both factors may be at play. As of August 7, 2022, the CDC states on their website with regards to death involving COVID-19:
For over 5% of these deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned on the death certificate. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 4.0 additional conditions or causes per death
As doctors like Peter McCullough have emphasized, patients with COVID-19 are more likely to die from the after-effects rather than from the virus itself. Pneumonia, respiratory failure, or heart failure could cause death after the immune system had already cleared the virus. Early treatment of symptoms significantly reduces the risk of developing these sorts of complications and increases the likelihood of survival. Unfortunately, patients were told in 2020 and 2021 to isolate in their homes and doctors were not allowed to prescribe certain FDA-approved drugs for off-label purposes.
COVID-19 and pneumonia still don’t provide a complete explanation for why so many people between 25 and 44 years of age were dying. The culprit is likely lockdowns, social isolation, and economic downturn, all of which brought about conditions for poorer physical, mental, and emotional health, especially in lower income households. And if these factors led to more people dying between the age of 25 and 44, what is to say that they did not contribute to deaths in other age groups as well? Loneliness for example, is a significant risk factor for mortality and affected many elderly people during the pandemic.
Excess deaths of 55-64 year-olds matches up with COVID and pneumonia deaths, but that doesn’t mean that we should assume that these were the only contributors to excess death. COVID and pneumonia deaths may have replaced other causes of death. We know for instance that deaths from influenza were far lower than in previous years, and this may be the case with other illnesses as well.
What is clear from the data is that the increase in all-cause mortality in the United States could not just be due to COVID. Government officials and the media ensured us that with lockdowns, masks, and social isolation, we would be able to save lives. And yet, even though the risk of dying from COVID increases with increasing age, the risk of dying from any cause increased most for young adults in 2020 and 2021. Deaths from pneumonia skyrocketed, as well as deaths from other causes, such as drug overdoses.
The same people who pushed for strict measures in 2020 also claimed that with experimental vaccines we would be able to end the pandemic and save lives. And yet, all-cause mortality decreased only by 3% in 2021 during the vaccination campaign, a reduction that was not uniform across age groups.
Whatever the cause of excess deaths, it is clear that the unprecedented restrictions and the largest vaccination campaign in American history did not have the overall effect of saving lives.
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