UCI News

Why so many COVID-19 deaths in Pa. will never be counted

WHYY, April 25, 2020

April 25, 2020

Why so many COVID-19 deaths in Pa. will never be counted

Andrew Noymer, associate professor of population health and disease prevention at the University of California, Irvine, said it was virtually guaranteed that a significant number of patients with COVID-19 were either not being tested or otherwise misclassified. “If someone walks into a hospital already in respiratory distress, the hospital is more interested in keeping them alive … than they are in getting a test result,” Noymer said. “Or they’ll say ‘We’re not wasting a test on a dead body,’ and the cause of death may just be recorded as pneumonia.” … “The director of the Pennsylvania Department of Health could come down to my office in UC Irvine and do a jig on the table, and I won’t be persuaded all those new pneumonia cases weren’t actually COVID.”