Published: September 21, 2020; Updated: October 22, 2020
Belarus all-cause mortality data has finally become available (via a United Nations database), see the chart above. The data up until June (the infection peak in Belarus) shows that the Belarusian government may have downplayed covid deaths by about a factor of ten, but all-cause mortality nevertheless is comparable to previous strong seasonal flu waves.
This may explain why Western media, though promoting regime change in Belarus and anticipating a ‘covid catastrophe’, suddenly stopped reporting on covid in Belarus in early summer.
Belarus is an important reference point because it has been the country with the most liberal covid policy in Europe. However, as previously explained, the low covid death rate may also be due to the very low life expectancy of Belarusian men (66 years, mostly due to heavy smoking and drinking), compared to a median age of covid deaths of 80+ years in the West.
In Russia, all-cause excess mortality between May and July also turned out to be a factor of 3.6 higher than the official covid death figure (60,000 vs. 16,000). This is because Russian health authorities used a very narrow definition of ‘covid death’. Some Russian cities, especially Moscow, had implemented very strict “total control” covid lockdown and tracing measures.