Here are the facts as we know them: The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 100,000 Americans, and of those more than 100 have lived in Frederick County.

Those grim numbers attempt to measure the toll of the COVID-19 virus. They give us a very good idea of just how bad things are today, and an indicator of just how bad things are likely to get in the coming months.

But they are imperfect numbers with an imperfect measurement. In the details are differences between agencies charged with keeping the count. And with that comes the potential for loud whispers from the dark corners of our society casting doubt and trying to spread disinformation.

When the Frederick County Health Department reported its 100th death from the disease on Friday, May 22, the Maryland Department of Health on that day was still reporting fewer deaths for the county, due to a discrepancy in how the two agencies report deaths. Even a week later, the state count was still less than 100.

The Frederick County Health Department reports deaths after it is informed by a facility, hospital or family member that someone it has been tracking due to a COVID-19 diagnosis has died, Rissah Watkins, director of planning, assessment and communications, told News-Post reporter Heather Mongilio.

The state waits until there is a complete death certificate before the health department will report it by county, said Maryland Department of Health spokesman Charlie Gischlar.

“Some data on deaths may be unavailable due to the time lag between the death, typically reported by a hospital or other facility, and the submission of the complete death certificate,” Gischlar said in an email. “When the death certificate is complete, the data is updated.”

But for those who want to deny the severity of the pandemic’s impact, this lag time provides an opening through which to peddle their wares. See, they say, the government doesn’t really know how many people have died.

From there it is a short walk to another pernicious lie, that many people who die were about to die anyway, so they should not really be counted as victims of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Fox News analyst Brit Hume repeatedly suggested that people who have underlying conditions who die in the brief period after contracting COVID-19 might have in fact somehow died of those underlying conditions.

Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, quickly disputed the theory, saying: “That underlying condition did not cause their acute death when it’s related to a COVID infection. In fact, it’s the opposite.”

Does a man in hospice who contracts the disease and dies in the last weeks of his life, or the woman in the nursing home who contracts it and dies in the last months of her life matter less than the person who dies in midlife? Of course not, we say.

This tendency to downplay the death toll has been strongest among people like Hume, supporters of President Trump who believe he is being unfairly criticized for his response to the pandemic. But it is dangerous to our nation.

Charles Seife, professor of journalism at New York University, told our reporter that discrepancies in data can affect public perceptions.

“The more discrepant sets of data that you have, the more differing signals that you get, the more latitude that people have to believe … whatever they want to believe, rather than what is actually externally happening,” he told our reporter.

As the number of COVID-19 deaths continue the relentless march past 100,000, attaching blame or deflecting it should be less important than acknowledging our tremendous national loss.

Families have had parents and grandparents torn away prematurely. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, friends and lovers – all are included in this terrible toll.

With Memorial Day itself just passed during this dark week, let’s try to put aside differences and remember what 100,000 deaths mean. It means 100,000 actual human beings are no longer with us, and that is a tragedy of Biblical proportions.

(90) comments

timothygaydos

The data - well let us take a look at when Govs decided to send positive tested elderly folks into nursing homes for recovery rather than into the prepared hospitals or even on the USN ship that was servicing NY, NY, and even CT... throw in PA, Michigan, and Illinois and now you have at least 1/3 of the death toll related to these nursing homes deaths. Poor decision on the part of the Govs and now we talk about how our POTUS and the Federal Government responded in late Jan 2020 and continue thru today keeping things moving in the production of PPE etc... and having private business working with government agencies to find a cure or at least already available medications to fight the virus... we know from the CDC and HHS that overall our numbers in this country are really good... and continue to get better. So keep taking cheap shots at the POTUS and the government and private industry but even our own Gov Hogan who is not a fan of Trump made terrible decisions and recently passed the buck of decision making to the county executives who quickly cried foul because now they had to make the real decisions to re-open... we all know what these blue states and even MD is looking for - Federal bailout for their shortfalls in their annual state budgets because of bad spending habits... so sad we should be grateful for what the numbers are showing and not what this could have been.

shiftless88

Tim; POTUS is the leader of our country. A leader takes command and provides direction. Ours did not. Think about it; if the one person with the most resources and expertise at his command had actually used that to guide the decisions that governors were forced to make with far fewer resources and less information. What an amazing thing that would have been. Why do you think that did not happen?

