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Excess death

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that 2020 will have the highest total death count on record, with the current count suggesting a final tally of around 3.2 million (Fox). The excess death may be strictly due to COVID-19, or due to various causes (NYT). However, the official death count from all causes in the U.S. as of today stands at around 2.85 million (CDC). This is about on par with previous years (search CDC), and the year is almost over.

All Cause Death by year as cited by the CDC

So, what gives? How are 350,000 people going to die in the next week? Or is this whole COVID thing a hoax? Where are the extra 300,000 people who supposedly died due to this thing? Well, here’s the answer–the data is still coming in. The CDC lags by weeks or months in recording official causes of death (Reuters, 4WWL) and the COVID deaths take even longer to code than others (CDC). So, it will be several months before we know the true total for 2020. But, according to the CDC’s prediction, the total will look like this:

source: CDC

The orange line is the maximum expected deaths. The blue portion shows COVID deaths. The red marks are unexpectedly high death counts.

Here’s a close up of 2020:

source CDC

If we want to be particular about which deaths have already been confirmed (dark blue) and which are predicted (light blue), it looks like this:

source CDC

Again, here’s 2020 only:

source CDC

So, while the final tally won’t be available for several weeks or even months, the best prediction from the CDC is that the excess deaths due to COVID show up quite visibly in the total count for 2020.

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