False COVID-19 claim retweeted by Trump removed from Twitter

(Gray News) - Twitter removed a post that President Donald Trump retweeted Sunday because it contained a false claim about coronavirus death statistics, which violated the company’s rules.

The tweet, originally posted by a supporter of a baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data that indicated only 6% of people listed as having died from COVID-19 “actually died” from the virus.

But that’s inaccurate.

In truth, the CDC data says 6% of death certificates that list COVID-19 indicate it was the only factor in the fatality. The other 94% percent of patients had, on average, two to three “contributing causes” mentioned in addition to COVID-19 on their death certificates.

These contributing causes include pre-existing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, which the CDC has long stated increase a person’s chances of dying from the coronavirus. In addition, factors such as pneumonia that may be caused by COVID-19 may also be listed on death certificates.

Just because these patients had other factors that contributed to their deaths does not mean that COVID-19 was not a major reason, or the major reason, they died when they did.

In fact, the CDC reports COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause on the death certificate in 94% of these deaths.

The CDC told CNN in July that COVID-19 would be a Top 10 leading cause of death for 2020. While the final ranking will not be available until next year, data from 2018, the most recent year available, indicates COVID-19 will rank third behind heart disease and cancer.

As of August 28, the CDC reported 167,558 deaths involving COVID-19 in the U.S. since February.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.