Regaining Rational Ground

Below is a snippet of the data analysis published at Rational Ground in November 2020, from Florida’s Covid death count.

PART 1 should describe the chain of events that directly caused the death.

PART 2 lists other significant contributing diseases or conditions that did not result in the underlying cause of death.

About a third were “interesting” because they either listed COVID-19 in PART 2 (i.e., death with COVID-19) or listed other significant conditions like renal failure, metastasized cancer, or strokes (i.e., people who would have probably died in the near future regardless of COVID-19). At least 5 of these were classified as accidents, not natural deaths.

About 10% of the “interesting” death certificates listed some form of “Adult failure to thrive” or malnutrition. We don’t know how typical this is for elderly death certificates, but it may be related to the isolation imposed on long-term care residents during COVID-19.

Although a few certifying doctors made it clear that they thought the COVID-19 test was incidental (at best) to the death by writing things like “Asymptomatic positive COVID-19 swab” or “COVID-19 6 months ago,” these deaths were still counted as COVID-19 deaths.

Here are some examples of death certificates that were counted as COVID-19 deaths in Florida (each line starts with the age and gender of the decedent; manner of death is “natural” unless otherwise noted). These are not a representative sample, just some of the ones we found “interesting”:

(Age and Gender followed by diagnoses)

88M, PART 1: a. Failure to thrive, b. dementia, c. type II diabetes, PART 2: COVID-19 positive

79F, PART 1: a. renal cancer – 4 months, PART 2: COVID-19

56F, PART 1: a. complications of paraplegia (non-traumatic), PART 2: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, COVID-19

77F, Accident, PART 1: a. exacerbation of COVID-19 pneumonia, b. prolonged bed rest, c. left femoral neck and pelvic fracture, d. fall, PART 2: fall from standing height

96M, PART 1: a. hypertensive cardiovascular disease, PART 2: renal insufficiency, anemia, COVID-19

59M, PART 1: a. cardiorespiratory arrest, b. failure to thrive, c. developmental delay, PART 2: COVID-19, urosepsis

90F, PART 1: a. cardiopulmonary arrest 2nd to arrhythmia, b. failure to thrive, c. recovered from COVID-19, PART 2: dementia, HTN, hypothyroid

98F, PART 1: a. Cerebral atherosclerosis, b. vascular dementia without, c. behavioral disturbances, d. COVID-19 positive, PART 2: chronic fatigue, respiratory distress

74F, Accident, PART 1: a. COVID-19 infection & bronchopulmonary aspergillosis complicating sequelae of blunt force injury of right, PART 2: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity

84F, PART 1: a. Alzheimer’s, PART 2: COVID-19 disease

88M, PART 1: a. cancer of larynx, PART 2: COVID-19 infection

41M, PART 1: a. Cardiac arrest – immediate b. Respiratory failure, acute on [sic] chronic – days c. Pulmonary artery hypertension – years d. Sarcoidosis – years, PART 2: COVID-19

69M, PART 1: a. Multiple ischemic strokes, PART 2: Chronic renal failure, recent COVID-19 pneu, dementia

70M, PART 1: a. Natural causes – years, PART 2: Neurocognitive (congenital developmental) delay, COVID-19 infection, recurrent aspiration pneumonia

60M, PART 1: a. Septic shock – days b. E Coli Bacterium-UTI c. GI bleed – acute blood loss anemia-esophageal necrosis d. acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, PART 2: Hypertension, HX of COVID

88F, PART 1: a. Complications of dementia, PART 2: Atrial fibrillation, arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, COVID-19

79F, PART 1: a. Coronary artery disease – years, PART 2: COVID-19, myeloproliferative disorder, diabetes, Parkinson’s

83F, Accident, PART 1: a. Complications of COVID-19 – NS, PART 2: Traumatic brain injury, failure to thrive, atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease, urinary tract infection

87F, PART 1: a. Senile degeneration of brain, PART 2: Complications related to COVID-19 infection

98F, PART 1: a. End stage dementia b. Adult failure to thrive c. Positive COVID-19, PART 2: blank

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