According to Forbes, a venerable business publication, Alaska is hiding its nursing home deaths that are due to COVID-19, the deadly coronavirus that seems to have a special vengeance for the elderly and infirm.
Forbes said “the eleven states that thus far have refused to report COVID nursing home deaths—Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, and Vermont—need to start reporting their death tolls in long-term care facilities. The federal government has instituted such a requirement for nursing home deaths occurring after May 5, but as Ohio teaches us, it is also important to get the data from the previous several months.
Only it’s not true.
Alaska isn’t reporting its nursing home deaths because none of the 10 who died from conditions related to COVID-19 were nursing home residents. MRAK contacted the State of Alaska and was told that the mistake may have resulted in a misunderstanding and they are reaching out to the publication for a correction.
The story, by columnist and medical analyst Avik Roy, points out that a majority of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States are in nursing or retirement homes.
“Americans are vigorously debating the merits of continuing to lock down the U.S. economy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A single statistic may hold the key to resolving this debate: the astounding share of deaths occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” Roy writes in Forbes.