Heater34

Hello shiftless, I'm sure that all levels of government could have done a better job in handling Covid-19. However, in our country healthcare has largely been dealt with on a local level. That's why Frederick County like other counties throughout the country has it's own Health Department, Unfortunately, the Federal Government has never had to deal with a serious pandemic since 1918 and they weren't as prepared as they could have been. So I don't think it is entirely appropriate to lay the responsibility on the Federal Government or the President at this point. Perhaps the COVID-19 experience will force us to re-examine our first line response systems and modernize our ability to deal more effectively with any future pandemics.

FBoard

“Here are the facts as we know them: The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 100,000 Americans, and of those more than 100 have lived in Frederick County.” No, we don’t actually “know” that. This is what we have been told. Some have died of the virus; either just from (very few) or their underlying condition weakened their immune system making the virus deadly to them. And there are those that died of completely unrelated causes, but because they tested positive, they are a “corona-virus death”. No death is insignificant, but improper attribution assigned that death is mis-leading at best, dis-honest at worst. Dr. Brix stated the those that die “with” the corona-virus will be counted as a corona-virus death. This is mis-leading, dis-ingenious and contributes to the hysteria. Is the corona-virus worse than the seasonal flu, we’ll see in the long run, but probably not. What is different is that there is no vaccine or known treatment. For those reasons, we should succumb to some changes in our lives. The “tendency to downplay the death toll...” is not just supporters of President Trump, but also from those that want and honest and accurate reporting of the data. Then, and only then, will we (in general) trust and accept what we are being asked to sacrifice.

public-tertiary

“It means 100,000 actual human beings are no longer with us, and that is a tragedy of Biblical proportions.“

According to the bible the god of the bible killed more than 2.8 million people — and that is counting only the deaths that were numbered. The deaths that were unnumbered — the drowning of all but eight people, for example — suggest millions and millions more. The FNP editorial board exaggerates, presumably for emotional effect. One hundred thousand dead is a pittance to the god of the bible.

jsklinelga

Public

What the editorial was saying between the lines is: That the death toll is around 100,000 people, The numbers are not exact but in the dark corners of society people like Britt Hume and Fox News try to cast doubts on the numbers. This is dangerous to our country. Why? So that President Trump will not be unfairly criticized for his poor response that created this tragedy of Biblical proportion.

I find obvious similarities in the editorial and your comment. I'll let you surmise why.

public-tertiary

jsk, If you are interested in me understanding your meaning, you’ll have to be explicit. I’ve long ago given up on trying to guess your intent.

public-tertiary

FWIW, it was your comment that the dark side of my character was revealed by my comment that I like to help people escape poverty that left me scratching my head. It has never been clear to me why you think that helping people escape poverty is so horrible. I can surmise why,of course.

jsklinelga

public

Wow did not consider your dark side. Just thought that the numbers game and trying to make a point by implication = This is nothing. The God of the Bible is really, really bad - shares a similar style with this editorial. But I guess you are right. Most things you post have a negative underpinning so I guess dark side is appropriate..

public-tertiary

Now where did I say or even imply that the god of the bible is bad? I factually described what the bible reports about how many people were killed by the god inthat book. It sounds, however, like you think killing more than 2.8 million people is bad. If so, own your opinion.

Greg F

Nice god, eh?

public-tertiary

Nicer than some. Meaner than others.

MichaelB

Yes...nice God.....lousy people

public-tertiary

Why do you regard that god as nice?

