CDC RELEASES DATA ON LATEST COVID CASUALTIES
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new coronavirus data last week, depicting how many Americans have died from COVID-19, as well as how many who died had other contributing conditions.
The CDC data table is based on an analysis of death certificates that mention COVID-19 as a cause. For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned, the CDC notes, according to KCRA 3 News.
The other 94% list COVID-19 and other conditions together. Among those deaths, there were, on average, 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death, the public health agency said.
As of Aug. 26, the CDC said, there were 161,332 deaths where COVID-19 was listed on the death certificate. Social media users over the weekend posted an older screenshot of the data that showed 153,504 deaths. The posts used the 6% figure to claim the U.S. death toll was much lower — 9,210.
The term “Only 6%” trended widely on Twitter over the weekend as supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory promoted tweets that falsely suggested the CDC had updated its records to show that only 6% of U.S. deaths tied to COVID-19 were legitimate. President Donald Trump was among those who tweeted the information, which was later taken down by Twitter for violating platform rules.
The posts, which received hundreds of thousands of shares online, were based on a regularly updated CDC data table showing underlying conditions for those who died of COVID-19. The conditions included high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, as well as problems that are caused by COVID-19 itself, such as respiratory failure and pneumonia.
“CDC just backpedaled (quietly) and adjusted the U.S. COVID deaths from 153,504 to 9,210. Admitting that their numbers are so (expletive) that they are off by a whopping 94%,” said a post being shared on Facebook Monday.
But such claims misrepresent the data. A death isn’t excluded from the COVID-19 tally just because the person was obese or had diabetes or dementia. Someone with heart problems can still be killed by COVID-19, and the death certificate could mention both as contributing.