UK media and academics are struggling to determine the cause of unexplained excess deaths in the country.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 32,000 more deaths than usual between May-December last year against the five-year national average. The figure is excluding deaths due to COVID-19.
Emeritus Professor of Demography at Oxford University Professor David Coleman told The Mirror that after the sickly and elderly died from COVID-19, the country should have been left with a healthier population and less deaths.
“Once those poor people have been packed off, the remaining population should be healthier, there should be a period afterwards where deaths are lower than usual but that hasn’t happened,” said Coleman.
Two of the possible causes behind these deaths are dementia and ischemic heart disease, which Coleman says may be due to Brits becoming fatter.
“The population is getting older, and also the population in Britain is the fattest in Europe and rather vulnerable to diseases notably heart disease and diabetes; some people have been forecasting separately from Covid that death rates would continue to get worse because the country is so unhealthy,” he said.
However, many death certificates list the cause as “symptoms, signs and ill-defined diseases”, leaving the underlying cause of these deaths unknown.
“So whilst a heavily aging population may be throwing up yet another problem, it doesn’t quite explain why over 30,000 more people than usual died from May to December last year,” The Mirror reports before trying to offer climate change as a possible cause.
“Heat in particular persistently returns during the summer, and given climate change will only continue to pose such a fatal threat.”
No other possible causes of death were put forward by The Mirror, which is not the first media outlet to express confusion.
The BBC in January sounded the alarm over a concerning spike in excess deaths in the UK, speculating several possible causes while ruling out the COVID-19 injections.
In an article titled, “Excess deaths in 2022 among worst in 50 years,” the BBC said more than 650,000 deaths were registered in the UK in 2022, a 9% jump from 2019 and one of the largest excess death levels outside the pandemic in 50 years.
This, said the BBC, “raises questions about why more people are still dying than normal.”
The news outlet then listed COVID-19 as one possible cause but not “the main explanation for this excess.”
The BBC also shared that excess deaths really began rising in June 2022, taking a toll on hospitals and creating a “crisis in healthcare”. Notably, June 2022 is when the UK stopped publishing excess death data by vaccination status.
“At the start of 2022, death rates were looking like they’d returned to pre-pandemic levels,” says the article. “It wasn’t until June that excess deaths really started to rise – just as the number of people waiting for hours on trolleys in English hospitals hit levels normally seen in winter.” Waiting times have hit between five and twelve hours, increasing the risk of death, says the BBC.
The excess deaths have reportedly led to longer waiting times for urgent care and longer emergency response times, so that the ambulance response time for heart attacks and strokes in November averaged 48 minutes – 30 minutes above target.
Heart problems and strokes are on the rise probably because people didn’t come in for screenings during the pandemic, added the BBC.
However, the news site also claimed that this jump in excess deaths could not have been caused by the COVID-19 shots because there is no data supporting that. The assertion comes despite scientific evidence that a rise in cardiac events is correlated to the COVID vaccines.