Colloquium Speaker Series: How Many Deaths Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Really Caused in the U.S.? A Look at Current Evidence

  • Starts: 3:30 pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Speakers: Andrew C. Stokes Assistant Professor, Sociology, Boston University College of Arts and Sciences Yannis Paschalidis Distinguished Professor in the College of Engineering at Boston University with joint appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Division of Systems Engineering, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering About the Talk: Excess mortality has emerged as an important metric for monitoring all-cause and cause-specific mortality during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior studies of excess mortality have primarily focused on national and regional trends but revealing the mortality impact of the Covid-19 pandemic at finer spatial-temporal resolutions is vital to developing targeted policy responses. In the present talk, I discuss Bayesian small area estimation methods for calculating excess mortality for 3,128 counties in the United States over each month of the pandemic and highlight how spatial-temporal modeling of excess mortality can be used to quantify potential underreporting of Covid-19 deaths across local jurisdictions. I also discuss time-series modeling approaches, including dynamic harmonic regression models with autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), and highlight how these methods can be used to enrich excess mortality modeling and shed light on the drivers of increases in pandemic mortality from causes other than Covid-19. Finally, I discuss how this modeling infrastructure may be used to create an early warning system for identifying anomalous mortality patterns associated with future pandemics and other public health emergencies. 4:00 PM | Location: CDS 1101 | 665 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
4:00 PM | Location: CDS 1101 | 665 Commonwealth Ave, Boston