Death by COVID — or not?



When Donald VanBuren died at South Peninsula Hospital, his death was listed as a COVID-19 death.

It turns out, the neighbors in Anchor Point knew better: The 90-year-old was dying with a body riddled with cancer and kidney failure. And yet, a test for COVID-19 came back positive, and so COVID-19 it is, at least on his death certificate.

VanBuren lived among a small settlement of homes down a dead-end road in Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula, and his neighbors kept an eye on him and helped him as much as he would allow, which wasn’t much. He had hardly any interaction with people recently, except a caregiver, who has tested negative for the coronavirus, according to sources.

To the neighbors’ knowledge, he has no family in the state, and mainly he just kept to himself as cancer took its toll. It appears he has distant relatives in other states, and once owned a business called Anchor Point Supply, but he’s been sick for some time and living alone.

Rep. Sarah Vance has called for an inquiry as to why VanBuren’s passing was listed as a COVID-19 death, when everyone in the area knew he was dying, and his only coronavirus symptom was “fatigue.” Neighbors say he was fatigued with cancer and kidney failure and plain-old “old age.”

Vance says that with no family around to raise questions, and with medical privacy laws as they are, the community is left to wonder what happened that made this death uniquely COVID, since he doesn’t seem to have contracted it from anyone.

Vance has written to the State’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink to ask for answers about the true cause of VanBuren’s death.

“What is the difference between dying with COVID-19 and dying of/from COVID-19?” Vance asked Zink in her letter. “What guidelines do physicians have in attributing the cause of death to COVID-19?”

She also wants to know if Alaska’s hospitals are being financially rewarded for reporting deaths attributed to the coronavirus, and what the state’s role is in confirming the information.

The matter came to light on Facebook, when a woman who lives nearby wrote that VanBuren had been dying of cancer and that she believes the death has been wrongly reported as a COVID-19 death.

“Just want this to be clear. I know this for a fact. It is not hearsay,” the neighbor wrote. “They tested him at the hospital, even though he had no symptoms, and he tested positive. But he died due to cancer and kidney failure.”

VanBuren was the 10th Alaskan to die whose death was attributed to COVID-19. Two of those deaths occurred while Alaskans were out of state, and the other eight died in Alaska. But if one of those deaths is not truly from COVID-19, it would be a reporting inaccuracy rate of 12.5 percent, something Rep. Vance believes deserves closer scrutiny.

Across the country, questions have been asked, but few answers have been satisfactory about why some people who are dying, and yet test positive for COVID-19, are listed as deaths from the coronavirus.

The federal guidance for those filling out death certificates specifies:  “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 the death.” 


  1. Yup, go figure. If hospitals get more money if a patient dies from this “virus”, it incents them to report a death as such. Just like prostate cancer. If a man lives long enough he will likely die with it versus from it.

      • My 2nd cousin died in Ohio, supposedly due to COVID. That’s bunk because he had diabetes and he basically ate himself to death. I understand that hospitals get 20% more Medicare reimbursement if the death is due to COVID.

  2. He was listed as a virus casualty because the hospitals get more money if they die of the virus. Any connection and it goes on the death certificate that way.

  3. Glad someone is FINALLY bringing this to light….. primary and secondary cause of death on death certificates is a must . AND this shows that he really didn’t die of Covid19. Thank you neighbor for enlightening us

  4. It’s well acknowledged that they are NOT testing for a virus, they are testing DNA for damaged cells. Which could come from an array of other illnesses including cancer. They are also requiring that anyone whom has the symptoms be considered “Suspected Covid19.” And yes there is financial incentives paid to the hospitals to classifying as many “Suspected Covid19” cases as they can. The fact is, they have artificially inflated the cases as well as deaths by an unknown, but large margin. The only good news about Covid19 is that it has essentially eliminated the standard flu. Hmmm… That is damned interesting, isn’t it?!

    Quit this Global Fraud and lets get back to work!

