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DHHS discovers 13 “new” Covid deaths from 2020 — just since its last report

On Friday, June 4, I noted that the state Department of Health and Human Services had reported 50 new deaths from or with Covid-19 between Tuesday, June 1, and that Friday. Several of those “new” deaths, however, had occurred in 2020 — going all the way back to the previous June.

DHHS doesn’t issue Covid updates over the weekends anymore, so Monday’s report was the first time since Friday. DHHS lists 48 new deaths from or with Covid-19 since Friday. When did those deaths actually take place?

  • 11 since mid-May
  • 3 in early May (May 1-15)
  • 4 in April
  • 3 in March
  • 6 in February
  • 8 in January
  • 6 in December 2020
  • 1 in November 2020
  • 3 in October 2020
  • 2 in September 2020
  • 1 in August 2020

So of the 48 “new” deaths announced Monday, 13 had occurred in 2020, and 14 occurred in January and February. What is going on?

In fact, going back to the last Tuesday’s report, DHHS had reported 98 “new” deaths. Of those:

  • 42 since mid-May
  • 6 in early May (May 1-15)
  • 6 in April
  • 3 in March
  • 9 in February
  • 13 in January
  • 9 in December 2020
  • 1 in November 2020
  • 3 in October 2020
  • 3 in September 2020
  • 1 in August 2020
  • 1 in July 2020
  • 1 in June 2020

In other words, fewer than half (42.8%) of the “new” deaths reported actually occurred in the past three weeks, while roughly the same proportion (41.8%) occurred back in February or earlier (19.4% occurred last year).

As a reminder: it’s June.

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...