The most common false thing that I am hearing from the right these days is that most COVID deaths are not actually from COVID but from other causes.
This is at best a misconception, and at worst genocidal COVID denialism. Let me explain.
The origin of this conspiracy theory, as I am beginning to learn of all conspiracy theories, is rooted in a twisted interpretation of a grain of truth. The grain of truth is that people that die of COVID often have other conditions that make them more vulnerable. Here is data from Worldometer.info- as you can see more than 98% of people that die of COVID are over 75 years old or have a pre-existing condition such as asthma or heart disease.
So this is true. But yeah so what? Many people with asthma are pretty unlikely to die from asthma ever in their lifetime. This includes many children and otherwise healthy adults with asthma. They would have gone their whole lives without dying from asthma were it not for getting COVID. So what killed them? COVID killed them. Yes, they also have asthma, but some people’s husbands, nieces, cousins or friends with asthma would almost certainly still be alive today were it not for COVID.
Same goes for other conditions. More than half of this country has one or more of these conditions- heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, cancer, high blood pressure, GI disease. These people that died from COVID but also had these conditions- do you think they deserved to die?
These conditions do make people more vulnerable to COVID, but very few of them would have died this year if it weren’t for COVID. And almost everyone will end up with one or more conditions that makes them more vulnerable in their lifetime. If you are an otherwise healthy 60 year old with high blood pressure- do you deserve to die of COVID because you were going to die anyway (like eventually going to die- like in the next 30 years)? This is really terrible.
It’s also a slap in the face to health care workers. Are you denying that they are putting themselves at risk everyday to save lives from COVID?
Lastly, by denying that people are dying of COVID, you are suggesting people be reckless. You are suggesting no masks, open schools, no distancing etc. In a world where people are finding it very difficult to sort out what’s true or not, you are spreading a dangerous lie and making it more likely people won’t take COVID seriously. COVID is deadly serious. It’s 200,000 people dead, about to be the leading cause of death in America this year, serious.