U.S. coronavirus deaths may be 28% higher than official count, study estimates

Coronavirus
Wanda DeSelle, a victim of COVID-19, is laid to rest in Madera, Calif. A new study says the official count of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. may be off by 28%.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Wanda DeSelle, a victim of COVID-19, is laid to rest in Madera, Calif. A new study says the official count of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. may be off by 28%.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

As if the death toll of COVID-19 weren’t bad enough, a new study estimates that the true number of U.S. fatalities linked to the pandemic is up to 28% higher than the official tally.

That means that for every 3.5 known victims of COVID-19, another American lost his or her life as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Official tallies likely undercount deaths due to the virus,” researchers reported Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine. The extent of this undercount varies “markedly between states,” they added.

Between March 1 and May 31, the number of COVID-19 deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics was 95,235. But there are good reasons to suspect that figure is an undercount, the study authors explained.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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