Vt. health commissioner clarifies on COVID and underlying conditions

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 5:54 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 8:42 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont’s health commissioner says “armchair epidemiologists” need to stop spreading false information about the COVID-19 death toll.

Friday, Dr. Mark Levine was asked about CDC numbers that show 94% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States had underlying health conditions like heart disease, hypertension and more. That number went viral after some on social media claimed it meant COVID-19 was only responsible for 6% of deaths.

Levine says that statement misrepresents the data and is false. He says many Americans have underlying health conditions and could have lived for longer if it weren’t for the virus.

“These are people who have died that wouldn’t have died otherwise if there were no COVID on the planet. And I can’t say that any more strongly. And we have 58 of them in our state,” Levine said.

Levine says it’s standard practice on death certificates to list all the underlying conditions a person has, as well as the coronavirus.

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