What does the CDC report about COVID-19 deaths?

You may be surprised. We over here at Let’s Get Real certainly were!

According to the CDC*, just 6% of all COVID-19 deaths are related to COVID-19 only.

That’s right.


We did the math for you: that’s 7,677 deaths** in the United States (and represents approximately .0019 [less than 1%] of all cases).

According to the CDC, 94% of all COVID-19 deaths had other comorbidities (i.e. underlying health conditions or other causes) contributing to the death.

As an example (see the chart below, and also sourced to the CDC website), of the 127,947 COVID-19 deaths** represented on this chart, 19,103 also had diabetes as a factor in their death. 3,721 had injuries or other accidents, 5,728 had cancer.

Now, the way to read this chart is complicated. PLEASE refer to the CDC website for more information. As an example, if you died today and had heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and COVID-19 potentially contributing to your death, you would be listed in all 4 of those categories.

If you died in a car accident and had COVID-19 you would be listed in two categories.

As such, there’s very little correlation to these numbers. And it results in the fact that you can’t add up these numbers or subtract one from the other to get to the CDC’s number of 6%.

Frustrating, we know.

But, don’t take it from us – here’s the language from the CDC website:

“Table 4 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.”

Read that again: on average there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death contributing to COVID-19 death counts.

You may read that list of causes and realize your risk could be much higher than you previously thought. You may read that list of causes and realize your risk could be much lower.

Whatever you do, remember: read past the headlines. Don’t believe the memes on your social media feeds. Get more information. Ask more questions.

Let’s Get Real.

* CDC Provisional Deaths. This data is more detailed and provides more verifiable information as per their website. Death figures could be lagging by 1 to 8 weeks and will be lower than what you see in the news or a simple google search.

**All lives matter. We are not discounting the value of any life. Each life is worth 100% to those families.