“Coronavirus-Related Fatalities”

That term or phrase, along with “coronavirus-linked deaths” get bandied about a lot. See, for instance:

…its [Sweden’s] population had a total of eight coronavirus-related deaths in July, or an average of 0.26 coronavirus-linked deaths a day.


…4 and 329 coronavirus-related daily fatalities in the UK and US….

This is not to pick on Just the News; most of the news outlets use those phrases. All of them also seem to use the phrases interchangeably with “coronavirus-caused fatalities.”

But what do those alternative phrases really mean?

Here are some examples of other meanings for the phrases, considering a patient with Condition X, the…coronavirus…is present in his body, and he dies:

  • Cause of death: Condition X, coronavirus present
  • Cause of death: Condition X, coronavirus contributory
  • Cause of death: coronavirus, Condition X contributory
  • Cause of death: coronavirus, Condition x present

Notice that: all of those outcomes are “coronavirus-related/linked.” However, only one of them is solely coronavirus-caused, which is the only meaning of the uncaveated phrase “coronavirus-related/linked” when used to mean “coronavirus-caused.” Even taking a looser meaning for a loosely used phrase, two of those alternatives clearly are not “coronavirus-caused.”

To the extent the news purveyors really are relying on interchangeability, they’re badly mistaken. They’re either wholly illogical and non-credible or very lazy in their word use and non-credible. Or both and non-credible.

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