(CNN)Even though the coronavirus pandemic continues to take lives across the United States, Covid-19 has not become the leading cause of death in the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed to CNN.
“There are no data to support that theory,” Jeff Lancashire, a spokesperson for the National Center for Health Statistics, said in an email on Friday.
False claims declaring that coronavirus has become the leading cause of death in the US have swirled as the US leads the world in coronavirus cases. Those claims are made by some experts comparing how many people die of coronavirus daily with the estimate of how many people may die daily on average of each leading cause of death, using CDC data.
In other words — the claims involve comparing reported deaths from Covid-19 to estimated deaths for leading causes of deaths, which include heart disease and cancer.
“We have limited data on 2020 deaths by cause, and no final official numbers yet for 2019, but we do know by looking at the final death totals in 2018 for the two leading causes of death in the U.S., Heart Disease and Cancer, there is no way that at this point COVID-19 comes anywhere close to those totals,” Lancashire said in the email.
He noted that between January and April in 2018, more than 234,000 people in the United States died of heart disease and nearly 199,000 died of cancer.
So far during the coronavirus pandemic, there have been about 16,700 Covid-19 deaths in the United States, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.