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Q: I noticed some statistics released by the CDC that stated the following: “Only 6 percent of deaths have COVID-19 as the only cause mentioned, revealing that 94 percent of patients who died from the coronavirus also had other health conditions and contributing causes.” Recent data shows that today, the death toll nationwide is about 188,000, with Champaign County listed as having 20 deaths. Would the CDC data indicate that the actual deaths from COVID-19 would be 11,280 for the U.S. and 1.2 for the county?

A: What the report said is that of reported COVID-19 deaths, 6 percent had only COVID-19 listed as the cause.

This is not new information. Most adults in the U.S. have some underlying health condition. This includes obesity, hypertension, asthma and diabetes.

Additionally, death certificates rarely list a single cause. If a person dies from acute respiratory syndrome or respiratory failure, COVID-19 may have beeen the contributing factor.

There are over 180,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S., in less than a year. This is difficult to digest, but it is factual.

Constantly looking for ways to dismiss the reality of the disease is not helpful. What is helpful is wearing a mask, staying 6 feet or more from others and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.

Get your flu shot, too! People die every year in the U.S. from vaccine-preventable influenza. That is also a reality.