Pennsylvania Forced To Remove Hundreds Of Deaths From Coronavirus Death Count After Coroners Raise Red Flags

APRIL 25TH, 2020

Pennsylvania Forced To Remove Hundreds Of Deaths From Coronavirus Death Count After Coroners Raise Red Flags

By Amanda Prestigiacomo

Pennsylvania has had to remove hundreds of coronavirus deaths from its official death count this week, following questions of accuracy and highlighted discrepancies by area coroners.

The PA health department decided to include “probable” coronavirus deaths, or an assumed COVID-19-related death without testing for the virus, to their death tolls, dating back days and even weeks ago. But the death toll spike raised questions from coroners who came forward to highlight a discrepancy in death totals, which were not adding up to the number of all-cause deaths.

The scrutiny triggered multiple revisions and statements from the department, including the removal of 200 “probable” COVID-19 deaths and a claim of computer “glitching.”

“Pennsylvania started to include ‘probable deaths’ in its fatalities. As a result, the total number of coronavirus deaths grew by 276, then 360, in successive nights, almost doubling the number of deaths in the state in two days,” a Fox News report explained. ” The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) subsequently removed 200 deaths from its count after facing mounting questions about the accuracy of the count.”

Health Secretary Rachel Levine, who decided to include “probable deaths” in the department’s total count, acknowledged to the Philadelphia Inquirer that such deaths may change over time. . . .

. . . It’s unclear when the department started including probable deaths in the COVID-19 death tolls. Though Levine announced Tuesday that such deaths would be included, “department spokesperson Nate Wardle told the Inquirer that ‘probable deaths’ had been included in the count far earlier than that,” Fox noted. Wardle, however, later retracted the statement to align with Levine’s announcement.

And it was weeks ago when questions concerning accuracy bubbled to the surface, as coroners highlighted discrepancies.

“There’s a discrepancy in the numbers,” said Charles E. Kiessling Jr., president of the Pennsylvania Coroners Association and coroner in Lycoming County . . .

. . . “There are other countries, that if you have a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus called you to go to the ICU (intensive care unit) and then have a heart or kidney problem,” Dr. Birx explained. “Some countries are recording that as a kidney issue, or a heart issue, and not a COVID-19 death.”

In the U.S., Dr. Birx suggested, “we’re still recording it” as a COVID-19 death.


Rachel Levine is a recognizable person for sevral reasons including Levine moving Levine’s 95 year old mother out of a nursing home, while coming under fire for lack of protection for other elderly there.

(Getting out of the nursing home was a very good move considering the risk in nursing homes right now for a 95 year old.)

Levine said it was Levine’s mother’s decision.


Pennsylvania Health Secretary Moved Mother Out Of Nursing Home As

Published on May 14, 2020

Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine confirmed on Tuesday that she recently moved her 95-year-old mother out of a personal care home.
Outbreaks in Pennsylvania long-term care facilities make up nearly 70 percent of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths and 21 percent of the state’s positive cases of the virus. In a Wednesday press conference, Levine announced that of the 58,698 confirmed cases statewide, 12,408 cases are among residents of long-term facilities, including nursing homes and personal care homes. Of the total 3,943 deaths in Pennsylvania, 2,705 have occurred in residents in long-term facilities.“My mother requested and my sister and I, as her children, complied to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Levine said. She defended her mother’s relocation, describing her mother as "more than competent to make her own decisions."Levine said the Department of Health will continue the outreach made in these facilities and begin introducing mass testing to the state. She emphasized plans to test all staff and residents at these facilities so that they can be congregated and treated. Levine’s response to the pandemic was the target of protests in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Tuesday. State Senator Doug Mastriano, who organized the rally, called for Levine’s resignation. Mastriano said Levine has not been aggressive enough in protecting the state’s older population and her actions have resulted in the large number of cases among the state’s elderly care homes. However, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf defended Levine. . . .