  5. Wasn’t the first recorded Alaskan death an elderly gentleman in a home in the Seattle area? Do I think Washington is also recording that death as COVID?

    • There are at least two deaths that occurred out of state and are recorded as Alaskan deaths, this is against CDC guidelines.
      From the CDC website “Death data, once received and processed by National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), are tabulated by the state or jurisdiction in which the death occurred. Death counts are not tabulated by the decedent’s state of residence.”
      If Washington is following CDC guidelines then there are at least two death that have been counted twice. How many confirmed cases are being double counted? How many confirmed cases in your area are actually out of state “residents” who haven’t stepped foot in Alaska in months?

  6. Hmmm, saying a person died from the China virus vs refusing to show the numbers tested for antibodies, positive or negative because Zink doesn’t approve of the test?
    The further down this road we go with Dr Zink, the less and less I trust her. She disavows the 4 or 5 FDA approved antibody tests, disavows the effective use of hydroxlchloriquine (HGC) as anecdotal evidence while there are 10’s of thousands of people using effectively and docs documenting the results.
    Sure wish the Governor would take a hard look at her and Adam Crum.
    This mis-reporting of cause of death is happening all over. Connecticut child died from trauma but listed as China Virus! Zinks comments about HGC have been negative. She refuses to talk about anti-viral treatments nationally and what is saving lives. Now this antibody issue.
    We are suppose to trust our State Doc, sadly, I do not and would not have her as my Doc.

    • I’d like to see a source for your claim that hydroxlchloriquine treatment cases run in the ’10’s of thousands of people using effectively and docs documenting the results’.

      I can find no such documentation whatsoever.

      • Europe, specifically the doc in France is last report I read was over 1,000 patients. There is a doc that has been interviewed several time on Laura Ingram, initially 700 patients, am sure that number is higher. I was on a webinar yesterday with two doctors who indicated wide spread use by docs along wide spread push in several states and pharmacies.
        I know my doc and yes, the VA is using. So, just based on what we are hearing, nationally, it could well be in the 10’s of thousands, it could be in the thousand or 100’s of thousands. BTW, South Dakota got 100,000 doses from the federal stockpile, that was reported on FOX News the day after the President said the government had 30 million doses available for any Governor to get.
        As to documented results, I go back to the two docs I talked about above. Sadly, the results of the studies by the NIH in several places, Detroit springs to mind, have not been made available. However, I know that my Doc and my VA Doc will prescribe HGC for me if I come down with this virus, no problem.

    • Mike,
      I agree with you.
      At this point Dr Zink is following the CDC playbook of padding the books with as many of Covid deaths as possible.
      Died out of state, no problem…
      Elderly with cancer, no problem…
      There is a big difference of dying WITH Covid as opposed to FROM Covid.
      What doctors are saying is Medicare gives an extra $13,000 to the hospital if Covid is listed on the death certificate.
      $39,000 extra if they die on a ventilator.
      This travesty cannot continue…there is no financial incentive for Dr. Zink or any of the appointed health czars to call off the emergency.
      The disruption to society is criminal by the “medical mafia” and MSM.

        • My sister died from cardiac arrest. An underlying cause was tetrology of fallot. So, what did she die of?
          This is a red herring. The disease causes complications. What’s wrong with death by pneumonia as a complication of corona virus? Do we really want to hide the effects of Covid 19, and, if so, why?

  7. It’s way too early in this pandemic to be able to set hard and fast mortality figures, changes are going to happen that will revise current estimates, some will lower it, some will undoubtedly push things the other way.

    It won’t matter to the dead and the biggest number anyone can take perspective on is excess deaths from the normal trends.

    Any way you want to try to minimize the risk of the virus, those numbers don’t lie and they’re huge and unquestionably unacceptable.

    It’s also interesting to watch people speculate on various shades of mortality figures, meaning they recognize the majority of the deaths are due to the virus, when in another post the same folks will say it’s not a deadly disease at all. Kinda like the ‘open up’ protesters wearing masks and gloves who won’t get out of their cars.

