Has the U.S. been experiencing a high number of excess deaths lately?
By Kent R. Kroeger (February 3, 2023)
Disclaimer: The following essay uses weekly mortality data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Mortality Monitoring Project (EUROMOMO). However, all interpretations, conclusions and opinions expressed herein are mine alone and do not reflect the views of the CDC, EUROMOMO or any other person or organization. Accordingly, all errors are mine. Dataset used in this data essay is available on GITHUB here.
For the vast majority of people, the COVID-19 vaccines have been proven extremely safe in the short-term (with rare but notable exceptions) and provide an invaluable health benefit at both an individual and societal level.
The hard evidence overwhelmingly supports this statement.
But medical researchers have only started to learn about potential long-term effects from COVID-19 and its vaccines. And while there is research currently underway on ‘long-COVID’, we are now almost one year removed from the pandemic’s peak (in terms of deaths) and significant amounts of aggregate health and mortality data already exist that may provide early insights on any long-term trends. Weekly excess deaths (for example, as defined by the CDC) is a data series that may be helpful in that regard.
Has the Average Number of Weekly ‘Excess Deaths’ Changed since COVID-19 Pandemic and the Distribution of its Vaccines?
Critics of the CDC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have filled my inbox with links to podcasts, articles and social media posts containing reports from various U.S. and European statistical bodies that indicate excess deaths since 2021 have significantly increased while deaths directly related to COVID-19 have declined.
The following is an exploratory assessment of the rise-in-excess-deaths claim…
Before diving into the data, a good start is to look at how national statistical agencies commonly define excess deaths. Specifically, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes their algorithm this way:
“(The CDC) implements the…