CDC official affirms coronavirus deaths really are coronavirus deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doubled down against rumors -- spread mostly on social media -- suggesting that coronavirus deaths have been g...

Posted: Sep 2, 2020 7:50 AM
Updated: Sep 2, 2020 8:00 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doubled down against rumors -- spread mostly on social media -- suggesting that coronavirus deaths have been greatly exaggerated.

People are misinterpreting standard death certificate language, CDC's top expert on mortality said. President Trump has retweeted social media conspiracy theories saying that only a small percentage of the people reported to have died from coronavirus really did die from the virus. They have pointed to death certificates that list other underlying causes.

But that doesn't mean the patients did not die from coronavirus, Bob Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the CDC, said in a statement.

'In 94% of deaths with COVID-19, other conditions are listed in addition to COVID-19. These causes may include chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension,' Anderson said in the statement, provided to CNN by CDC. 'In 6% of the death certificates that list Covid-19, only one cause or condition is listed,' the statement added.

'The underlying cause of death is the condition that began the chain of events that ultimately led to the person's death. In 92% of all deaths that mention Covid-19, Covid-19 is listed as the underlying cause of death.'

Other top health officials, including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that CDC mortality statistics are accurate, and have explained that just because a death certificate lists other conditions, it doesn't mean one of those conditions caused a death.

What the other conditions do tell doctors, Anderson said, is that people who have chronic conditions are more likely to suffer severe disease and to die from coronavirus.

Death certificates may also include acute conditions caused by the viral infection, such as pneumonia or respiratory failure.

According to Johns Hopkins University, which uses independent data for its reporting on coronavirus cases and deaths, there have been more than 185,000 deaths from Covid-19 as of late Wednesday afternoon.

CDC data shows that, as of August 22, 161,392 death certificates listed coronavirus as a cause of death.

CDC documents say communities should prepare to distribute Covid-19 vaccines as soon as late October

City and state health officials should prepare to distribute a vaccine as soon as late October, planning documents from the CDC say.

The scenarios offer details about distribution plans for two Covid-19 vaccines when supplies might be limited.

The documents say priority should go to people including health care professionals, essential workers, long-term care facility residents, and staff and national security populations.

The documents, which do not necessarily mean a vaccine will be available by late October, were first posted by the New York Times and confirmed by CNN on Wednesday.

Dr. Fauci says colleges shouldn't send infected students home

New Covid-19 hot spots keep popping up across the US, with worrying trends in the Midwest and at colleges nationwide.

More than 25,000 cases of Covid-19 have been reported from colleges and universities in 37 states, according to a CNN tally through Wednesday.

But it's not just college students getting more infections. The number of new cases among children has jumped 17% in two weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

While Covid-19 deaths are rare among children and young adults, many young people are suffering long-term effects from the disease. And even those without symptoms can easily spread coronavirus to others.

That's why colleges and universities shouldn't send infected students home, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

'Keep them at the university in a place that's sequestered enough from the other students. But don't have them go home, because they could be spreading it in their home state,' Fauci told NBC's 'Today' show in an interview aired Wednesday.

Campuses shouldn't shut down after an outbreak because it would scatter and spread the virus further, Fauci said. 'It's the worst thing you could do,' he said.

70,000 new child cases in 2 weeks

From the beginning of this pandemic through August 27, more than 476,000 children have been infected, according to the report from the AAP and the hospitals group.

Children at that time represented 9.5% of all coronavirus cases, up from 9.3% a week earlier, the report said.

And from August 13 through August 27, 70,330 new child cases were reported, it said. That's a 17% increase in child cases over two weeks.

Nationwide, more than 6 million people in the US have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 184,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Iowa State University reverses field on fans at football game

No Midwestern state has seen a drop in new cases this past week compared with the previous week, according to data Wednesday morning from Johns Hopkins University.

Iowa and South Dakota are two of the six states across the country that have seen at least a 50% increase in new cases this past week.

Track the virus in your state and nationwide

In Iowa, 'the uptick in people is from a younger cohort of people,' said Dr. Ravi Vemuri, an infectious disease specialist at MercyOne medical center.

Iowa State University, in Ames, reversed its decision to allow some fans to attend its home football game a week from Saturday.

Director of athletics Jamie Pollard says school president Dr. Wendy Wintersteen made the decision after 'weighing feedback she has received from the community.' The school still plans to have fans at other games.

One of the other major universities in the state is the University of Iowa, a member of the Big Ten, which has postponed football until next year.

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague said the return of students at that school helped fuel spread of the virus.

