CDC lowers COVID-19 death count by tens of thousands

In a letter last week, the CDC director discussed the "data modernization initiative" of her agency.

Published: March 23, 2022 10:12am

Updated: March 23, 2022 1:25pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently lowered the total COVID-19 death count by more than 72,000.

According to the agency, the government's algorithm over-counted COVID-related deaths by 72,277 across 26 states, specifically including 24% of pediatric deaths (416). 

On March 15, the data on the CDC's website was altered due to what, in a footnote, was explained as a "coding logic error." 

The agency's updated overall death count due to the coronavirus stands at approximately 969,000. The change was close to 7.5%, which represents a significant difference with the total number hovering so close to one million deaths.

The large drop in the figure of pediatric deaths due to COVID-19 puts the total number at 1,341 nationwide. Children have accounted for about 19% of all COVID-19 cases, though just 0.00%-0.01% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in deaths.

Last week, in a letter, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky discussed the "Data Modernization Initiative," a plan to make the CDC's data more accurate. The efforts come following months of demands from lawmakers and members of the media for more truthful COVID reporting from the government health agency. 

To this day, the CDC's COVID death count does not establish a clear difference between individuals who died as a result of COVID-19, and those who died with COVID-19. A more specific differentiating standard between the two distinct types of death could lead to a further downward revision of the country's COVID death count.

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