Betsy Ladyzhets’s Projects

Documenting COVID-19 project

The Documenting COVID-19 project is a repository of searchable documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic obtained through state open-records laws and the Freedom of Information Act. It has produced hundreds of stories with local, regional and national newsroom partners throughout the United States.

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Uncounted: An investigation of U.S. death certificate errors and the undercount of COVID-19 deaths

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Death certificates have long been prone to error. During the pandemic, they've gotten worse, resulting in thousands of uncounted COVID-19 deaths. "Uncounted" is a collaboration between MuckRock, the USA TODAY network and dozens of local newsrooms around the country. We found that short-staffed, undertrained and overworked coroners and medical examiners took families at their word when they called to report the death of a relative at home. Coroners and medical examiners didn’t review medical histories or order tests to look for COVID-19. The result is a skewed picture of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

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