The reported numbers leave out thousands of deaths clearly resulting from the pandemic.
He’s right that the death toll seems off — but not in the direction he would suggest. We’ve crunched the numbers, state by state, and it appears that somewhere around 100,000 to 110,000 Americans have already died as a result of the pandemic, rather than the 83,000 whose deaths have been attributed to the disease, Covid-19.
That’s my estimate reached with the help of a Harvard statistician, Rafael Irizarry, based on a comparison of death rates this spring with those in previous years. Some states have been largely unaffected — death rates in some even appear to have dropped, perhaps because of less driving and fewer car accidents — but others have seen huge surges in deaths.
Over all, in a bit more than two months, the United States lost more Americans to the coronavirus than died over seven decades in the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.
Here’s how we reached our estimates; they are not definitive, for they are based on preliminary data, and I invite discussion.