Minnesota deaths were up 15% in 2020. Not all were caused by COVID-19.

Originally published 1/16/21

Excerpted from Pioneer Press Article. Read the full article from St. Paul's Pioneer Press by clicking here. NO ONE IS ‘DISPENSABLE’

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as the health department posted daily updates on the anonymous number of Minnesotans who have died of COVID-19, skeptics have questioned whether the virus really is causing more deaths. It’s been suggested that because most of those who’ve died were old, lived in long-term care and often had pre-existing medical conditions that they were destined to die soon anyway.

That outrages Kristine Sundberg, of Elder Voice Family Advocates, who says it’s a devaluing of human life. Her organization advocates for better care and living conditions for seniors in long-term care facilities.

“That’s ageism at its worst,” Sundberg said. “Never should we ever have a population that is dispensable.” Sundberg says she’s heard terrifying stories from across the state of healthy, vibrant seniors who succumbed to COVID-19.

Nearly 94 percent of the state’s coronavirus deaths have been people over the age of 60 and about 64 percent were residents of long-term care. Read the full article from St. Paul's Pioneer Press by clicking here.