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Maine CDC Disappears Certain of its COVID-19 Data.

Posted by Ed Folsom, March 2, 2023.

Maine CDC Disappears Certain of its COVID-19 Data.

Well, they made it disappear. The Maine CDC has stopped posting the age breakdown of COVID-19 cases and deaths throughout the pandemic, as well as the numbers of “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths since COVID-19 vaccines became available in Maine in early 2021. The information has simply been disappeared from the CDC’s website. The last “breakthrough” information was updated through February 13, 2023. Now, no cumulative breakthrough data appears on the CDC’s COVID-19 “Updates and Information” web page at all. Instead, the following statement shows up under the “Breakthrough Cases in Maine” tab:

“Maine CDC no longer shows the table of cumulative breakthrough data as of February 14, 2023. By now, 83.4% of the state’s total population has finished their primary series of vaccine. So, “breakthrough” cases of COVID are no longer a helpful way to know the burden of disease. Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines is the best way to prevent the most severe impacts of COVID-19. This includes protecting you from hospitalization and death.”

They don’t care for you to see it, so it’s gone. Poof!

In my January 27, 2023 post, I discussed the upward trend in the breakthrough numbers over time. I could do that because I tracked the weekly updates to the Maine CDC’s cumulative breakthrough numbers over a long period, beginning October 1, 2021. I am no longer able to track the breakthrough case, hospitalizations and death trends, because Maine’s CDC no longer shows its cumulative breakthrough data.The CDC doesn’t say that it stopped keeping the data or creating the table. It merely says it no longer “shows” the data. We’re on a need-to-know basis, you see. And they don’t think we need to know.

Also, in my January 27, 2023 post, I provided links to data showing that there were at that point 345 deaths of people under age 60 attributed to COVID-19, in total, throughout the pandemic. On the other hand, Maine had recorded 1,657 drug overdose deaths between April 1, 2020 and November 30, 2022 — that’s nearly 5 times as many, 1,312 more, overdose deaths than all the recorded COVID-19 deaths in people under age 60 at that point.

On February 6, 2022, I posted additional information, adding the results of the Maine Monthly Drug Overdose Report for December of 2022. At that point, Maine reported a total of 716 drug overdose deaths in 2022. Information from Maine’s Drug Data Hub showed that there were 1,767 drug overdose deaths from March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022. The Maine CDC’s COVID-19 information at that time showed that there were 1,551, total, COVID-19-related deaths of everyone under the age of 80 linked to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic — 216 fewer COVID-19 deaths under age 80 than the number of people who died in Maine of drug overdoses from 3/1/20 through 12/31/2022.

Maine’s Monthly Drug Overdose Report for January of 2023 revises downward the total of 2022 overdose deaths, by one, to 715. It also reports 50 new drug overdose deaths in January of 2023. Now we know that Maine records 1,816 drug overdose deaths from March 1, 2020 through January 1, 2023, which is 265 more deaths than all the Maine people under the age of 80 recorded as dying in relation to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic through February 6, 2023.

Now Maine’s CDC apparently no longer wants us to know how many COVID-19 death have occurred and how many continue to occur in what age groups. For posterity, below is a screen shot of the information the Maine CDC posted on February 6, 2023.* That’s what the information used to look like when we were still allowed to see it.

And for one last time, here’s what the trend of breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and deaths looked like when I was still allowed to track it. As described in my January 27 post, in the 4-month period from September 22, 2022 through January 23, 2023, breakthrough hospitalizations were 73.25% of new hospitalizations with COVID-19 (726 of 994). Breakthrough deaths were 74.7% of new COVID-19-related deaths in the period (192 of 257), and breakthrough cases were 70.61% of newly recorded COVID-19 cases in the period (16,584 of 23,485).

Breakthrough cases, hospitalization and deaths all continued to rise as a percentage of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths overall during 2023, up until Maine’s CDC disappeared the breakthrough data from its website. Between January 1, 2023 and February 13, 2023, according to the Maine CDC’s data, breakthrough hospitalizations were 74.4% of all new hospitalizations (279 of 375), breakthrough deaths were 79% of all new deaths attributed to COVID-19 (87 of 110), and breakthrough cases were 71.6% of all new COVID-19 cases (5,341 of 7,458) recorded in the period.

Whether the upward “breakthrough” trend continues to rise, or whether it flattens, or falls, we will not be allowed to determine. It’s simply “no longer a helpful way to know the burden of disease.” Got it?