An apparent misreading of official death figures in the United States showing a lower amount of Covid-19 deaths has spread on social media
- The authority responsible for listing deaths linked to Covid-19 in the United States publishes a weekly count.
- A misreading of the bulletin published on August 26th has spread on social networks.
The American authorities in charge of recording deaths linked to Covid-19 have not “discreetly” recognized a drop in the number of deaths caused by this disease. This is however what a tweet published on August 29th and retweeted by Donald Trump affirms. This post has since been removed from the social network, according to CNN.
“This week, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] quietly updated the numbers related to Covid to recognize that only 6% of all 153,504 deaths recorded are in fact related to Covid, writes this surfer on Twitter. That makes 9,210 dead. The remaining 94% had two or three other serious illnesses and the vast majority were very old. “
True, Fake or just Misread ?
In its weekly bulletin on the coronavirus published on August 26th, the CDC devotes a table to comorbidities. This table “shows the types of health problems and the contributing causes mentioned in relation to deaths linked to Covid-19”. The CDC specifies that “for 6% of deaths, Covid-19 is the only cause mentioned”.
This does not mean that only 6% of the deaths recorded by the CDC are due to Covid. These 6% actually represent patients who died from Covid-19 and for whom no other disease had been recorded. As the American site Factcheck.org spotted, this distinction between patients without comorbidities and with comorbidities has been present in CDC newsletters since May.
The other deaths recorded are those with comorbidities: this meant that the patient was also suffering from another disease. Obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes or certain heart diseases which increases the risk of developing a severe form of Covid, according to the CDC.
The allegation was also denied by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, in an interview with Good Morning America on Monday. “What the CDC meant was that a certain percentage of those [who died from Covid-19] only had Covid, ” he said . This does not mean that people with hypertension or diabetes did not die from Covid-19. “
169,044 people have been recorded of having died from Covid-19 in the United States on September 2nd, according to the CDC.