Obadiah Plainsmen

public-redux-tertiary

If using the Bible as a roadmap of death is your thing then you better get your calculator and fasten your seatbelt.. In the book of Revelation during the period of "Jacobs Trouble" over half of the worlds population will be killed. Happening today it would be about 4 billion people would succumb due to the calamity's and sinful ways of mankind. Now that the meaning of "Biblical proportions"

public-tertiary

“If using the Bible as a roadmap of death is your thing...”

It isn’t. I was simply responding to the editorial as written. Revelation always sounded like someone attempting to settle a grudge. You should read Lovecraft sometime if you want to see some serious divine killing. The god of the bible is a piker in comparison.

Heater34

Hello Public As an aside, The Book of Revelation is the most misunderstood book in the bible because everyone thinks it applies to some future time. If one accepts that Revelation was written by a Jew who was prophesizing about the future of the Jews it is obvious the Book of Revelation was largely fulfilled during the Holocaust.

Heater34

Hello Public, Just thinking about Obadiah's comment re: Jacob's Troubles. Approximately one third to one half of the world's Jews were destroyed in the Holocaust.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Hearter34,

I don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm about the book of Revelation, but you are dreadfully wrong about being the most misunderstood book of the Bible and it’s contents being fulfilled by Hitler and the Holocaust. By reading it in its original text and using a concordance you would find that your statement is wrong. The time of “Jacobs Trouble” is still to come and it will make Hitler and the Holocaust look like “Mr.Rogers and his Friends”.

Heater34

Hello Obadiah The problem is the actual original text probably no longer exists which would also invalidate any concordance. Also, Revelation is something of a mish mash composed by multiple authors. The original text was probably written in Greek. Even though the authorship of the text is attributed to St. John the Evangelist I seriously doubt if he wrote it. After all St. John was a fisherman not a Greek scholar. Finally, I would imagine the text was frequently rewritten and revised before it was accepted as inspired by the Council of Nicea in the Fourth Century. Since we are talking about writings that were frequently rewritten and transmitted we can be sure Revelation wasn't reproduced with the minute accuracy of the Torah. Still though you could well be correct. Our capacity for self destruction has certainly increased exponentially since the Holocaust. Hopefully our judgement has also improved.

public-tertiary

Hello Heater, The provenance of Revelation is of comparatively little interest to me. I was merely pointing out to Obadiah that the god of the bible is nowhere near as deadly as some of his peers.

Your adoring public

Obadiah Plainsmen

The editors of the FNP have learned that a fact-based article doesn't have to be factually correct, it only has to be emotionally honest.

FBoard

FNP is not the only media source that misrepresents facts, which makes them all emotionally dishonest.

jsklinelga

"And with that comes the potential for loud whispers from the dark corners of our society casting doubt and trying to spread disinformation." Some view certain editors of the FNP as the dark corners of society. But this is America so we celebrate the opportunity and right to tell the story the way we wish it was told.

francesca_easa

I am curious as to how many noncitizens traveled here already had the virus and by default became our country's responsibility? There were probably sizeable numbers of people who initially carried it from places like China and Italy. I am also thinking about the Hondurans who crossed the border illegally, and were immediately deported. It was later said over 40 of them had the virus. If they were allowed to stay, then they would count in our numbers, not Honduras'.

public-tertiary

It would be interesting to also know the numbers from the reverse direction. US to other countries.

francesca_easa

Indeed. But at least we sent planes to bring our citizens back from other countries.

public-tertiary

I thought “non-citizens“ was the topic at hand.

shiftless88

If you recall, francesca, Trump only blocked non-citizens from returning from China and Europe. Therefore it is far more likely that any spread from those countries was via US citizens.

gabrielshorn2013

You are most likely correct shiftless. However, could you imagine the uproar if he abandoned US citizens on foreign soil? There was also a lot of grief for not allowing infected cruise ships to dock in US ports.

