Longtime Wall Street investor Edward Dowd never planned on writing a book about the epidemic of young Americans who are “dying suddenly.”
The inspiration came to him in the form of disconcerting raw data.
In his new book “Cause Unknown” from Skyhorse Publications, Dowd says healthy young people and athletes are dying like never before.
The question is—why?
“It isn’t COVID, of course, because we know that COVID is not a significant cause of death in young people,” Dowd writes.
The sudden and excess deaths increase in 2021 and 2022 has captured national attention with the recent headline, “MMA rising star tragically dies suddenly at 17 years old.”
Another headline this week read, “Air Force Academy Cadet Dies Suddenly While Walking to Class.” There have been hundreds more since 2021, Dowd said.
“My purpose for writing the book was to help garner an understanding of the phenomenon of sudden death that’s been going on since 2021—and not just athletes, but across all sorts of younger cohort ages,” Dowd told The Epoch Times in a phone interview.
While he invites readers to decide what’s causing these sudden deaths, he suspects the 1,000-pound gorilla in the room is the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have a thesis that it was the vaccine. The numbers do not dissuade us from that. In the book, we said you don’t have to believe us—but what is going on?” Dowd said.
“At the very least, if you don’t believe the premise it was the vaccine, what is going on in our country that no one seems to want to talk about from a global health standpoint?”
As a stock portfolio manager, Dowd said his job is analyzing data and trends and helping clients navigate the stock market’s ups and downs.
He said the goal of the book is to examine the sudden trajectory of unexpected deaths, drawing from various official sources and newspaper articles.
Together, they tell something tragic is going on that’s causing young people to die in numbers not seen before, he added.
Dowd said the book cites one key study documenting 1,100 sudden deaths over 38 years at the rate of 29 per year.
The difference between that study and today is “we'd be lucky to have a month under 29,” he said.
“My job was to marry the data I present in the book—actuarial insurance numbers, excess death numbers my partners at my hedge fund documented, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics disability data that we analyzed.
“There is a phenomenon, not just sudden athletic deaths.”
Dowd described the book as a team effort with contributors Gavin De Becker and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of the Children’s Health Fund. The book presents headlines and individual news stories about young people dying suddenly without offering judgment or comments.
“We just present them as is, with QR codes that link to the original story as shown in whatever newspaper article or website,” Dowd said.
“The pitch was not that I needed to write a book. My pitch was the data needed to get out to the world. It wanted me to write this book, so we could highlight this problem that no one seems to want to talk about.”
The book examines the U.S. employment-population showing worse health outcomes in 2021 and 2022 in excess death and disability compared with previous years.
“When you’re employed, you’re generally healthier than the overall U.S. population,” Dowd said. “That makes total sense. You’re able to show up to work. You’re in the prime of your working years. So your health outcome should be better.
“That’s all flipped in 2021 and 2022.”
Dowd is a founding partner of Phinance Technologies, a global macro alternative investment firm. He has worked in Wall Street credit and equity markets most of his career with firms that included HSBC, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, and Independence Investments.
Dowd also worked at Blackrock as a portfolio manager. He later founded OceanSquare Asset Management with two former BlackRock colleagues.
“I’m an investor. On Wall Street, we don’t need to make a perfect decision to buy stock. If you wait for perfect information, you miss the opportunity,” Dowd said.
Several research partners agreed to analyze data for Dowd’s book, asking if the premise turned out to be wrong, would Dowd admit to it?
“As the data came in, they said, ‘Ed, the data looks even worse than we thought,’” Dowd said.
“At the very least, this is a national security problem. At the very least, the question is: why are people dropping dead? No one seems to want to talk collectively as a nation.”
Dowd said his primary sources included data from the Society of Actuaries, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. The book examines all-cause mortality data from several European countries and health organizations.
“That’s the data. We were counting ones and zeroes—dead or not dead. Excessive deaths versus baseline,” Dowd said.
“We show a horrendous mixed shift from 2020 to 2021 and 2022—mostly old folks dying to now younger folks dying at excessive death rates pretty much across the board. That’s the story all the data tells.”
In August 2022, the Society of Actuaries issued a report for 2021 showing an unprecedented 84-percent spike in excess insurance claims in the U.S. survey’s third quarter, Dowd said.
“Let’s use deductive reasoning. An event occurred: anybody who was vaccine hesitant had a choice—[lose] the job or get a jab. That pulled many [young] people off the sidelines, and unfortunately, this resulted in a spike in excess claims.”
Global excess mortality is still high at about 20 percent, Dowd said.
In January 2022, One America life insurance president Scott Davison reported death rates among people ages 18–64 increased 40 percent in the last two quarters of 2021 from pre-pandemic levels.
Dowd, who is not vaccinated, said there appears to be a correlation between countries with high vaccination rates and sudden deaths.
“People will say correlation does not mean causation. But it certainly is a signal that warrants investigation,” he said.
Acknowledging four stages of grief—shock, denial, anger, and acceptance—Dowd said he wrote “Cause Unknown” to move people from denial about the sudden death phenomenon to anger “as quickly as possible to stop this.”
“This vaccine situation is so dire it will affect the economic situation for years to come. We’re not waiting for people to tell us what to believe. We’re acting on what is,” Dowd said.