Johns Hopkins Death Toll Does NOT Include States’ Downward Adjustments, Ignores Fundamental Flaws in Data

Guest post by Tom Blumer

Memorial Day stories in the Associated Press and the New York Times each claim that the U.S. death toll from the Wuhan COVID-19 virus is approaching 100,000.
AP says it’s “nearly 100,000.” The Times, dramatically invoking language reminiscent of the Iraq War, says that “America is fast approaching a grim milestone … of 100,000 lives lost.” The AP directly cites Johns Hopkins’ COVID Dashboard as its data source. The Times also uses the Dashboard’s data, but rarely acknowledges it.
Following these two outlets’ lead, hundreds, if not thousands, of establishment media outlets and leftist platforms act as if the JH Dashboard’s reported death tallies represent the undisputed gospel truth. THEY DO NOT.
Here are three specific known reasons seen recently:
1. As Gateway Pundit noted on May 16, Colorado reduced its reported death count by 278.

2. As GWP noted on Tuesday  May 19, New Jersey reduced its death toll by 1,400 at nursing homes from its official tally. The new coronavirus death total for New Jersey’s long-term care (LTC) facilities, which was lowered from 5,700 to 4,295.  This funny math was used to make the Democrat state leaders look better as the death toll in the Garden State continued to climb.

3. As The Freedom Foundation in Washington State reported on May 18, the Evergreen State’s “COVID-19 death total is inflated by as much as 13 percent due to state’s practice of counting every person who tests positive for COVID-19 and subsequently dies, even if the death was not caused by COVID-19.” Specifically, “106 (13 percent) deaths involved persons who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 but did not have the virus listed anywhere on their death certificate as either causing or contributing to death.”
It should be obvious that two of these three instances should have led to downward adjustments to state and nationwide death tolls. But the JH Dashboard’s reported death tolls in Colorado, New Jersey and Washington State have increased steadily during the past 10 days without interruption.
Taking a deeper dive into the statistical mess, John Lott and Dr. Timothy Craig Allen published a column on May 16 which demonstrated that “The US is Dramatically Overcounting Coronavirus Deaths.”
Among the specifics:

– The article quoted Illinois’ Director of Public Health, who admitted that “technically even if you died of clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.”

– In two of the hardest-hit counties in Michigan, “medical examiners classify any deaths as Coronavirus deaths when the postmortem test is positive. Even people who died in suicides and automobile accidents meet that definition.”

– “The (CDC’s) rules direct them to do this.” Deborah Birx has acknowledged that “if someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.” This practice is not consistent with what other countries are doing, nor is it consistent with how CDC told localities to document causes of death before the Chinese virus appeared.

– Beyond that, Lott and Allen note that New York State “is classifying cases as Coronavirus deaths even when postmortem tests have been negative. Despite negative tests, classifications are based on symptoms, even though the symptoms are often very similar to those of the seasonal flu.” Further the CDC has “advise(d) doctors that “it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate” even if the virus’s involvement is only “suspected”! In April, apparently encouraged by this guidance, New York State added “3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive.” Even without evidence of positive tests, Johns Hopkins added these deaths to its Dashboard.

Lott’s and Allen’s bottom line: “Relying on these flawed numbers is destroying businesses and jobs and costing lives.”
Johns Hopkins, despite hard evidence to the contrary, is dishonestly promoting that damaging reliance.
The establishment press, by treating Johns Hopkins’s garbage figures as the undisputed truth with any hint of the many serious problems in the underlying data, is a willing accomplice in this dishonesty.
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Jim Hoft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016. In 2023, The Gateway Pundit received the Most Trusted Print Media Award at the American Liberty Awards.

You can email Jim Hoft here, and read more of Jim Hoft's articles here.


Thanks for sharing!