JACKSON, Mississippi (WLBT) – In less than six months, Mississippi recorded more than 3,000 more deaths than in previous years, with state health officials pointing to the coronavirus pandemic as the source of these ” excessive deaths “.
The information, released earlier this month by public health officer Dr Thomas Dobbs, appears to refute a popular Facebook claim that most of those classified as COVID-19 deaths did not die from this sickness.
“We normally have x deaths and now x plus another number of deaths and it will be because of the coronavirus. There’s absolutely no way to explain this, ”Dobbs said.
Several people on blogs and social media quickly assumed that those with COVID and cancer, for example, died of cancer but were counted as a COVID-19 death.
Many Mississippians have claimed that people with underlying illnesses, which account for the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths in Mississippi and the United States, would have died anyway.
However, data from the Mississippi State Department of Health shows only slight increases in heart disease deaths, pneumonia / flu deaths, and no change in cancer deaths from previous years, which means that COVID-19 caused or accelerated these deaths.
“If we could reset the year, in the absence of COVID-19, those 3,000 deaths wouldn’t be here. It’s because COVID is there that people have more deaths from respiratory failure, blood clots, all the different things COVID-19 is pushing on the board, ”Association President said. Mississippi State Medical Officer, Dr. Mark Horne. “You can have heart disease and survive. You can have heart disease and COVID and die. And having one doesn’t mean you can’t have both.
Last month, the CDC updated its coronavirus statistics to indicate that 6% of all deaths from COVID-19 were caused solely by COVID-19, with the remaining 94% involving people with more than one disease or comorbidity.
The misinterpretation of this finding, Dobbs said, quickly caught on on social media, with some assuming that if you contract COVID-19 and also have other pre-existing conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure, your death. will be due to these conditions, not the coronavirus.
The literal interpretation was that only 12,000 people have died from COVID-19, not the 200,000 and more deaths from COVID-19 recorded in the United States so far.
For Dobbs, it was as if these deaths had been ignored and dismissed.
“If we started another war and 200,000 people died, we would lose our minds. If you are dead, you are dead. We have unfortunately, I think, neglected the lives of the elderly. It was almost described as being less important, ”Dobbs said. “I’m 50, so I’m getting old. Just because I’m 50 doesn’t mean my life doesn’t matter. Just because I have high blood pressure doesn’t mean my life doesn’t matter because I have a pre-existing condition.
Nonetheless, dozens of Mississippians have spread rumors without evidence that even the MSDH is overcounting deaths from COVID-19 for some reason.
More recently, DeSoto County Coroner Josh Pounders said the state’s health department has demanded that people who have died after testing positive for COVID-19 be counted as a COVID-19 death, a claim that has been refuted by medical professionals, the state health official and the official guidelines put in place for coroners like Pounders.
Dobbs has publicly stated that the difference between official deaths from COVID-19 and the excess deaths mentioned – hundreds of Mississippians – shows that the state’s health department has in fact underestimated coronavirus deaths. , not overrated, because of its exacting standards.
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