Vermont death certificate data: Average COVID death age 77 with multiple underlying conditions

Data from the death certificates of 58 Vermonters who died from COVID-19 reveal that victims had an average age of 77 and were burdened by multiple medical conditions ranging from diabetes and heart disease to obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control policy on filling out death certificates, other conditions is a term that encompasses “all diseases or conditions contributing to death that were not reported in the chain of events in Part I and that did not result in the underlying cause of death.”

Of 58 Vermonters who have died from coronavirus, 55 had a range of other medical diagnoses: 13 had diabetes, 14 had hypertension, 13 had dementia, eight suffered from obesity, six had heart failure, and five had Alzheimer’s, among other ailments.

Just three Vermonters passed away from COVID-19 without any other conditions listed, according to Health Department data, and 31 of the deaths occurred in nursing homes.

The state statistics mirror national data from a CDC report in September that said just 6 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have been deaths from the virus alone. As of early September, just 9,000 Americans have died solely from COVID-19, while the rest have had an average of 2.6 comorbidities — other illnesses impacting the patient.

According to the CDC, death certificates are to include information on the final, acute cause of death, known as “Cause A.” Other causes that helped lead to death are categorized as causes B, C, and D.

In 22 of the deaths, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 is listed as “cause A.” Another 20 victims have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 listed in causes B, C, and D. There are another two “presumed” cases and another one that lists COVID-19 without mention of any lab test.

Outside of COVID-19 itself, common contributing causes of death include pneumonia, which contributed to 13 deaths, and “acute respiratory problems,” listed for 20 deaths. These conditions frequently result from COVID-19.

However, about two dozen causes arose from different issues. For example, one 91-year-old patient died of a “complete heart block” (Cause A) caused by a “pacemaker malfunction” (cause B). The patient was listed because lab results also included a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The individual also had Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and “paroxysmal atrial fibrillation,” listed under other conditions.

In seven others cases, the virus isn’t listed as any cause, or contributing cause, of death. Instead, it is listed under “other conditions.”

One 78-year-old had chronic lung disease (cause C) which caused “Bilateral Pneumonia” (cause B), which then caused “Acute respiratory Failure with Hypoxia” (cause A). The patient also had a “suspected COVID-19 infection” and was included in the COVID-19 death tally.

Nationally, many individuals who test positive for COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. A New York Times investigation on data collected from three states found that up to 90 percent of people who test positive for COVID-19 don’t have enough of the virus in them to show symptoms or spread the disease.

The Philidelphia Inquirer, in March, noted that the death counts from one place to another can be very different based on the varying criteria for counting a COVID-19 death.

“Asked why Italy had a high rate of deaths due to the coronavirus, government officials there said it was because they were using a broader definition for such deaths than other countries, counting any victims who had tested positive even if other illnesses were at fault,” the report states.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

8 thoughts on “Vermont death certificate data: Average COVID death age 77 with multiple underlying conditions

  1. Referring to the FACTS above;

    Has this not so deadly Virus been used, in a VERY sinister way, to subdue the free and independent American Spirit, to make us subservient to a “select group of experts” – WORLD-WIDE?

    Will we “wear masks” until ………….. we can no longer remember Freedom and Self-Reliance ?!

    What and Who motivated this fraudulent Response?
    Red China, World Health Organization (UN), and other Enemies of Freedom and Liberty?

  2. “The Philadelphia Inquirer, in March, noted that the death counts from one place to another can be very different based on the varying criteria for counting a COVID-19 death.”

    Thanks Michael. There is so much evidence developing that the numbers have been padded and until something is done, the left will continue to use this to instill great fear in and control over the people. Unless there is a mighty uproar, they will continue to lie to us and the fake media will feed the flames of fear with bogus data.

    Should be a way that a uniform criteria is used to evaluate “actual cause of death” and then an effort made to re-evaluate all the 200,000 deaths so we have a more accurate picture. It should be able to be done and that would reveal things that should assist in opening up the economy. I am not a believer that this virus is the killer they say it is.

    Too many crazy things happening in this world that are dishonest to allow me to believe this scenario isn’t being pushed for a nefarious reason.

  3. Excellent reporting, Michael. It would be interesting to know if Vermont’s medical examiners used the CDC’s traditional Medical Examiner’s and Coroner’s Handbook to classify Covid deaths, or the new death certificate guidance issued by the CDC in March, which applied only to Covid-19. According to Children’s Health Defense, the new guidance effectively inverted how deaths are certified by de-emphasizing co-morbidities and prioritizing Covid-19. CHD concluded that the official Covid death count would be 90% lower using the standard handbook:

    Our health commissioner brushes this stuff off, saying “Covid tipped them over” and “they died because Covid was on this planet.” True enough, but that’s NOT how their deaths should have been counted. Covid, in people with other serious conditions, at best only INITIATES a chain of events leading to death. It’s not the final stop.

    Meanwhile, we continue tip-toeing around a virus with a 99.7% recovery rate. No deaths in months. No one currently in the hospital. How much rosier does the picture have to get before our public officials wake up?

  4. I saw an article that stated that 70% of New Yorkers that got the disease were people who reportedly wore their masks all the time. Of course that article disappeared. Masks are just like Dumbo’s feather and people all over are clinging to them.(not my original idea) Fear is a tremendous motivator.

  5. Elephants in the room. Fear has griped our country and common sense has been squeezed out of most of the population.

  6. When hospitals are subsidized as much as $30,000 when a patient is deemed to have died in its care from Covid-19 (as opposed to a non-Covid-19 cause of death), is it any wonder that Covid-19 death certificates are proliferating?

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