The CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci are calling out the viral fake claim that COVID-19 deaths have been drastically exaggerated
According to the latest statistics released on Thursday by Johns Hopkins University, 6,121,733 people in America have been infected with COVID-19 — and over 186,000 have lost their lives because of it. However, earlier this week a conspiracy theory courtesy of QAnon started circulating the internet — claiming that deaths attributed to the virus are misinterpreted and that in reality, just 6 percent of the documented deaths are actually a result of the highly infectious virus. President Donald Trump was one of the many people on social media to share the misinformed tweet, which was later deleted by Twitter due to being deemed as “misinformation.” Now, both the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci are addressing the theory head-on, debunking it in its entirety.
Both the federal health agency and Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a top White House coronavirus advisor, say there is no truth to the tweet, which said, per the Washington Post, that the CDC had “quietly updated the COVID number to admit that only 6 percent [of people] actually died from COVID,” and that the majority of deaths were in people who “had 2-3 other serious illnesses.”
CDC’s chief of mortality statistics Bob Anderson has released a statement explaining that while many of the people who died did in fact have preexisting conditions, their primary cause of death was coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci debunks theories of low CDC coronavirus death toll: "There are 180,000 plus deaths" in the U.S. https://t.co/XzOIdIhX5S
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 1, 2020
“In 94 percent of deaths with COVID-19, other conditions are listed in addition to COVID-19. These causes may include chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension,” Anderson said in his statement obtained by CNN. “In 6 percent of the death certificates that list COVID-19, only one cause or condition is listed.”
“The underlying cause of death is the condition that began the chain of events that ultimately led to the person’s death,” he specified. “In 92 percent of all deaths that mention COVID-19, COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause of death.”
I somehow missed Trump's retweet of a QAnon conspiracy theory last weekend. The QAnon disinformation claimed COVID-19 deaths are 94% lower than *Trump's CDC* says—yet Trump retweeted it. Twitter deleted the tweet, and Trump never apologized for spitting on 180,000+ U.S. families.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 2, 2020
To retweet a conspiracy theory about COVID deaths dishonors the 180,000+ who have died. But this is what we’ve come to expect from someone who only blames others for his failures. https://t.co/1bNOyN7Y9r
— shane stufflet (@SStufflet) August 31, 2020
During an appearance on Good Morning America, Fauci also discredited the claim supported by Trump.
“If you look at the people who died of COVID disease, the point that the CDC was trying to make was that a certain percentage of them had nothing else but just COVID,” he said. “That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of COVID didn’t die of COVID-19. They did. The numbers that you’ve been hearing, the 180,000-plus deaths, are real deaths from COVID-19. Let there not be any confusion about that. It’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19. It’s 180,000-plus deaths.”
Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.