Twitter took down a tweet containing a false claim about coronavirus death statistics Sunday afternoon that was made by a supporter of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory – a post that President Donald Trump had retweeted earlier Sunday.
The tweet has been replaced with a message saying: “This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules.”
The claim from tweeter "Mel Q," copied from someone else’s Facebook post, was that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had “quietly” updated its numbers “to admit that only 6%” of people listed coronavirus deaths “actually died from Covid,” since “the other 94% had 2-3 other serious illnesses."
Trump shared the false information with his 85 million-plus followers. As of 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, the now deleted "Mel Q" tweet Trump amplified had been retweeted more than 48,000 times.
Its latest regular update to a public statistics page on the pandemic, the CDC said that for 6% of the deaths included in its statistics, “Covid-19 was the only cause mentioned” on the deceased person’s death certificate.
That is not at all the same thing as saying only 6% of reported Covid-19 deaths “actually died” from Covid-19. It simply means that the other 94% were listed as having at least one additional factor contributing to their death.
For example, the other 94% includes people whose death certificate listed both Covid-19 and obesity, both Covid-19 and diabetes, or both Covid-19 and heart disease -- among other conditions.
People can live with obesity, diabetes or heart disease for years but then get infected with Covid-19 and die quickly. The fact that they also had an underlying condition does not mean that Covid-19 was not a major reason, or the major reason, they died when they did.