Covid cost the U.S. dearly. Almost 600,000 Americans have died of the disease. But, when you compare the death rates in 2020 (when the virus raged) with those in 2019 (when there was no virus), there were about 83,000 more deaths in 2020.
That death total is over and above the 600,000 who succumbed to the disease. Not just the 600,000 who died of COVID, but another 83,000 whose deaths were not attributable to the disease.
Comparing deaths during the pandemic with those in the previous year:
• Heart disease deaths went up by 35,000.
• Alzheimer’s deaths rose by 15,000.
• Cancer fatalities were 12,000 higher.
• Diabetes mortalities rose by 13,000.
In all, Robert Romano, the VP of Public Policy for Americans for Limited Government, estimates that at least 83.000 more people died from other causes than COVID than did in a comparable period the year before.
The likely cause of this vast increase in deaths is the lockdowns that were in force to prevent the spread of the virus.
In New York State, for example, where the lockdown was vigorously enforced, 8300 more people (apart from COVID deaths) died in 2020 than in 2019. But, in Florida, where the lockdowns was more lax, started later, and ended later, there were only 6600 more non-COVID deaths in 2020 than in 2019.
President Trump often asked the question: “which was worse the disease or the cure? Based on these data we can infer that while the disease caused about 600,000 deaths, the lockdowns that the cure entailed, may have cost up to another hundred thousand.
Romano writes that “potential causes [of the higher death rate] include deferring medical care during the pandemic, lack of exercise from the stay-at-home orders, increased depression and anxiety during the lockdowns, etc. In other words, it very well could have been the lockdowns that killed the additional 83,000.”
For example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that opioid overdoses killed 46% more people in 2020, during COVID, than died from ODs in 2019. A team of CDC researchers found that 13% of users either began using during the pandemic or increased their dosage.
Data on suicide deaths are slower to report, but the Washington Post writes that episodic evidence indicates a rise in pandemic suicides. “In Oregon’s Columbia County, the number of suicides by summer had already surpassed last year’s total. In the sprawling Chicago suburbs, DuPage County has reported a 23 percent rise compared with last year. And in the city, itself, the number of suicides among African Americans has far surpassed the total for 2019.”
So, was the cure worse than the disease?
Again, a comparison of New York and Florida is instructive. With essentially equal populations, New York State, despite or perhaps because of the strictest lockdown policy in the country, suffered 52,000 COVID deaths while Florida, with far more relaxed rules made it through (so far) with 36,000.
When you combine the stats on deaths apparently caused by lockdowns with the higher death rates in lockdown states, perhaps the cure was worse than the disease!
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