疾控中心在 2020 年夏季 “悄悄更新” 了其 COVID-19 死亡率统计数据，显示之前报告的死亡人数中只有 6% 是由冠状病毒造成的，而其余 94% 死于先前存在的健康状况。
In attempt to ring the alarm on supposed deceptive practices by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hard-line conservatives including U.S. President Donald Trump promoted the idea in August 2020 that the public health agency suddenly changed its methods for reporting COVID-19 mortality statistics.
And as a result, viral social media posts alleged, America only tallied about 9,000 COVID-19 fatalities, or roughly 6% of the more than 150,000 deaths widely reported by politicians, scientists, and news reporters.
Many believers, including conspiracy theorist Jeff Berwick, dubbed the alleged change by the CDC evidence that people other than his followers were exaggerating the seriousness of the pandemic, and that everyone should be skeptical of rules on social distancing that halt the economy. In a Sept. 1 video, for example, he said: “It’s been proven by the CDC — [the pandemic] is nothing, it was absolutely nothing. Zero. 9,000 people? That’s nothing.”
The death certification statistics, in short, prove that people with preexisting health problems — such as asthma or hypertension — face higher risk for serious illness, or dying, if they’re infected with COVID-19, according to Bob Anderson, lead mortality statistician at NCHS. He said in a statement to NBC News: “These data are consistent with CDC guidance that those with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19.”
Additionally, Fauci explained the phenomena in a Sept. 1 interview on the ABC program “Good Morning America:
The point that the CDC was trying to make was that a certain percentage of [COVID-19 deaths] had nothing else but just COVID. That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of COVID didn’t die of COVID-19 — they did. So the numbers that you’ve been hearing — the 180,000-plus deaths — are real deaths from COVID-19. …It’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Next, we found data to address another aspect of the fringe theory: that the “overwhelming majority” of reported COVID-19 deaths were among people of a “very advanced age.” For the purpose of this report, we considered that group to be people aged 85 or older. And according to the CDC death certificate data, 53,000 documents for that population listed COVID-19 as a potential cause of death, accounting for about one-third of the total, or less than the majority.
We should note here: Epidemiologists and health officials have been up front with the fact that COVID-19 patients who are older — as well as those who have underlying health problems — are at greater risk for serious problems.
“As you get older, your risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19 increases. Everyone, especially older adults and others at increased risk of severe illness, should take steps to protect themselves from getting COVID-19,” according to the CDC. Eight out of 10 people who have died as a result of COVID-19 in the U.S. were over the age of 65, per the agency’s data.
Lastly, we looked for any evidence to confirm or deny that the CDC attempted to “quietly” adjust its mortality statistics under the public’s radar. Bob Anderson, lead mortality statistician at NCHS, told NBC News in a statement the death certificate data does “not represent new information as NCHS has been publishing this same information since the outset when we began posting data on COVID-19 deaths on our web site.”
In sum, considering the way in which the coronavirus impacts the human body, the way the CDC compiles data from death certificates — listing comorbidities that were either developed or exacerbated by COVID-19 — as well as the fact that one-third of COVID-19 fatalities were people aged 85, we rate this claim “False.”