Columbia U Says 11,862 Coronavirus Deaths In Florida Avoidable

ACROSS FLORIDA — A report released by the Columbia University National Center for Disaster Preparedness estimates that 11,862 Floridians would not have died of the coronavirus if the federal government had reacted more aggressively when the pandemic was declared.

Using comparative mortality rates, Columbia University updated a prior national comparative study and estimated the number of lives that might have been saved if the U.S. government and individual states reacted to the coronavirus outbreak the same way the province of Ontario, Canada reacted.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, pointed the finger at the Trump Administration in his report on the study.

The study shows that if mandatory social distancing had been in place just seven days earlier, the United States would have prevented 36,000 deaths through May, about 40 percent of the fatalities.

"Overall, these avoidable deaths will only continue to rise in the absence of leadership and substantive assistance from the administration," he said.

He pointed to threats Trump has made to withhold federal disaster relief funds from those who don't back to his partisan agendas. This politicization of the pandemic could push millions more Americans into poverty and make them more susceptible to the coronavirus.

The Trump Administration blasted the findings, saying Trump's quick actions regarding restricting travel as early as March 13 saved an untold number of lives, something the study didn't take into account.

Data courtesy Columbia University

On a more positive note, the Florida Department of Health reported a steady decline in the number of reported Florida resident deaths who were previously diagnosed with coronavirus.

The second week of August compared to the second week of September shows a 74 percent decrease in the average number of reported coronavirus-related deaths.

Also good news, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration showed that the number of positive patients currently hospitalized is down more than 70 percent since July.

As posted on the Agency for Health Care Administration’s hospitalization dashboard Thursday, there are 2,527 current hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus.

On Thursday, the DOH reported a statewide positivity rate of 6.20 percent for new cases, the 84th straight day Florida has had a positivity rate below 10 percent.

As of Thursday, Florida had 821,526 test positive for the coronavirus since testing began in March.

Of those, 50,265 were hospitalized and 17,224 people have died in Florida since the start of the pandemic.

There were 5,195 new cases reported on Thursday and nine deaths.

To check the number of positive coronavirus cases in your hometown since the pandemic began, click here.

New Case Positivity Rate

Death By Date Of Death

New Cases By Day

Charts courtesy the Florida Department of Health

See related stories:

This article originally appeared on the Tampa Patch