TomWheatley

Other than the one Trump line, the editorial was all about numbers and what to make of them. In a nutshell, whatever one wants to do with them depending on what ax they are grinding. And most of that is incomplete data or a disdain for some underlying logic.

Consider this: "The number of cars in Maryland are increasing". Scary, right? But are people buying more cars, moving into the State, or something else? There may not be any reliable data, but I have yet to see the ratio of people being tested to the number of cases being seen. Yes, deaths are horrible, but there is a time lag between being diagnosed and deaths. You can not say cases are up and deaths are down one day thinking that is great news because the cases of today might become the deaths of next week.

So, in the meantime, stop all the posturing. Help your neighbor out, be sensible in your contacts, and stop pointing fingers.

bosco

Tom, didn't some of the early models predict that the death toll in the US could be 2 to 2 1/2 million? If so, with the current death toll at 100K, there are 1.9 to 2.4 million Americans out there that ought to be thankful for the government's response to the pandemic, especially based on ever-changing information from the "experts".

Also, have you noticed that with the death toll and hospitalizations leveling off and dropping, the media has switched their focus to reporting cases since that number increases with more testing?

[ninja]

public-tertiary

Had the US not taken any steps to mitigate the spread and assuming a low natural immunity rate, 2 to 2 1/2 million dead would be less than 1% of the population. Or pretty much in line with what seems to be the death rate from Covid-19.

bosco

Good point, public. Looks like the initial clampdown and travel bans went a long way to mitigation. [thumbup][ninja]

DickD

And if Trump had listened and reacted back in January the toll of infections and deaths would have been much lower.

gabrielshorn2013

No Dick, it would not. The President has no Constutional authority to tell the States how to handle health emergencies. Remember, he tried to quarantine the greater NYC area, and got his come-uppance from Gov. Cuomo? If anything, Bill DiBlasio had a bigger hand in the spread throughout the area when he told New Yorkers to go about their normal lives despite a raging outbreak in New Rochelle? That outbreak was caused by some jackass lawyer who visited an infected person in a nursing home, then despite being told to quarantine, went to meetings at his firm, socialized with friends, then infected the congregants at temple. How do people in NYC get around? Mass transit, the perfect conduit for mass infection. So thank BiBlasio and the lawyer.

Without a vaccine, spread and related death rates, is inevitable. Social distancing just slows it down, but won't stop it. Only once 60-80% of the population are infected, or a safe and effective vaccine is developed, will this stop.

bosco

DickD, on January 14, the WHO's position was that there was no chance if human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus. On January 29 Trump shut down our border from incoming China travelers. At that point, the US death toll was one. How much faster should Trump have reacted?

What was Pelosi doing during this time? We know what Biden was doing - accusing Trump of xenophobia. TDS or selective memory loss?[ninja]

phydeaux994

WHO’s on first.

bosco

What's on second [lol][ninja]

jsklinelga

Gabriel

Appreciate your comment but I pray you are wrong. Not about the lawyer or DeBlasio but about the spread of the virus. Seeing the pictures of the rioters from multiple cities not wearing face mask and potentially spewing the virus by yelling and screaming in close quarters is cause for great concern.

Somehow we have allowed months of self isolation and financial upheaval to be short circuited by these angry mobs. If the virus is as highly contagious as first reported and as you have suggested we have just seen our major metropolitan areas horribly jeopardized. And among the most vulnerable.

We have not had many exact and definitive answers concerning this virus but we now know one thing for sure. The virus will be found to be not as contagious and long lived as first thought or our cities are in for a devastating medical disaster.

public-tertiary

jsk, Why in the world would you want the science to be wrong? That would leave us in a worse situation than we are in now. More ignorant and less knowledgeable about how to proceed. If you think prayer is efficacious, pray for something helpful.

