CLAIM: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its website to reduce the coronavirus death count from 64,283 to 37,308.
THE FACTS: Social media users are highlighting numbers on the CDC website to suggest the nation's health protection agency inflated the number of coronavirus deaths to make the virus appear worse than it is. But the numbers being used are incomplete. They come from a page on the agency's website that provides provisional death count numbers for the coronavirus. The page clearly states that the National Vital Statistics Systems data shown may be incomplete and explains that death counts are delayed and may be different from other sources.
“COVID-19 death counts shown here may differ from other published sources, as data currently are lagged by an average of 1–2 weeks,” the page states. The posts were shared widely on Twitter and Facebook early in the week. “Updated CDC website May 1: drops total US COVID19 death rate from 64,283 to 37,308,” another post on Facebook said. “28,295 died of something else.” Figures on the CDC website on Thursday put the total number of deaths from COVID-19 at 73,297. The provisional numbers shared by social media users had showed the death count between Feb. 1 and April 25 and relied on death counts based on death certificate data, which can take longer to process. The CDC includes a wide variety of statistics around the coronavirus on its website, which also include disclaimers on how the data was obtained.