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Why Trump’s 6% COVID-19 Mortality Rate Statistic is a Manipulating Lie

The coronavirus without a doubt has impacted everyone’s life within the past 6 months. It had quarantined us, made us wear masks and adjust to many new normals. It makes me sad that protecting the safety of others has become a political issue instead of a moral duty.  Also that so many lies have minimized the issue, but most recently the 6% rule.  For context, Donald Trump on September 1st declared in an interview with Fox News that only 6% of COVID reported deaths were people who actually died from the disease. This statement was crafted in such a way to portray a false image to the public. 

The point is that these individuals would not have died this soon in their lives without contracting COVID-19.

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When a patient enters the hospital for COVID their health history is included in their intake form. This can include previous conditions including asthma, kidney disease and many others. There is a list of previous health conditions that make coronavirus contraction a bigger risk for these individuals.  For example, diabetes would not kill someone normally on a regular day. COVID is what would make a diabetic individual pass away today if it was contracted. 

The point is that these individuals would not have died from their condition without contracting COVID-19. 

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Dying from the coronavirus is an excruciating process for both the victim and their family. The way the disease operates is that it causes people to enter respiratory distress, cardiac arrest or another fatal process which ultimately kills the victim. The victim though would not have entered this state without being infected with the coronavirus. Yet, when an individual passes a doctor must note that these events did occur to cause the death of the person. COVID is still the primary cause of death as it precipitated the fatal consequences.

The point is that these people would not have endured a medically fatal event without contracting COVID-19. 

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So where did Trump get the 6% fantasy? The claim that out of the 185,000 reported COVID-19 deaths in the United States only 6% of people actually died from coronavirus means that 6% of COVID fatalities had absolutely nothing else wrong with their health history. This 6% had absolutely nothing in their past medical record which is extremely rare. Trump got the 6% from these victims only listing the coronavirus as the cause of death. There were no underlying conditions present or any fatal medical events due to COVID that resulted in the death. As I have outlined though people with underlying health conditions or dying from a medical reaction due to COVID-19 only died because of contracting the disease.  Coronavirus did indeed take all 185,000 of those individuals' lives. Trump’s 6% fact had been correctly debunked but he has failed to comment at this time (I wonder why). 

The point is that these individuals’ lives mattered and would not have been lost without contracting COVID-19. 

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Imagine not having any other underlying health conditions and how rare the chances of that are. Imagine having lost a loved one to coronavirus but their death is dismissed. You know that they would still be here now without contracting COVID.  This massive death rate in America was preventable. The United States makes up only 4% of the world population but we make up 25% of all COVID deaths. We need leadership that understands the seriousness of this pandemic, can create policies to protect the safety and health of everyone’s lives and that citizens can trust to tell us the truth. 

The point is that so many creative, gifted and valued minds would not be gone without contracting COVID-19.

Kate O’Leary

Wisconsin '23

Kate is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin Madison majoring in Biology, Psychology, and Sociology. She is the proud co-president of Her Campus Wisconsin. Kate enjoys indoor cycling, spending time with friends, cheering on the Badgers and making the absolute best crepes ever!
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