Dr. Tim Friel with Lehigh Valley Health Network says the US is living through not one, but three pandemics: COVID-19, fear, and misinformation.
He says the interpretation by some of a new report by the CDC on COVID deaths is proof. The report says 94 percent of the more than 183,000 people who died had underlying conditions. But check social media and you will see people who read that as only a fraction of the deaths being COVID related. Not true, says Friel.
"This perception that only 6% of deaths are actually related to COVID because it’s the only thing that’s listed on the death certificates is a really really dangerous and misguided stance," said Friel.
Friel says doctors often list co-morbidities on death certificates. And in the case of COVID, he says diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are listed frequently.
But he says even though those conditions hurt a patient's chance to beat the virus, it is typically the virus that ultimately kills them.
Friel says COVID misinformation has run rampant for months with dangerous consequences.
"People were actually drinking hand sanitizers or people were considering drinking bleach because they heard or misheard that bleach could be helpful in preventing COVID-19," said Friel.
And it's not just average Joes touched by misinformation. On Monday, President Trump re-tweeted a post that quoted the same misinterpretation of the CDC report. It was taken down by Twitter.
Friel says it's important to make sure we know the facts about COVID and continue to take proper precautions to prevent it like wearing a mask, washing our hands, and social distancing.