Headline RoundupSeptember 1st, 2020

CDC's Updated COVID-19 Numbers Misinterpreted

AllSides Summary

A weekly update from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)reported that 94 percent of Americans who died from the COVID-19 coronavirus also had other “types of health conditions and contributing causes," while only 6 percent of COVID-19 related deaths cited the virus as the only cause of death. Some of the other health conditions include influenza and pneumonia, respiratory failure and respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest and heart failure; the CDC said the information is based on death certificates. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump retweeted a post by an alleged QAnon supporter suggesting that the CDC "quietly updated" the site and that it had previously inflated the death toll. The post was widely shared, but has since been deleted on Twitter for allegedly spreading misinformation. Coverage from left- and center-rated outlets focused on combating misinterpretations of the CDC data and framed the story as a concern that misinformation could be weaponized to spur distrust in media and in public health officials. Some left-rated outlets and fact checkers focused specifically on the president retweeting a misleading interpretation of the data, which was subsequently censored by Twitter. Coverage from the right tended to frame the new data as evidence that the virus' effects have purportedly been exaggerated.

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