Excess deaths update 5.28.20

From 2/1 through 5/9, there were 71,142 “excess” deaths and 75,997 deaths attributed to COVID. The data are continuing to update, but what we have so far suggests the following points and accompanying questions

  • Deaths peaked in Mid-April
  • Deaths saw their first significant spike about 2 weeks after lockdowns went into place and then rapidly increased from there over the next 2 weeks. They then held somewhat constant for another week before starting a slow decline. Did lockdowns actually increase the spread and deadline of COVID? Or would it have been even worse without the lockdowns?
  • In April there were slightly more excess deaths than COVID deaths. Were these potential lockdown-caused deaths or were COVID deaths being undercounted?
  • Still very preliminary, but it appears in late April/Early May there were more COVID deaths than excess deaths. Did Lockdowns lower non-COVID deaths? Or were COVID deaths being incorrectly assigned to deaths from other causes?

Not sure if we’ll ever be sure of the answers to these questions. But the idea lockdowns have saved lives is not a slam dunk by any means given the CDC data so far.

USA Totals:

State Comparisons. A few points:

  • MI and NY, 2 heavy lockdown states seem to have had similar death curves as the Nation as a whole.
  • GA & FL, 2 states notable for having loose lockdowns that ended early, seem to have performed much better than the national average. Basically no spike in deaths at all during the entire pandemic.
  • IL, another heavy lockdown state seems to have had deaths increasing into early May so they actually performed worse than expected.

New Jersey.

  • Extreme lockdown state
  • More excess deaths than COVID deaths throughout this whole thing.
  • Similar curve to national numbers
  • LTC deaths appear to have been driving the totals, at least since the April peak.


  • Ended its lockdown abruptly, but later than can be accounted for by the data available,
  • Doesn’t appear to have had much of an issue with COVID at all.
  • Doesn’t appear there was much of a spike in deaths after 5/9. Worldometers shows 539 total COVID deaths as of today and as of 5/9 they had 405.
  • Slightly higher than average death toll for most of the year. May be due to extreme cold they had into spring since it doesn’t appear attributable to COVID

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