Every Picture Tells a Story – Death Certificates in the Time of COVID-19

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Without complete testing, we will never have definitive numbers on how many died from COVID-19. Death certificates do not always capture truth, the underlying cause of death (UCOD), but they always capture the best story for connecting the dots. While the media points out that our statistics may be under-reported and therefore COVID’s toll is even higher, connecting the dots may also lead to over-reporting. From the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System Guidance.

Whether this reflects an over or undercount is unclear, you are welcome to your opinion. But it makes all the subsequent analysis just a little more imprecise and should make us not quite so definitive in our conclusions.