More Information about Ineffectuality of Shutdown: Over 75% of RI COVID Deaths Are Occurring in Nursing Homes


WPRI Channel 12’s Eli Sherman and Walt Buteau reported on April 17 that 80% of COVID-19 deaths in Rhode Island have occurred in nursing homes.  (All deaths from a pandemic are awful but somehow a nursing home setting is especially horrifying both because of the vulnerability of the residents and the perception, normally correct, that nursing homes are safe places.)

This disturbing pattern continues with the most recent COVID mortalities announced by the state yesterday: 10 of 13 were nursing home residents.

In fact, we learned Friday from GoLocalProv that COVID-19 is at 50% more Rhode Island nursing homes than was previously disclosed.  Also Friday, Governor Raimondo announced that she is sending in the National Guard to assist nursing homes.

On another, very important front, the results of COVID anti-body tests continue to come in – most recently, London and US hotspot New York City – and continue uniformly to confirm the conclusion from prior surveys – that COVID 19 is far more infectious and, therefore, far less deadly than originally thought.  (Results of prior studies here.)

So here’s where we stand. The coronavirus curve, here in Rhode Island and everywhere in the United States, has been flattened and hospitals have not been overwhelmed.  It is critical to recall and emphasize that  this was the original and only point of the draconian shutdown.

Add to this the new information for Rhode Island that over 75% of COVID deaths are in nursing homes, not any place else.  So a shut down of any place else – i.e., the business sector and all public places – is obviously not responsive to the problem.

I continue not to question that many of the steps the governor took to fight the spread of the virus arose out of a genuine reflex of protectiveness for its residents. And I understand, when you’re dealing with a crisis, especially one that looked far worse initially, that it is easy to develop tunnel vision which can make you lose sight of things, including even the fact that you achieved your original goal.

The problem is that the shutdown is creating real financial devastation for Rhode Island residents and businesses (and, by extension, state and local governments) that federal bailout money cannot come close to making up.  Unemployment filings since March 9 have risen to 180,000.  It will soon engender very serious public health consequences up to and specifically including a rise in deaths – from loss of health insurance, decimation of hospitals and health facilities, suicides, drug overdoses. In fact, we would be well advised to set up a shutdown death model to be placed next to all COVID death projections so that the onerous consequences of the lockdown are fully disclosed, both to the public and to officials who are in the position to end it.

I would strongly urge Governor Raimondo to come up for air, look around and examine the big picture, including her achievement of not overwhelming hospitals, and now this new information about where exactly most of the COVID deaths in Rhode Island are occurring.  When she does, it will be crystal clear that the situation has changed markedly since March 28, that the shutdown of the state is no longer warranted or responsive to the problem and that it can and must end immediately, with safety measures for vulnerable populations.

  • ShannonEntropy

    And who knows how many of those SNF** patients actually died of something else; or would have died anyway from some other cause

    If you’ve read my posts on Justin’s threads, you know I don’t believe any of the official data being put out

    We already know from the Chelsea study that up to 30% of the population may already have antibodies. That makes the ‘denominator’ of the equation waaaay bigger than reported

    And we also know that the CDC is actively encouraging providers to “assume” deaths are from C-19 when they may be the garden-variety flu or bacterial pneumonia or maybe they just died of “old age”.

    ” It is important to emphasize that Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death

    That makes the numerator of any death rate calculations — or even the gross reported numbers — worthless

    You can’t even blame us OK-Boomers for this one — wrecking the economy cuz of hysterical fear engendered by blatantly false / faked data, I mean — cuz Queen Gina is a Millennial [ she turns 49 yrs old next month ]

    **SNF means “Skilled Nursing Facility”… the official term for “Nursing Home” these days

    • Monique Chartier

      Thank you, ShannonE. Regarding the data – minimally, there is far more of it now and it is all pointing to very different conclusions about COVID-19 than when this all started.

      • ShannonEntropy

        Imperial College whack-job Neil Ferguson is at it again, this time predicting 100,000 dead in the UK if the lockdown is lifted too soon:

        Heck, the guy’s been right about everything up til now so why shouldn’t we believe him again ??

        Oh I forgot: his batting average making predictions based his star-gazing “Models” is .000 so far… and yet they keep paying this guy to show up to work every day