    All for someone else taking the risks involved, but not them.

    • I think you are right the total deaths at the end of the year will be the only real way to know.

      That said, Georgia is 15 days in to a lifting of the lockdown even the POTUS opposed and their numbers are better than ever.

      • There have been at least 32,356 cases of coronavirus in Georgia.

        As of Monday at least 1,418 people had died.

        Today they had 786 new cases.

        Better than ever, Lawrence?

        If up was down, maybe.

    • Bill,

      I’m glad to see you’ve come around on the mortality numbers. Just like the annual flu numbers there will be an estimated range that will generally be accepted, but only after years of study and when we get this behind us. Like Lawrence just said, the end of the year total will tell us…the overall mortality rate will be X amount higher than previous and subsequent years and that will give us a better understanding of what the range actually is.

      • You can look at those numbers now, they’re already off the charts, so waiting for the end of the year is not at all necessary to see that the virus is killing Americans at an incredibly high rate.

    • Bill Tobin, Sir, please find within your cerebral funtions the frame work for placement of empirical data realative to decision making. For example, eating fish is very dangetous since fish have bones that can cause harm if injested. However, prudent fish eaters have learned to pull out fish bones in order to mitigate the dangers.
      A total of only 37 Alaskans have ever been in Hospital due to Wuhan Flu. Daily case numbers of the kung flu are getting down to lightening strikes and spinal meningitis territory. This. Statement based on Empirical Data.
      Hopefully this helps you Bill. Please know that I support your right to duck and cover, to escape the dreaded pandemic, but Bill, some of us have to work to support you.

      • No, lightning strikes kill two a year on average. Zero in Alaska as far back as the data goes.

        Spinal meningitis infects a handful of people in Alaska. Numbers in the teens most years.

        Your ‘analogy’ is not an analogy.

        Do tell people to try pulling the virus back out like a fish bone, that’s your right.

        As to your fantasy that you support me?

        Your cerebral malfunction has spun yourself an odd fairy tale.

  8. Everybody dies from something. If the guy hadn’t contracted it, could he have lived a few months longer? Maybe. People always die from complications from actual diseases. If I die from a cold, they will say I died from heart failure. It stopped beating.

  9. Based solely on the article, it sounds to me like the only possibility is one of two things, the test is wrong or it was a hospital acquired infection.

  10. One must ask, why incentivize elevated covid cases/deaths? Empire building? Who gains by skewing the numbers? Do I need to get out my tinfoil hat?

  11. State of Fear, if it is not the Climate Burning up, Muslims out to get you, AIDS in every Family, or Nuclear War.
    Not to mention we are all different colors and genders, just to stir the pot.
    There are many who thrive in a State of Fear Environment. They Make a living at it.
    To question the People in Authority who have driven us underground is normal and our duty. The curious aspect that befuddles me is how eager people are to gobble up what ever Authority feeds them unquestionably. Even when Authority contradict themselves or do not follow Medical norms where out comes are showing positive results from Doc s frankly a lot more qualified than what we have running the Show in Alaska.
    Just think in just the last four years how many times People in Authority have deceived and manipulated the Public, without even a bat of an eye.

  12. I wish that some folks here were not so glib about the elderly or those with manageable chronic health conditions.

    Cancer. Diabetes. COPD. etc. There are many beloved grandparents parents sisters brothers aunts and uncles who are very much alive with such diseases. What’s the value of their lives?

    “They were going to die anyway,” seems cruel.

    This is good time to show compassion and care about the suffering of those who die alone from this virus and tge sacrifices of those who struggle to give each soul the opportunity to draw one more breath.

    That’s my $.02. Take it or leave it.

    • Clay, this is America, land of the self-interested overly entitled, surely this isn’t the first time you’ve encountered these types with no empathy for their fellow humans?

  13. Who would question cause of death ruled gunshot wound to the head if he’d been hit by a stray bullet on the way to the hospital?

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