• Allison Pamer

CDC states 94% of Americans who died from COVID-19 had contributing conditions

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On August 26, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its new COVID-19 report which states 94% of people who died from Coronavirus in the United States had contributing health conditions. More specifically, it states, “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,” states the report.

That is 9,210 deaths out of 150,000+ in the United States.

The other 94% had two to three serious illnesses, and a majority of them were elders. 90% of the deaths were from patients in nursing homes.

What qualifies as a “contributing health condition” you may ask?

Some examples are: cancer, chronic kidney disease, serious heart conditions(heart failure, coronary artery disease, etc.), sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes, and in some cases, car crashes.

Dying from a car crash is not an underlying condition. However in states like Florida, there was a case of a man who tested positive for COVID-19 and died in a car crash at the time. His death was counted as a COVID-19 death. Oregon has the same procedure- if a person has COVID-19 and dies in a car crash, it will be counted as a death due to COVID-19. So even when a person who has tested positive for COVID dies of something that has no correlation to the virus, it is still counted as a COVID-19 death since the person was sick with it at the time.

Another example of Non COVID-19 related deaths being counted as COVID-19 deaths includes officials in Alabama ruling that one out of ten people whose death was counted as a COVID-19 death, did not die of COVID-19.

In Colorado, they had deaths that were counted as COVID-19 deaths that seemed most likely based on their symptoms, yet the patient was never tested. This means that in some states, Coronavirus deaths may not be as exact as we think. If these states keep counting these deaths as COVID deaths without being certain that was the cause, who knows how wrong the numbers can get.

Thankfully, in California, it is different.

“For instance, if somebody had a car accident because they fainted and they only fainted because they ran a fever of 105 because they had a horrible pneumonia because of COVID, then actually COVID was an underlying condition that caused their death even though they actually died from crashing the car," explained Dr. Henning Ansorg, a Santa Barbara County Health Officer.

Sgt. Tony Perry, associated with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office Coroner Unit, confirms how COVID-19 deaths are counted.

"The California Department of Public Health monitors all death certificates and requires agencies and the health department to process death certificates with at least two causes of death when it comes to COVID-19," Sgt. Perry said.

As of Monday August 31, 2020, Johns Hopkins University reports the US has passed six million Coronavirus cases and a total of 183,000 deaths.

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