Claims on CDC data for COVID-19 incorrect, say experts

 Newswise
9-Sep-2020 9:00 AM EDT, by Newswise

Fact Check By: AAP FactCheck, Newswise

Truthfulness: False

Claim:

New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report “shows that 94% of COVID-19 deaths in the US had underlying medical conditions.

Claim Publisher and Date: Viral Instagram Post on 2020-09-01

An Instagram post claims that a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report “shows that 94% of COVID-19 deaths in the US had underlying medical conditions”.

The September 1 post features an image of a building with a CDC sign and is accompanied by a caption which reads, “It’s official! ITS (sic) A SCAM. 94% of listed COVID deaths had 2 or MORE severe and life threatening co morbidities.They were also of a ‘very advanced age’. #itsover.”

An Instagram post
 A post claims a report shows that 94% of COVID-19 deaths in the US had underlying medical conditions.

THE ANALYSIS

Social media has been circulating claims the CDC “quietly” updated its COVID-19 data and that only six per cent of fatalities were caused solely by the virus with the other 94 per cent having underlying medical conditions. The claims were retweeted by US President Donald Trump before they were removed.

However, a closer look at how deaths are reported in the US shows the claims are incorrect. Experts explained to AAP FactCheck that the CDC data shows 94 per cent of COVID-19 victims had at least one additional factor as well as COVID-19 contributing to their death.

The experts said the post misinterprets how comorbidities, when more than one disease or condition is present in a person at the same time, are recorded in the CDC’s COVID-19 data.

The Instagram post’s claims come from a CDC report which states that six per cent of the deaths from COVID-19 were not associated with comorbidities. The CDC’s weekly updates break down COVID-19 fatalities across the US and one of the tables (table 3) lists comorbidities, which the US agency explains “shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)”.

CDC report on guidance for certifying COVID-19 deaths explains that cause of death is “the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death”. In the US death certificates require the immediate cause of death to be listed first with underlying causes stated underneath.

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiologist from the University of Wollongong  said the post misunderstands the CDC data.

“The table that everyone is referring to with the six per cent figure, actually shows that many if not most of the COVID-19 patients who died in the US had at least one issue other than COVID-19,” told AAP FactCheck via email.

“However, many of the things in the table – like ARDS or respiratory failure – are caused by COVID-19 itself. It is factually incorrect to say that only six per cent of US COVID-19 deaths were caused by COVID-19.”

Mr Meyerowitz-Katz has written about the post’s claims and concluded they were misleading and wrong.

“If only six per cent of people who died of COVID-19 actually died from the infection, with the others dying from other things while they had coronavirus, it would reduce the death toll of the dread disease substantially. Sadly, this is complete and utter nonsense,” he wrote in a blog post on August 31.

The US National Center of Health Statistics (NCHS) told AAP FactCheck via email the post’s claims were incorrect.

 

Read more here

MEDIA CONTACT
Register for reporter access to contact details



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 3383
Released: 24-Sep-2020 10:45 AM EDT
Uncovering a ‘suPAR’ culprit behind kidney injury in COVID-19
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A new observational study finds patients in the hospital for COVID-19 have high levels of soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR), an immune-derived pathogenic protein that is strongly predictive of kidney injury.

Released: 24-Sep-2020 10:35 AM EDT
Climate pledges 'like tackling COVID-19 without social distancing'
University of Exeter

Current global pledges to tackle climate change are the equivalent of declaring a pandemic without a plan for social distancing, researchers say.

Released: 24-Sep-2020 10:10 AM EDT
Rebound or Permanent Slump? Possible Impacts of US COVID-19 Fiscal Policies
University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Fiscal policy is a powerful tool to combat economic downturns, but the results depend on decreasing inequality, an imperative to the efficacy of fiscal multipliers. As COVID-19 cases rise, new research offers insights into which fiscal policies may bolster the economy — and the other options, which may have long-term ramifications.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 24-Sep-2020 2:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 24-Sep-2020 9:25 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 24-Sep-2020 2:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 24-Sep-2020 5:05 AM EDT
Many Americans continue to maintain unhealthy lifestyle habits during COVID-19; overeating, alcohol drinking and marijuana use increase while exercise declines, reports USC Center for the Digital Future
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

After more than six months of living in a pandemic, large percentages of Americans continue to indulge in unhealthy lifestyle habits, including overeating and increased use of alcohol and marijuana — all while many are exercising less, according to a study of the cultural impact of COVID-19 conducted by the USC Center for the Digital Future (CDF).

Newswise: Houston Methodist COVID-19 study shows rapid spread and potential for mutant viruses
Released: 23-Sep-2020 4:55 PM EDT
Houston Methodist COVID-19 study shows rapid spread and potential for mutant viruses
Houston Methodist

Molecular analysis of COVID-19’s powerful second wave in Houston shows a mutated virus strain linked to higher transmission and infection rates than the coronavirus strains that caused Houston’s first wave. Gene sequencing results from 5,085 COVID-positive patients tested at Houston Methodist since early March show a virus capable of adapting, surviving and thriving – making it more important than ever for physician scientists to understand its evolution as they work to discover effective vaccines and therapies.

Newswise: Likely molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis are revealed by network biology
Released: 23-Sep-2020 4:00 PM EDT
Likely molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis are revealed by network biology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Researchers combined a lung-epithelial cell host interactome with a SARS-CoV-2 interactome. Network biology analysis of this human/SARS-CoV-2 interactome revealed potential molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newswise: Statins Reduce COVID-19 Severity, Likely by Removing Cholesterol That Virus Uses to Infect
Released: 23-Sep-2020 3:45 PM EDT
Statins Reduce COVID-19 Severity, Likely by Removing Cholesterol That Virus Uses to Infect
University of California San Diego Health

Analyzing anonymized patient medical records, UC San Diego researchers discovered that cholesterol-lowering statins reduced risk of severe COVID-19 infection, while lab experiments uncovered a cellular mechanism that helps explain why.

Newswise: Flu Season Returns As The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues
Released: 23-Sep-2020 2:00 PM EDT
Flu Season Returns As The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues
Johns Hopkins Medicine

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with no end in sight, the annual flu season emerges once again. Cases of the flu have already begun to surface around the nation, and there are some reports of co-infection with COVID-19. Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say now is the time to take action to fight against the flu. Doctors recommend that everyone age 6 months and older get the flu vaccine each year to prevent infection from the virus or reduce the severity of the illness.

Released: 23-Sep-2020 1:45 PM EDT
Mathematics: Modelling the timings of a COVID-19 second wave in Europe
Scientific Reports

How a second wave of COVID-19 infections may evolve across Europe over the next few months, using data on infection rates and travel within and between European countries, is modelled in a Scientific Reports paper.


Showing results

110 of 3383

close
0.91708