What do you do if you believe in the COVID shots yet can’t avoid noticing that excess mortality remains high almost two years after the shots were rolled out?
Dr. Jeremy Faust, editor-in-chief of MedPage Today, presents an original analysis of current data.
“Did that patient die ‘of COVID’ or ‘with COVID’?” he asks in the first paragraph of his article.
Once upon a time, it was easy to identify the culprit:
Early in the pandemic, just about every Covid-19 death looked the same. Patients had pneumonia all over the lungs, had low oxygen levels, were gasping for air, and were dying either before they could be placed on a ventilator, or despite it.
Therefore, Dr. Faust writes, for doctors filling out death certificates, the underlying cause was obviously COVID. Today, however, “these types of questions are getting harder with respect to COVID.” Why? Because “COVID patients rarely have that awful pneumonia we used to see on every X-ray, and they rarely have low oxygen levels, like we saw early on.”
So confusing – so much so that doctors are becoming steadily less likely to cite COVID as the main cause of death for patients who tested positive on a PCR test, down from “nearly 95%” in the early days of the COVID era to around 63% today. This is also because “death certificates are often ‘best guesses',” Dr. Faust supplies.
So, is COVID melting away? Dr. Faust might perhaps like to hope so, but the problem is, as he notes, that all-cause mortality, while lower now that at many points over the past few years, is still around 10 percent in excess of the pre-COVID era; furthermore, even in early 2022, long after the shots were rolled out, excess mortality was just a few percentage points below its peak in 2020. Worse still, even after the most vulnerable succumb to COVID or other illness during a peak illness period, excess mortality remains high in the ensuing months, signaling that some other factor is likely at work.
What, then, are people dying of?
According to Dr. Faust, they are still “dying of COVID.”
“We still see COVID tracking with excess mortality and tracking with case counts,” he writes, stressing that excess mortality tallies with “COVID outbreaks.” Even though “COVID deaths don’t resemble one another as much as they once did . . . that doesn’t mean COVID did not kill many or most of them,” he insists.
Sometimes, a “fatal diabetic crisis gets triggered by a COVID illness . . . a fatal heart failure exacerbation gets triggered by a COVID illness. Sometimes it’s emphysema. . .” If Dr. Faust’s hypothetical stroke victim dies “during the peak of a COVID illness,” he says, “it’s impossible to know” how much blame to apportion to COVID.
Furthermore, “COVID now kills even some vaccinated people in a number of ways,” he adds.
To sum up, more people are dying than ever before, and although it doesn’t walk like COVID, talk like COVID, or quack like COVID, it simply must be COVID that is “making some people sick enough to die.”
Because if it isn’t COVID, then what are people dying of?