Looking at the death counts for 2020 published on the CDC's website, total deaths "involving COVID-19" were 375,581, but total deaths "involving COVID-19 and pneumonia" were only 175,653.

So if less than half of all COVID deaths were caused by pneumonia, what were the rest caused by?


On the same CDC website, there is a section titled:

COVID-19 Mortality Overview

A link on this page (last but one) leads to a detailed analysis of comorbidalities:

Most Frequently Listed Comorbidities with COVID-19 Deaths

and also adds that as of 2nd Feb 2021, deaths involving:

  • Influenza/Pneumonia (44%)
  • Hypertension (20%)
  • Diabetes (16%)
  • Dementias (15%)
  • Sepsis (9%)

i.e. the patients already had these illnesses before catching COVID-19, and later died.

  • 1
    Might be worth pointing out explicitly that just because a cause of death does not include "pneumonia" does not mean pneumonia was not present. If listed alongside COVID-19 it may be that the person listing cause of death considered it redundant to write both. Feb 15 at 15:36

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