Alameda County is a Northern California county and their main claim to fame is that they encompass the city of Oakland. Well, to make a long story short, they are in some hot water because they revised their COVID-19 data methodology, and lo and behold this resulted in a 25 PERCENT DROP in their COVID-19 fatality statistics. Hmmm….interesting……
What Are the Details?
Indeed, the death toll due to COVID-19 in Alameda County had a sharp decrease from 1,634 to 1,223 on Friday after these office politics wizards changed their methodology. These bureaucrats are now only including those who DIRECTLY passed away due to the COVID-19 illness. 0000000000 Previously, Alameda County pencil pushers included literally ANYONE in their death toll who passed away WHILE they were infected with the virus, and not just those individuals who died ONLY from COVID-19. There are a lot of people who pass away in California on a daily basis, folks, so it’s a shame these people couldn’t get their accounting right!
The Los Angeles Times is now including the following correction on their Alameda County data: “Alameda County on Friday decided to reduce their total count of COVID-related deaths by 411. This county previously reported the deaths of any person who was infected with the virus. However, they are now going with an updated total where only the deaths where COVID-19 was either a direct or contributing cause. If COVID-19 can be ruled out as a cause, it was not included in the data.
Neetu Balram is a spokesperson for the Alameda County Public Health Department, and she said that the 411 who were removed from this data were individuals who “clearly passed away not because of COVID-19,” according to the Oaklandside.
More from the Oaklandside:
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The Oaklandside that although some adjustments are to be expected, 25% “seems high.” Adalja said he has never seen this big of an adjustment in a death count with other infectious diseases.
Balram gave a press release and she said that Alameda County’s definition of a coronavirus death had actually lagged behind the official designation that the rest of California used, and so that was the main reason why there was such a sudden change. I don’t know Ms. Balram personally, but I’ve got to hand it to her: she is very good at damage control, to say the least.
“Alameda County previously included any person who died while infected with the virus in the total COVID-19 deaths for the County,” the press release said. “Aligning with the State’s definition will require Alameda County to report as COVID-19 deaths only those people who died as a direct result of COVID-19, with COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death, or in whom death caused by COVID-19 could not be ruled out.”
As of now, 67,000 people California residents have passed away as a direct result of COVID-19.
Of course, this all begs the question: how many OTHER STATES have been caught cooking the books in this manner?
Either way, feel free to share your comments.