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12,000 not 200,000

(Comorbidities Are Killing Far More Americans Than the Coronavirus)

 

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

      On September 21, 2020, the USA passed the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths from the Coronavirus (CV), otherwise referred to as COVID-19 (NBC News). However, I have said all along that I do not trust the death count, as people who die from the CV are not the same as people who die with the CV. Yet, that 200,000 death number includes both types of deaths. For details in this regard, see my article Nursing Homes Deaths (Inflated Coronavirus Death Rates and Government Overreach), published back on May 2, 2020.

 

CDC Table Shows 6% of CV Deaths Really From the CV

 

      On September 16, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released statistics proving my concerns are correct. On a webpage in its website titled “Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics” is the following header to a table labeled “Comorbidities:”

 

Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups.

 

      Note that “comorbidity” means, “the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient.” (Oxford, on MS Word 365). “The presence of one or more disorders (diseases) in addition to a primary disease or disorder” (Your Dictionary).

      That said, the table is said to be “Updated September 16, 2020” and shows “Total COVID-19 deaths, as of 9/12/2020.” That number was 179,927 deaths.

      The first category of comorbidities is “Respiratory diseases.” The first item listed on the table under this category is “Influenza and pneumonia.” That was a comorbidity for 77,012 of the COVID-19 deaths. That means, almost 43% of people who are listed as dying from the CV also had the seasonal flu/ and or pneumonia. Thus, it must be asked, did the flu kill them? Did pneumonia kill them? Or did the CV kill them?

      It must be noted, back in the spring, I reported that the CDC stopped counting flu deaths for the 2019-20 flu season on April 4, 2020, even though it says on its website the flu season runs from October 1 through the end of May. I surmised back on May 30, that after April 4, the CDC was counting flu deaths as CV deaths. It would appear I was correct in that assumption. See Revised Coronavirus Numbers (Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense) Part One.

      That said, it is true the CV can cause pneumonia, but so can the flu and other viruses, bacteria, and fungi (American. CDC, Causes). As such, which is it? the flu, the CV,. or something else that caused the deadly pneumonia. Then things will once again get confused next month (October) when the 2020-21 flu season begins. CV deaths and flu deaths will once again be onfounded, with either causing pneumonia, the real cause of death.

      The second category of comorbidities is “Circulatory diseases.” The first item listed under it is “Hypertensive diseases.” It was present in 39,547 of the CV deaths, or 22%. Next is “Ischemic heart disease.” It was present in 20,327 of the CV deaths, or 11.3%. Then is “Cardiac arrest.” It was present in 22,312 of the CV deaths, or 12.4%. The latter is a fancy name for a heart attack. Thus, again, it must be asked, did a heart attack kill these people or did the CV?

      “Diabetes” is another major category. It was present in 29,425 of the CV deaths, or 16% of the deaths. Next is “Obesity.” It was present in 6,365 of the CV deaths, or 3.5%.

      Finally, it should be noted that “Being elderly” is not a category. That is because growing old is not a comorbidity, a chronic disease, it is a natural part of life. But elsewhere I have documented that the older a person is, the more likely that person is to have serious consequences from a CV infection. However, there is nothing you can do about getting older. It happens to all of us. But there is much that can be done about some of these comorbidities, and that will be my focus. But first, some background points.

 

Two Points

 

      There are many other listed comorbidities, many of which are killers in themselves, like Renal failure, Alzheimer Disease, and Dementia. All of these were present in varying number of deaths, but similar to the preceding. But I want to focus on the various circulatory diseases, along with diabetes and obesity, as these are clearly lifestyle related diseases.

      I want to make two points. First, with 94% of people who are listed as dying from the CV having one or more comorbidities, it is hard to say if the CV was the primary factor in their deaths. The CV might have aggravated their condition, leading to their deaths, or it might have hastened their deaths, but it cannot be said to have been the cause of their deaths. It was a contributing factor for sure, but it was not necessarily the ultimate cause of death.

      Second, as I have reported previously, two-thirds of Americans are overweight, one-third obesely so, 100 million Americans have hypertension, and 100 million have diabetes. Those latter two numbers do not add up to 200 million, as many have both conditions. That overlapping of conditions is seen in this table, as the numbers for the different comorbidities add up to far more than the total number of CV deaths.

      What this means is, the reason the CV has hit America so hard is not due to “failure” by the Trump administration, as Joe Biden and other Dems are trying to claim. It is not due to the failure of blue states, as the President is trying to claim, except for the idiotic practice of five Democrat governors of putting CV positive patients back in nursing homes. That was a failure and deadly.  But otherwise, the reason the CV has hit America so hard is because Americans are unhealthy, with the majority of Americans suffering from one or more comorbidities that put them at high risk of serious consequences from the CV.

      Some of these comorbidities are beyond individual control, such as Alzheimer Disease and Dementia. There is little that can be done lifestyle-wise to prevent or reverse these conditions. However, there is much that can be done to prevent or reverse hypertension and other circulatory diseases, obesity, and diabetes. But sadly, tens of millions of Americans suffer from one, two, or all three of these conditions, and they do little to reverse their situations. If someone dies from such a condition, then is their death really a CV death, or is it a lifestyle related death?