'We have a 30% positivity rate just within a 24-hour period,' Teague told CNN. 'So we have some major concerns that we must address. We've got to get a little bit ahead of the game because we're definitely looking in the rearview mirror and trying to catch up. And our efforts are not totally where they need to be.'

Teague issued a face-mask mandate for Iowa City back in July, but the state has not followed suit -- despite a dire report from the White House coronavirus task force.

The report, dated Sunday, said Iowa is in the 'red zone' with the highest rate of cases in the US, which increased 77.4% from the previous week. It also said Iowa had the fifth-highest test positivity rate in the country.

The task force called for a mask mandate, the closure of bars and a plan from universities as the pandemic intensifies in the Midwest.

The White House task force releases state-by-state reports each week to governors' offices, but has declined to make them publicly available. CNN obtained the Iowa record, first reported by the Des Moines Register, from the state Department of Public Health.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds suggested a state mask mandate is not necessary, despite increasing Covid-19 numbers.

'In two weeks, Johnson County went from 9.1% positivity rate to almost 30% positivity rate,' Reynolds told reporters Wednesday. She said new cases among young adults ages 18 to 40 went from 59% to 91%.

Reynolds said she has worked to increase personal protective equipment and provide more testing resources to colleges.

'We're going to monitor through this next week, and we're going to see if the mitigation efforts that we've applied starts to reduce those numbers,' she said. 'And if they don't, then we'll take additional steps.'

$5 tests are expected this month

The National Institutes of Health announced a $129.3 million initiative Wednesday to boost the manufacturing of rapid tests and widen the network of labs. The NIH said this should significantly increase the number of tests by millions per week.

The contracts go to nine companies as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program. The goal is to speed up turnaround times for test results in places that have suffered backlogs.

An insufficient number of tests -- combined with dayslong waits to get results -- has been a major roadblock to controlling Covid-19 in the US, health experts have said. But this month, $5 rapid tests will be distributed to states, said Adm. Brett Giroir, the head of US Covid-19 testing efforts.

The nasal swab antigen test does not require an instrument to read it and comes with a free smartphone app so the health care provider can record the test results and automatically send it to public health systems.

Giroir said 48 million tests a month will be available to the US.

Testing availability and speed has improved in the US, particularly since the disastrous spring delays. Giroir said 91.9% of results from major referral labs -- which perform about half the tests in the US -- were completed within three days. The mean turnaround time in August for large referral labs was 2.27 days.

But that 2.27-day average wait time means people can infect others unknowingly -- especially if they're asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Public health officials and lab industry experts have repeatedly asked the federal government to take a stronger leadership role in coordinating testing supplies.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1194629

Reported Deaths: 22947
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4773819428
DuPage775061205
Will65561906
Lake59972931
Kane51118723
Winnebago28430444
Madison28186461
St. Clair25649469
McHenry24580266
Champaign18241127
Peoria16983266
Sangamon16243222
McLean14707160
Tazewell13627240
Rock Island13140287
Kankakee12576189
Kendall1116987
LaSalle10884222
Macon9508186
Vermilion8618118
DeKalb8354115
Adams8035114
Williamson6858121
Whiteside5947149
Boone593671
Clinton558289
Coles523992
Grundy518563
Ogle505475
Knox5022133
Jackson461560
Effingham450169
Macoupin437280
Henry434658
Marion4272112
Livingston425277
Franklin416566
Stephenson411176
Monroe408486
Jefferson3994116
Randolph398079
Woodford369860
Morgan361277
Montgomery353670
Lee337243
Christian332668
Bureau332476
Logan331353
Fayette307052
Perry306857
Fulton288145
Iroquois278862
Jersey249947
Douglas246933
McDonough233740
Saline232848
Lawrence231924
Union220638
Shelby215234
Crawford201324
Bond191624
Cass189522
Pike170250
Clark168831
Wayne168849
Hancock168229
Warren166544
Richland163638
Jo Daviess161422
White161425
Ford159845
Washington158724
Carroll158035
Edgar155338
Moultrie150224
Clay143542
Greene138332
Johnson135312
Piatt133914
Wabash130512
Mercer128733
Mason128641
De Witt128322
Massac128134
Cumberland120118
Jasper111217
Menard10428
Marshall84515
Hamilton79115
Schuyler6825
Pulaski6716
Brown6656
Stark54422
Edwards52810
Henderson50414
Calhoun4822
Alexander4539
Scott4491
Gallatin4384
Putnam4213
Hardin34612
Pope2843
Out of IL50
Unassigned02246

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434