72.4 F
Sunday, June 4, 2023
HomeIllinois NewsWirepoints analysis reveals 92 percent of Cook County COVID-19 victims had pre-existing...

Wirepoints analysis reveals 92 percent of Cook County COVID-19 victims had pre-existing conditions



Ted Dabrowski President, Wirepoints - 

More than 90 percent of COVID-19 victims in Cook County had pre-existing medical conditions, according to a new Wirepoints analysis of a Cook County Medical Examiner database.

Wirepoints' findings are important because no Illinois government has yet to publish any detailed comorbidity data. We recently wrote about Gov. J.B. Pritzker's failure to publish statewide data in: Who’s most at risk for COVID-19 and why isn’t Illinois publishing that data?

The medical examiner’s database showed COVID-19 as the primary cause of death for 2,300 people in Cook County. Of those, more than 2,100 were shown to have at least one underlying condition as a secondary cause of death. Those conditions, also known as comorbidities, included hypertension, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. There were no secondary causes reported for 191 deaths.

Understanding who is most at risk – and who is not – is central to a public understanding of the virus. It’s also central to helping decide when and how to open up our economy and schools. What Cook County’s and other comorbidity data across the country implies is that the risk of death for healthy Illinoisans is far lower than Gov. J.B. Pritzker might lead people to believe based on his protracted lockdown and drawn out reopening plan.

Cook County reports that of the 2,303 victims where COVID-19 was listed as the primary cause of death, 92 percent had one or more comorbidities.


Hypertension affected 1,070 victims, or more than 46 percent of all deaths. Diabetes impacted 973 victims, or 42 percent of the total. Pulmonary disease was part of 397 deaths, or 17 percent. And 215 of those deaths, about 9 percent, were accompanied by obesity or morbid obesity.

Yet others had conditions including cancer and cardiovascular and kidney diseases. The numbers above add up to more than 100 percent because many victims had more than one pre-existing condition.

The Cook County data lines up with city of Chicago data on comorbidities for city deaths. Though the city provides no detail, it does report that 1,090 of Chicago’s 1,160 COVID-19 deaths had underlying conditions. That’s 94 percent.

Unnamed (2)

What’s stark about the Cook comorbidity data is just how few young adults die from COVID-19 in the absence of some pre-existing condition. Just 3 of the 15 deaths in the 20-29 age bracket had no comorbidities. Same goes for the 30-39 and 40-49 age brackets, where just 26 of the 132 deaths were accompanied with no underlying causes.

The above data is key to mapping out a reopening strategy for schools, universities and workplaces. Younger, healthier adults face far less risk from COVID-19 than originally feared.

On the flip side, it shows who is at risk: anyone with pre-existing conditions, including the elderly. As of May 8, the average age of all COVID-19 deaths in Illinois was 74, a clear sign of where the true risk lies.

Even more, almost 50 percent of all Illinois deaths have been tied to long-term care facilities, the subject of a recent Wirepoints piece. That means nearly 1,600 deaths occurred outside the general public.

For months, Illinois residents have lived in fear, a fear that has been exacerbated by a lack of transparency and open reporting from the state. The state didn’t release hospitalization data until outside pressure forced it to. Antibody testing results are still being held back, which we wrote about in With New FDA Action, Gov. Pritzker and Dr. Ezike Have No Excuse for Further Stonewalling Antibody Testing.

And now Wirepoints has been forced to seek out and compile partial comorbidity data. The state should be far more proactive and transparent with all of its COVID-19 statistics.

Regardless, the information we now know paints a compelling case for a far different reopening plan than Gov. Pritzker has introduced.


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories


  1. So why are they intentionally jacking up the number?
    Illinois is losing a ton of revenue right now….
    Pritzker is using those inflated numbers to keep Illinois on lockdown, when it’s hurting people, businesses and the State itself? So what is the motive to inflate these numbers attempting to justify this lockdown?
    The only conclusion I can come up with is the Governor is extoring the federal government to bail out the pensions while holding all of Illinois hostage.

  2. This is not the states extorting money from the federal government. Make no mistake, this is the federal level democrats and the DNC attempting another coup. The monetary enticements to the states and the people are but carrots at the end of the stick used to gain cooperation, if not outright capitulation. This is not about a virus, it is about something more insidious and more deadly. Political power.