. . . Levine is facing intense scrutiny over the health department’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as it comes to nursing homes. The vast majority of coronavirus deaths in the state, nearly 70 percent, stem from nursing homes and personal care facilities. This fact follows a controversial March guidance released by the department, which instructed nursing homes to receive residents who were treated for the coronavirus. . . .

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FAUCI says generally there has been undercounting.

@Cathoholic, what’s the point of posting a three-week-old story in a time when things change daily?

I know there is a political angle here, but what is the point you think this is making? That deaths are being over counted?

That boggles the mind.

  • Testing is not widely available to medical examiners, so presumed or probable is all they can do in some cases.
  • If you have covid-19 and heart disease and die in an ICU of heart-related complications, why would it not be a covid-19 death? You wouldn’t be there except for covid-19
  • Data collection is sometimes ugly and there is a need for uniformity. However, because this is political, some people are trying to downplay the numbers.
  • Birx has been coopted.

If you want to have a philosophical discussion about collecting data to be included in RWE datasets, I’m ready for it.


I don’ think that’s the proper measure. If doctors don’t know what caused a death, they should say so. If they do know, they should say it.

Recently, one of my wife’s patients died. The immediate cause was comprehensive organ failure. The more proximate cause was a massive brain infection. More proximate than that was immunodeficiency. More proximate was immunosupression to impede host-versus-graft rejection of a kidney transplant. The more proximate cause of that was renal failure which appeared to be due to a genetic kidney dysfunction. Did she also have Covid? Doubtful, but nobody knows because she was in such bad shape it hardly made sense and the hospital took universal precautions.

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Approaching 90,000 dead Americans and the focus is on over counting a few hundred?

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RR, maybe this helps.

PaulinVA . . .

@Cathoholic, what’s the point of posting a three-week-old story in a time when things change daily?

Historical look.

Principle remains (maybe others are doing this too. Helps to ask pertinent questions: i.e. Why did they change definitions without telling us. Will they RE-Define Corona Virus deaths again in the future? How many other states are re-defining corona virus deaths? etc. etc.).

I mean really Paul. Can’t you see the questions this raises??

This is more than a mere daily numbers tally.

Looking at their methodology raises important questions in and of itself. I am surprised you can’t see that Paul.

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Maximus1 counting numbers and missing principles . . .

Approaching 90,000 dead Americans and the focus is on over counting a few hundred?

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I would think it worthwhile to expose a lie regardless of the number of people that may be dead today.


Actually, we already reached 90,113 yesterday.

i think that one should be cautious about calling things lies.
Post #7 should help you understand some of the complexity.

And here is a terrific, pertient link:

When one tries to pass of a “probable cause” as the proven cause, one is lying.


Did I miss something in the thread or links?
Where did the concept of “proven cause” come from?

Apparently so.

Oh, I absolutely see it.

I think a constant methodology is very important. However, picking report criteria to support a political point (not as many people have died; don’t trust the numbers; go out there and congregate) gives me a problem.

Frankly, this happens a lot with data collection. I don’t really care what the criteria is as long as it’s medically accurate, equally applied, and allows us to look at trends.

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In the end, the CDC, if allowed to do its job, will make an assessment like they do for seasonal flu.
The death count will be much higher than the present count, for reasons that are understood. (See, post#11).

There is no vocabulary game. It looks like you are convinced that it is appropriate to say that people are liars, simply they are not reporting data according to a criterion that seems to appear only in your post. I think my suggestion of caution in post#11 remains a good suggestion.

I have called no one a liar.
I would think the air of caution you claim to espouse would preclude you from such accusations.

I have pointed out purporting something as the truth when it is not the truth is a lie.


You did not identify any individual and neither did I suggest that you had.

Had you said, “if one tries” that would have been a hypothetical. But when you say “When one tries” it is not a hypothetical. So who, if anyone, do you think is trying “to pass of a ‘probable cause’ as the proven cause” and “lying”?

If no one, that is very good.

You may go play the vocabulary game elsewhere.

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