Nearly 99 percent of ‘Covid deaths’ reported by the CDC each week are not primarily caused by the virus, official data shows.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid dashboard shows just 1.7 percent of the 324 Covid deaths registered in the week ending August 19 had the coronavirus as the primary cause of death.
The figures suggest just a handful of American lives are being lost directly to the virus each week. For comparison, the virus was behind one in three ‘Covid deaths’ at America’s pandemic peak in 2021.
The primary or underlying cause of death is defined as the disease, situation or event that initiated the chain of events directly resulting in death.
Complications of the primary cause of death are usually considered secondary causes when doctors register a death certificate.
For example, Covid could be listed as a secondary cause of death when the virus puts too much stress on a person with a pre-existing heart condition.
The primary cause of death would be listed as heart disease, with Covid listed as a contributing cause.
The percentage of Covid deaths in the week ending Aug. 19 represents a slight increase from the previous week and continues a five-week upward trend, but is a drastic decline from the peak of the pandemic, when 30 percent of deaths listed Covid as the primary cause.
While the CDC has not reported what the primary cause of death was in cases where Covid was the secondary factor, separate data from the agency shows thus far in August, the largest cause of death in the US has been cancer, followed by diseases of the heart.
Covid data shows Washington, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland and New York all have higher rates of deaths due to Covid. Maryland and Florida have the highest, at 3.4 percent.
Washington, Tennessee, North Carolina and New York all hover around 2 percent.
More than two dozen states have experienced just one to nine deaths due to Covid in the week ending on Aug. 19
Data also shows the death rate is slightly higher among women than men, and death rates are highest in people 75 years and older.
The new Covid data will be reassuring at a time when panic is rising across the US as highly transmissible new Covid variants circulate, leading to more infections and hospitalizations and causing the reimplementation of some Covid mandates.
New variants EG.5, or Eris, and BA.8.26, or Pirola, have been detected in several countries around the globe and in the US recently.