Doctors explain CDC statistic on COVID-19 deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that for 6% of coronavirus deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause.

The report is causing some confusion, so a Central Florida doctor is helping to explain the numbers to FOX 35 News Orlando Monday. 

The report from the CDC says that COVID-19 is listed as an underlying cause of death in 94 percent of patients. For the remaining six percent, COVID-19 was the sole cause of death. 
“COVID causes people to die. It causes people to die,” said Seminole County Medical Director Dr. Todd Husty. “You certainly can’t say that just because they have other conditions then it’s not the COVID. No. That’s not how it works.”
So what do these numbers mean? 
Dr. Husty says people with pre-existing conditions are at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19. But, had they not contracted the virus, they might still be alive and managing their pre-existing condition with treatment. 
“Diabetes and COVID is a high risk of death. The COVID is making everything else much worse,” said Dr. Todd Husty. “It’s really the COVID that’s the problem everything else we could have dealt with if it wasn’t for COVID.”
The CDC lists the comorbidities of the people who have died from COVID-19, which includes hypertensive diseases and heart disease. 
Since the beginning of the pandemic, doctors have said people with pre-existing conditions have an increased risk of catching the virus.  
“We’ve known since the beginning of COVID that these are the risk groups and they have higher mortality,” said Dr. Husty. “The fact that only 6 percent of people had COVID only I don’t think that’s out of the line of what we’ve been saying all along. It’s the exact same thing.