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One thought I have about the methodology is that they are comparing year on year deaths to determine what the excess deaths were due to the hurricane. This implies that the control values would have stayed the same year on year. That is where I have a problem with the study. (Concern heightened by not having data or code released...) If the island nation went into default in May and the government was unable to pay creditors, what affect did that have on hospitals, medical coverage and access to medicine? Certainly this kind of variable would have an impact on the quality of healthcare year on year. How was this impact determined? What percentage of the deaths would be attributable to this change that began months before the hurricane? What impact did this have on the government infrastructure before and after the hurricane? What is due to the weather event and what is due to the crash? From the article and the study notes it did not seem that this was taken into account. Those facts, more than the politics, make me question the conclusions.
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Sep 17, 2018