The CDC now claims that 94% of all coronavirus deaths had more than one pre-existing conditions or co-morbidities, meaning less than 10,000 Americans have died ONLY from COVID-19
Two days ago, we wrote about the recently updated provisional death counts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The death count was for the reporting period 2/1/2020 through 8/22/2020. The updated report has sparked debate about who has died ‘from’ COVID-19 rather than ‘with’ COVID-19. Since the article was published, we’ve received countless emails from our readers asking for more clarity about the report.
On August 26, the CDC provides its weekly updates on provisional death counts for coronavirus disease 2019 along with demographic and geographic, race, place of death, comorbidities, and excess deaths. The section of the report that sparked the debate is “Comorbidities.” The medical definition of Comorbidities is when a person has more than one underlying health-related conditions present in them at once.
According to the CDC stats, 94% of all coronavirus deaths, on average, have 2 or more pre-existing conditions or causes per death or co-morbidities. This means that less than 10,000 Americans or 6% of the 161,392 US deaths are related to COVID-19 only. Put another way, 94% of Americans who died from COVID-19 had other “types of health conditions and contributing causes” in addition to the virus, CDC said in the updated report.
A breakdown of comorbidities further shows that 94% of the deaths were not just from COVID-19 alone but also related to other diseases including respiratory diseases, circulatory diseases, sepsis, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer disease, and others.
The provisional data further shows that the highest rates of deaths occurred in those ages 75 and older. CDC added:
Provisional death counts deliver the most complete and accurate picture of lives lost to COVID-19. They are based on death certificates, which are the most reliable source of data and contain information not available anywhere else, including comorbid conditions, race and ethnicity, and place of death.
CDC said “the provisional death counts are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics as of August 26, 2020. Death counts are delayed and may differ from other published sources.”
Given that the average life expectancy rate in the US is 78, it is not surprising to see that a couple of states purposely put COVID patients in nursing homes where individuals were at greater risk.
Below is the excerpt from the CDC on Comorbidities.
Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups.
CDC NOTE: The number of conditions reported in this table are tabulated from deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period. Data for this table are derived from a cut of the NVSS database taken at a particular time, separate from other surveillance tables on this page which are tabulated on the date of update. As a result, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in this table may not match other surveillance tables on this page.
*Data during the period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS, and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more.
1Conditions contributing to death were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICDndash;10). Deaths involving more than one condition (e.g., deaths involving both diabetes and respiratory arrest) were counted in both totals. To avoid counting the same death multiple times, the numbers for different conditions should not be summated.
2Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD–10 code U07.1