Greg F

Gabe and Bonzo...the two most anti science posters in here. If it’s good for you and science backs it, they oppose it.

gabrielshorn2013

LOL! [beam][beam] Anti-science? Everything I post here is based on science. Current science, with references to CDC, FDA, NIH, WHO, ICL, and decades of both working to produce drugs and medical devices, and teaching the related subjects. As for you Doc, Fed up, Greg F, (Sybil?), Cobbler, stick to your last.

PSUFAN

On average 600,000+ babies are aborted in the US every year.

public-tertiary

The average number of babies aborted annually is pretty close to zero.

Kelpfarming

450,000 thousand have died from the Cancer. Most survive Covid..Most die from Cancer.

awteam2000

Is cancer contagious? “ 450,00 thousand cancer deaths? How long, in 2 months?” There have been 100,000 Covid-19 deaths in 2 months.

DeplorableLocalVeteran

A black man couldn’t have done a better job bumbling the C19 response as Trump

jsklinelga

DLV

There could not be a more perfect example that ignorance and racism go hand and hand.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Speaking of dying according to the link below on average 7,755 people die in the good ole’ U. S of A every day. That’s about one death every 12 seconds. You never know when your time is up. Every day you should live and cherish as if it is your last.

https://www.indexmundi.com/clocks/indicator/deaths/united-states

TomWheatley

When I buy online with with a credit card and they ask for for my expiration date, my stock response is "Only God knows, but the date on the card is ..."

TomWheatley

Wish we were allowed a post edit to fix my for for. This computer seems to hiccup a lot and it might be the system trying too hard to second guess what I am writing or NSA putting too much a load on monitoring my keystrokes :)

phydeaux994

Typos and misspelling are automatically forgiven. Unless somebody is mad at you, then they’ll pick on anything. 👍

public-tertiary

I sincerely hope that all of the dead were people who believed that their destination after death was eternal paradise and/or people who felt that their life was Meaningful and fulfilling even if they had no expectation of an afterlife.

Dwasserba

You are a special person.

public-tertiary

How so?

HurtingAngel

This article is peddling tragedy related only to the COVID deaths although CDC stats show more deaths by other causes.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Dwasserba

Thank you.

Tmtmtm

Each and every death from covid is tragic, but it is ridiculous to assert, as the columnist does, that all deaths are equally so regardless of age. As a thought experiment, if you came upon a burning building and through your actions you could save either (a) an elderly couple or (b) their 6-year-old grandson, which would you choose?

Greg F

Whatever, Kavorkian.

Tmtmtm

Not really a very apt comparison, nothing was said about euthanasia. But I would take the covid 19 pandemic over the Spanish Flu of 1918 that did kill children and young adults in much larger numbers. Guess that wouldn’t make a difference to you, though.

Moon otter

also over polio too. think iron lung.

gabrielshorn2013

Old technology moon. They'll put you on a ventilator if the diaphragm is paralyzed. Think Christopher Reeve.

public-tertiary

That’s similar to the question of a burning IVF fertility clinic. You can save either a single 6 year old child with a broken leg or a small freezer with a label that says 1,000 frozen embryos. I still haven’t met anyone who would save the 1,000 “babies” although I’m sure he or she is out there.

User1

Where’d you go to school? A frozen embryo is no more a “baby” than a sperm is. It is a unfertilized egg.

public-tertiary

em·bry·o /ˈembrēˌō/noun

noun: embryo; plural noun: embryos

1.an unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development, in particular a human offspring during the period from approximately the second to the eighth week after fertilization

public-tertiary

User1, Now that you’ve been to “public” school, which would you save? The 6 year old or the 1,000 frozen embryos?

Dwasserba

Fertilized suspended life.

MD1756

Here's a thought. The elderly couple won't be having any more children and adding to the 7.8 + billion people on this planet with no signs of decreasing.

DickD

The one that was the easiest to save, then the next one, all if possible.

Tmtmtm

That may be the most practical answer, but it takes the onus off you to make any type of moral judgment call. The whole point behind the thought experiment is that you have to make a choice; either save the elderly couple or the young child, and you know for you could not save the other party. I myself would try to save the child every time, even if it was not the easiest.

