Skewed?

Dear Rundown Reader,

Again, we’re sharing readers’ opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic. We take our first reader’s opinion with a grain of salt, but it’s thought-provoking nonetheless…

“I find it interesting that deaths from heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, etc. in our country are down because COVID-19 is written on death certificates.

“I personally know that this is occurring; many hospital employees will tell you that they’ve been coerced to put COVID-19 as a cause of death even if death is caused by something else.”

That got the wheels turning: What was the average mortality rate in the U.S. before the novel coronavirus?

Send your opinions to, TheRundownFeedback@SevenFigurePublishing.com.

Your Rundown for Friday, May 1, 2020

Numbers Never Lie…

According to the most recent CDC statistics we could find, 2,813,503 Americans died in 2017, meaning 703,376 Americans died quarterly (on average).

Influenza/pneumonia — the eighth-leading cause of death — accounted for 55,672 of those deaths. While a bundle of illnesses called Chronic lower respiratory diseases (COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, etc.) was the fourth-leading cause of death, accounting for 160,201.

Combining the number of Americans who succumb to Influenza/pneumonia and Chronic lower respiratory diseases quarterly, that’s almost 54,000

Rounding out the top-ten causes of death in the U.S. in 2017? Heart disease (1), stroke (5) and diabetes (7); from what the mainstream media says, underlying conditions like heart disease and diabetes increase the odds of dying from COVID-19.

(And just yesterday, Dr. Fauci mentioned the risk of heart attack and stroke associated with COVID-19 infection for older Americans.)

According to the CDC — per quarter, on average — 186,351 Americans died from heart disease, stroke and diabetes in 2017.

All to say, 240,351 Americans died from Influenza/pneumonia, Chronic lower respiratory diseases, heart attack, stroke and diabetes per quarter in 2017. All ailments might mimic — or most certainly — be a byproduct or precursor of the novel coronavirus.

We wonder if COVID-19 stats have been skewed?

Former UK National Health Service pathologist John Lee says: “In the current climate, anyone with a positive test for Covid-19 will certainly be known to clinical staff looking after them: if any of these patients dies, staff will have to record the Covid-19 designation on the death certificate—contrary to usual practice for most infections of this kind.

“There is a big difference between Covid-19 causing death, and Covid-19 being found in someone who died of other causes.” (emphasis ours)

“Making Covid-19 notifiable might give the appearance of it causing increasing numbers of deaths, whether this is true or not. It might appear far more of a killer… simply because of the way deaths are recorded.”

We don’t have the overall death rate in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2020, but COVID-19 deaths are now over 60,000. Whether those numbers will significantly skew the averages or not — it’s too soon to tell.

“The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates,” says Dr. Lee. “Are more people dying than we would expect to die anyway in a given week or month?”

Awfully grim, but time will tell.

Market Rundown for Friday, May 1, 2020

The S&P 500 Index is down 50 points to 2,862.

Oil is up 2% to $19.22 for a barrel of WTI.

Gold’s up $2.70 per ounce to $1,696.90.

Bitcoin is up $162.01 to $8,836.07.

Send your comments and questions to, TheRundownFeedback@SevenFigurePublishing.com.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll have more to say Monday.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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