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COVID Today: California’s Death Toll “Drop”, Expats Want A Jab

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What would happen if deaths from actual numbers where reassessed across the nation?

COVID death toll suddenly drops 25% when California county officials make policy change

Alameda County, a Northern California county that includes the city of Oakland, has revised their COVID-19 data methodology, resulting in a massive 25% decrease in their reported COVID-19 deaths.

The COVID-19 death toll in Alameda County decreased from 1,634 to 1,223 on Friday after officials updated their methodology for COVID-19 reporting, now only including people who directly died from COVID-19 in their count.

Previously, Alameda County officials included in their death toll any resident who died while infected the virus — not just those individuals who died directly from COVID-19.

The Los Angeles Times now includes the following note on its Alameda County data, “Alameda County on Friday reduced its total count of deaths by 411. The county previously reported deaths of any person infected with the virus. The updated total includes only deaths in which COVID-19 was a direct or contributing cause, or if COVID-19 could not be ruled out as a cause.”

That’s the way it should be. If you’re running a red light while driving too fast on wet pavement and lose control and hit a bus and die and test positive for COVID your cause of death should be stupidity, not COVID. This should be the practice nationwide.

American expats push for access to coronavirus vaccines, raising questions about international equity

The United States is one of the small number of countries where coronavirus vaccinations are widely available.

“All over the world people are desperate to get a shot that every American can get at their neighborhood drugstore,” President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.

But one group of Americans feels left behind: expatriates.

“We pay taxes, we vote, why shouldn’t we have a vaccine?” asked Loran Davidson, an American living in Thailand.

So far, the request has been denied. “We have not historically provided private health care for Americans living overseas, so that remains our policy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last month. (snip)

An estimated 9 million Americans live outside the United States, according to State Department figures. Unlike expatriates from most other countries, they are required to pay U.S. taxes. In recent weeks, a growing chorus has argued that they should therefore be entitled to receive U.S.-approved coronavirus vaccines.

I’m mostly inclined to agree with Psaki. A goodly chunk of these people are ones who gave up on the U.S. for one reason or another while keeping their citizenship, even though they still have to pay taxes. And a lot of them are actually giving up their citizenship because of the taxation and reporting requirements in higher numbers than ever.

When Thailand accepted a recent donation of 500,000 doses from China, it agreed to set aside some to vaccinate Chinese nationals.

“The Chinese Embassy is making sure that their citizens here can get the vaccine,” Davidson said. “So why can’t America?”

Again, these are expats, not Americans who are working overseas. They left America. But, now they want all the benefits.

But Sophia Winkler, 23, said that she had made a choice to live abroad in Tunisia and that the U.S. Embassy was not responsible for the consequences.

“When you choose to go abroad you kind of decide to put yourself at the mercy of that country’s medical system,” she said.

The 23 year old is the smartest of the bunch.


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