      I would say, it is more the latter than the former. But that would be to “blame the victim.” And no one in authority wants to be tagged with such a charge. Consequently, through this entire pandemic, I have yet to hear a single health authority encourage the overweight to lose weight and those with hypertension, heart disease, and/ or diabetes (who are also most often overweight) to control these conditions via diet and exercise.

      In fact, rather than encouraging exercise, the authorities shut down gyms, shut down parks, shut down beaches, even shut down golf courses, all of which is where most people get their exercises. It was all backwards, as I said many times. And now the CDC has verified what I was saying all along was correct. The CDC has also verified my concern that the number of CV deaths was being exaggerated by listing those who died with the CV as having died from the CV.

 

Qualification and “Excess Deaths”

 

      I am not saying the CV is not deadly in itself. It is, in 6% of the cases. But for the other 94%, it can be said that the CV was not the primary killer. It contributed to the death, yes, but it was not the sole cause. That means the real number of CV deaths at this point is 12,000 not 200,000. The other 188,000 deaths are equally tragic, but most likely, they would have died soon anyway. The CV might have cut their life short somewhat, and that is still tragic, but it did not kill them.

      This is why President Trump has talked about “excess deaths” and the USA having one of the lowest rates of such. “This metric is the number of people who died over a period of time that is greater than would be expected based on historical data” (PJ Media). In other words, by “excess deaths” is meant people who would not have died anyways if they had not been infected by the CV.

      To put it another way, in 2017 and 2018, before the pandemic, there were just over 2.8 million deaths in each of these years in the USA (CDC. Deaths. Mortality). The only way to really know how many people have been killed by the CV is to compare these pre-pandemic yearly numbers to the numbers at the end of this year (2020).

      It is being estimated that by then, we could see over 400,000 CV deaths (CBS). If that number is accurate, then there should be 400,000 (0.4 million) more or 3.2 million American deaths in 2020. But if the number is say 2.9 million deaths, then that would mean “only” 100,000 Americans really died from the CV. The rest would have died anyway from these other conditions.

      However, it should be noted, I could not find statistics for the number of US deaths in 2019. I suspect it takes some time to compile such data. With that being the case, it might be some time before we know the final death count for 2020 and an answer to this question. But then, this might be a mute question. But still, once that date is in, I predict the final excess death count will be far lower than the estimated 400,000 CV deaths for 2020. If that is the case, it would mean the CV is not near as deadly as we have been led to believe, and all of the lockdowns and other restrictions were for nothing.

 

Conclusion

 

      I predict, once the data is in, it will be seen that the unhealthy America lifestyle and the resultant comorbidities are far more deadly than the CV. That should have been the focus of the authorities, to encourage Americans to adopt healthier lifestyles. That would have reduced the number of deaths not just from the CV but from all causes far more than all of the mitigation efforts we have been subjected to.

      I’m not saying the wearing of masks, social distancing, hand washing and the like are useless in slowing the spread of the CV. They are important to protect the elderly and those with comorbidities. It is just that a healthy eating pattern, proper exercise, stress control, and adequate sleep and relaxation would have reduced the total death count far more by reducing not just CV deaths but other preventable, lifestyle-related deaths, such those from as heart disease and diabetes. That should have been the focus all along for those with lifestyle-related comorbidities. That has been my focus for many years with my fitness website and my books books God-given Foods Eating Plan and Creationist Diet: Second Edition.

 

References:

      American Lung Association. What Causes Pneumonia?

      CBS News. Coronavirus model projects U.S. deaths will surpass 400,000 by end of year.

      CDC. 2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates.

      CDC. Causes of Pneumonia.

      CDC. Deaths and Mortality.

      CDC. Mortality in the United States, 2018.

      CDC. Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics.

      CNN. More than half of states are reporting more new coronavirus cases as the US nears 200,000 deaths.

      NBC News on iHeartRadio, about 7:00 am on Monday, September 21, 2020 reported the of CV deaths in the USA passed the 200,000 mark, according to John Hopkins University. But it took a while for other news outlets to report the updated numbers and the passing of the grim milestone.

      PJ Media. New Data From the CDC Shows 6% of Deaths Are Due to COVID-19 Alone.

 

12,000 not 200,000 (Comorbidities Are Killing Far More Americans Than the Coronavirus). Copyright 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).

Tearing the USA Apart
From Kavanaugh, to Incivility, to Caravans, to Violence, to the 2018 Midterm Elections, and Beyond

            The United States of American is being torn about by political differences more than any time since the 1960s and maybe since the Civil War of the 1860s. This division was amplified by political events in the summer to fall of 2018. This time period could prove to be seminal in the history of the United States. This tearing apart came to the forefront and was amplified during the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This book overviews the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings in detail. It then overviews these additional major events that occurred up to the end of November 2018.

The above article was posted on this website September 21, 2020.

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