CDC report on coronavirus deaths underlines why COVID-19 is so dangerous


    Continental Funeral Home in Los Angeles has been struggling to keep up with the demands of rising death rates during the pandemic. Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    A new Centers for Disease Control report shows 94% of people who died from COVID-19 in the U.S. had contributing health conditions.

    Yes, but: Australian epidemiologist Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz noted in a blog post on Monday that the CDC estimates COVID-19 was the underlying cause of 95% of all deaths related to the virus. Only in 5% of deaths has it been listed as a contributing cause.

    Our thought bubble, via Axios’ Sam Baker: This report doesn’t mean that COVID isn’t as bad as we thought. It’s clear from the CDC’s statistics on excess deaths that more people are dying than usual, because of COVID. The fact that common pre-existing medical conditions often coincide with deadly coronavirus infections is part of what makes it scary — not a reason to write it off.

    Of note: Twitter removed a post earlier Sunday retweeted by President Trump for violating its rules with a false interpretation of the CDC’s novel coronavirus data.

    Reality check: While the cause of death listed as solely from the coronavirus occurred in 6% of cases in the U.S. from Feb. 1 to Aug. 22, this doesn’t mean that the virus was not a contributing factor or, indeed, the leading cause in the other 94%. The U.S. virus death toll would be much lower if this were the case.

    For the record: For deaths with conditions or causes as well as COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death, according to the CDC.

    By the numbers: In the U.S., more than 183,000 deaths have been attributed to the coronavirus as of Sunday night, per Johns Hopkins data.

    Editor’s note: This article has been updated with more details on the false report on the CDC’s data, comment from Meyerowitz-Katz and more context.

    The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has almost reached 6 million on Sunday night, Johns Hopkins data shows.

    Yes, but: New coronavirus infections fell by almost 15% over the past week, continuing a steady downward trend.

    The Australian state of Victoria reported on Monday 41 more deaths from COVID-19 — a new national record.

    Of note: Victoria’s health ministry said 22 of those deaths were from « the weeks leading to » Aug. 27 and reported by aged care facilities Sunday. State capital Melbourne has been on lockdown since the start of the month and the rest of Victoria is under lesser restrictions as officials try to curb the virus spread.




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