FACT CHECK: Do Only 56 People A Day Die From COVID-19?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims only 56 people die per day from COVID-19.

Verdict: Misleading

While global daily COVID-19 deaths averaged below 100 in the early weeks and months of the pandemic, the virus has killed thousands of people every day since April 2020, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Fact Check:

Social media users are sharing a graph that claims only 56 people are dying per day from COVID-19, ranking it well below diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis B and pneumonia. “Imagine if you will, a disease so dangerous it can only be stopped by global communism,” reads the caption of one such post on Facebook.

The claim, however, is misleading. While less than 100 COVID-19 deaths were reported globally on some days in January, February and March of 2020, according to data from the WHO, the death rate rose dramatically in April 2020. According to the same data, thousands of people have died of COVID-19 every day since April 2020. For example, the WHO reported 3,982 worldwide COVID-19 deaths on Dec. 27 and 4,568 COVID-19 deaths on Dec. 20.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which tracks COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. alone, also routinely reports hundreds, if not thousands, of COVID-19 deaths a day. For example, it reported 507 new deaths on Dec. 18 and 2,093 on Dec. 28. The CDC has reported over 100 deaths per day since April 2020, according to data on its website(RELATED: Viral Post Conflates COVID-19 Antibody And Viral Tests)

Jasmine Reed, a CDC spokesperson, told Check Your Fact that the “7 day moving average of deaths reported per day has not been below 100 since March 23rd, 2020.”

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Check Your Fact in an email that the graph is outdated. “It may have been the case in the early months of 2020 that just 56 people died in a day when the burden of infection was lower but that has not been the case for some time,” said Adalja. “Individual states can exceed the 56 figure.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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