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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project

Flawed Report Fuels Erroneous Claims About COVID-19 Death Toll

Flawed Report Fuels Erroneous Claims About COVID-19 Death Toll

Viral social media posts cite a flawed paper in falsely claiming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed death certificate procedures and violated federal law, resulting in wildly inflated COVID-19 deaths. The CDC hasn’t altered how death certificates for COVID-19 are filled out, and there is no federal law governing the process.

How lethal is COVID-19?

It’s difficult to know exactly how deadly COVID-19 is, but as the World Health Organization has written, studies estimate that the infection fatality ratio, or percentage of deaths out of all infections, is between 0.5% and 1%. The true rate isn’t clear, since the pandemic is ongoing and not all infections have been diagnosed.
The case fatality rate, or percentage of deaths out of confirmed cases, was 1.8% in the United States as of March 31.

What Do the New Coronavirus Variants Mean for the Pandemic?

What Do the New Coronavirus Variants Mean for the Pandemic?

Q: What are the risks of the newly identified coronavirus variants?
A: It’s not yet known whether mutant versions cause more severe disease, but some are likely more contagious. Scientists expect vaccines will work but are monitoring the situation.

Instagram Post Distorts Facts on COVID-19 Death Reporting

Instagram Post Distorts Facts on COVID-19 Death Reporting

An Instagram post falsely claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting all pneumonia and influenza deaths as caused by COVID-19. That’s wrong and is based on a misreading of one type of monitoring the agency conducts.

Trump’s False Claim on Coronavirus Harm

Trump’s False Claim on Coronavirus Harm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that through May 30, 14% of confirmed coronavirus cases led to hospitalizations — including 2% in intensive care units. But President Donald Trump falsely claimed “99%” of cases “are totally harmless.”

Trump Baselessly Claims Coronavirus Will ‘Go Away’ Without Vaccine

Trump Baselessly Claims Coronavirus Will ‘Go Away’ Without Vaccine

At a White House meeting with fellow Republicans, President Donald Trump said, without evidence, that the coronavirus “is going to go away without a vaccine.” While it’s impossible to predict the future, experts say it’s unlikely that the virus will simply go away.

False Perception of COVID-19’s Impact on the Homeless

False Perception of COVID-19’s Impact on the Homeless

Viral posts suggest that COVID-19 can’t be a serious disease if it hasn’t “wiped out the homeless.” But recent reports published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found high rates of homeless residents testing positive for the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2.