DickD

A higher risk may not equal a higher reward.

Tmtmtm

DickD, I think you misunderstand the point. If you HAVE to choose which is the greater moral good; saving the six year old or saving two elderly people? Practicality aside, I think most people would save the child, all else being equal.

bosco

And nary a word about the majority of the deaths from Covid-19 occurring in congregate living facilities/nursing homes. Our most vulnerable to coronavirus. Is it because to mention nursing homes would bring up how the left's darling Cuomo forced nursing homes in NY to take in Covid-19 patients while ignoring the thousands of beds that the military supplied at Javits Center and on the USS Hope?

Or is it an effort to extend the lockdowns during an election year and give the left an opportunity to blame Trump for anything and everything?

Meanwhile, Georgia's death rate continues to drop so that even CNN has to report it.[ninja]

jsklinelga

bosco

Do you hear an outcry that our congregate living facilities were woefully unprepared for a viral outbreak? Doesn't Frederick County own Citizens? Do they have a responsibility for to whom they lease so that elderly citizens of Frederick County are protected?

The obvious political blame game males one wonder if the left and this editor(?) actually care about the harm caused by the virus. And I am glad outrage has not been directed at the nursing homes. For the love of God I cannot imagine anyone, including Cuomo, that has not tried their absolute best tp combat this virus. Blame latter when addressing the problems. For now post real facts so we know, as best possible, the real scope of this virus

User1

Exactly! Last count there have been 14 resident deaths at Homewood in Frederick. So add up all the other “nursing homes” and you have the majority of cases.

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup]

jsklinelga

I read a comment about Minneapolis that said this country was on the verge of revolution. That may not be so far from the truth. Consider this editorial. A back handed way of blaming President Trump for the dath toll while hypocritically saying", let’s try to put aside differences."

This editorial is disgraceful. Yes the death toll numbers are not accurate. And yes many have been reported as CoVid which were not Covid for a number of reasons. Everyone knows this but the FNP would not investigate this because it does not fit their desired narrative. Blame Trump for the deaths.

The people losing lives separated from love ones is tragic. The toll of the virus is devastating. But the politicization of the tragedy in a backhanded and misdirected way is deplorable. And the reason many view the new liberal Democratic supporters with disdain.

George Floyd's death is tragic. And the repressed anger against a police force that has had questionable practices is understandable. But this was not a Southern Republican controlled city. .The lawlessness that followed, typical under a past Obama administration and encouraged is not acceptable. If people start shooting expect others to shoot back.

Dwasserba

I read a different editorial I guess.

jsklinelga

Dwasserba

Did you read this"

>This tendency to downplay the death toll has been strongest among people like Hume, supporters of President Trump who believe he is being unfairly criticized for his response to the pandemic. But it is dangerous to our nation."

What is dangerous to our nation? I believe editorials like this are dangerous.

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup]

Dwasserba

Ok.

Piedmontgardener

Disgraceful? You are so blinded with your adulation for a fatally flawed and dangerous man you cannot even comprehend that people have distinctly alternative and factual reasons to loath him. But keep on parroting your Tweet King's chosen lines, written by Stephen Miller.

Comment deleted.
gabrielshorn2013

Drug boat Mitch, Greg? Care to explain? I have asked you several times for the factual basis of this accusation. Response? Crickets. If you have to lie to make a point, you must not have much of a point, huh?

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup]

bosco

[lol][lol][lol][ninja]

User1

And those deaths will be counted as Covid related right?

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup]

User1

There is a big difference whether someone died OF coronavirus or someone died WITH the virus. That’s the false narrative when they all get lumped together to inflate the numbers for political reasons.

public-tertiary

We know Donald JOHN Trump wants the numbers to be big now so he can claim credit for bringing them down later. I appreciate you calling out his “political reasons“ for exaggerating the numbers.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
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TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
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