N.J. sees ‘catastrophic’ surge in deaths, thousands more than official COVID tally

“This is just not something we have seen in American mortality data in a long time. It’s astonishing,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Irvine. “This is unlike anything I have ever seen in the United States, short of the 1918 influenza pandemic.” … “In New Jersey, the vast majority of deaths are directly related to COVID, in my opinion,” he said. “It’s a huge increase. It’s more than we’ve seen in any regular flu season, even the swine flu pandemic. It’s very significant.”