Study Led by Boston University Challenges Prevailing Narratives on Excess COVID-19 Mortality

BOSTON, MA – A recent study led by the Boston University School of Public Health challenges existing narratives about the causes of excessive mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research provides compelling evidence that many deaths previously attributed to natural causes were, in reality, uncounted fatalities from COVID-19.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sheds light on the underestimation of COVID-19-related deaths in the United States. The research suggests that while some excess deaths may have been linked to pandemic-related healthcare disruptions and socioeconomic disruptions, there is a strong temporal correlation between reported COVID-19 deaths and excess deaths attributed to non-COVID-19 natural causes.

Kristin Urquiza, who co-founded Marked By COVID after losing her father to COVID-19, emphasizes the importance of accurately accounting for the impact of the pandemic. “This study documents the deadliness of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of public health interventions,” Urquiza said.

The official count of COVID-19 deaths in the United States is almost 1.17 million, but this figure is believed to be an underestimation. Excess mortality studies have suggested that there are more COVID-19 deaths than have been reported.

The study’s significance lies in the revelation that a significant portion of excess deaths during the pandemic can be directly linked to COVID-19. By analyzing monthly data on natural-cause deaths and reported COVID-19 fatalities across 3,127 U.S. counties from March 2020 to August 2022, the research team discovered that peaks in non-COVID natural cause deaths coincided with or even preceded surges in COVID-19 deaths in most regions. This pattern suggests that many deaths were misclassified and should have been attributed to COVID-19.

Dr. Andrew Stokes, a co-author of the study, highlighted that many COVID-19 deaths went uncounted during the pandemic. The temporal correlation between reported COVID-19 deaths and excess deaths attributed to non-COVID-19 natural causes offers insight into the causes of these deaths.

The study’s lead author, Eugenio Paglino, noted that the research also disproves claims that mortality during the pandemic can be attributed to COVID-19 vaccinations or shelter-in-place policies. This evidence is crucial for understanding the true toll of the pandemic and organizing an effective response.

The findings of this study are important for accurately understanding the impact of the pandemic and providing insight into the true toll of COVID-19. It represents a crucial step in ensuring that the full scope of the pandemic’s impact is recognized.