Florida hasn’t experienced excess deaths due to COVID-19
Bottom Line: It’s been a heated debate from the earliest weeks of the pandemic. How accurate is the reporting of coronavirus cases? How many diagnosed people have been counted multiple times? How many people were never tested for the virus but had it? How many people would have died of something other than COVID-19 but were counted as a COVID death? It’s been a consistent part of the conversation. Now that we’re more than four full months into testing and reporting, we have clearer answers to these questions coming from CDC data.
Periodically during the pandemic I’ve discussed the CDC “Excess Deaths” metric. The metric averages five years of deaths calculated weekly and adjusted by population changes. This is helpful because it’s accounts for all variables. Whether everyone had been tested for the virus or if no one had. It also doesn’t matter how deaths were categorized. Simply, how many people died and how many normally would have? The CDC’s updated information through the first half of the year showed the following:
- 5% more Americans died than in the average year
- 25 states had excess deaths
- New York led the country in excess deaths with a death rate that was 108% higher than the normal first half of a year
If you’d never heard of COVID-19 but came across this information you’d know something significant and negative happened in the United States. But you might have also noticed that only half of the country numerically experienced it. And guess what... Florida wasn’t one of those states. According to CDC data, Florida experienced nearly the same number of deaths it would have for the first half of 2020 without the pandemic. This isn’t to say everyone who died of COVID-19 in Florida would have died anyway, but on balance it hasn’t been anywhere near as deadly here as it has been on a relative basis elsewhere. For that matter, unlike New York, if you lived on another planet and only looked at this data, you wouldn’t know a pandemic hit Florida. As always, I have no agenda with this data. Only to objectively analyze and present it to you. Florida had no net excess deaths through the first half of 2020.