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  • People wear masks at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., U.S., Oct. 12, 2020.

    People wear masks at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., U.S., Oct. 12, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 13 October 2020
Opinion

Deaths related to the pandemic may have been underestimated by nearly 75,000 between March and July.

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond (VCU) Monday revealed that the number of COVID-19 deaths in U.S. could be higher than previously reported.

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Although official counts set the number in 150, 000 deaths over the last four months, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) assures that about 75,000 more citizens died from the virus during that period.

JAMA editor-in-chief Howard Bauchner assured that there is no exaggeration in the number of the excess of deaths and that it “reflects a true measure of the human cost of the Great Pandemic of 2020.”

VCU director emeritus Dr. Steven Woolf said that “there have been some conspiracy theories saying that the number of deaths from COVID-19 has been exaggerated.”

“The opposite is the case. We’re experiencing more deaths than we thought we were,” Woolf said, and referred to the fact that those deaths were indirectly caused by pandemic-derived illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and heart disease.

Woolf also blames the deaths spike on some local governments’ policies and said that “these are the consequences of the decision of some states to ease restrictions early in the pandemic. It’s sort of a warning call going forward.”

As of today, U.S. is still the most affected nation, with over 8 million cases and 220,000 deaths. However, a research from the University of Washington paints a grimmer panorama for it suggests that nearly 400,000 people will die this year from COVID-19 or consequences of the pandemic.

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