WASHINGTON — The 2020-2021 flu season is upon us. And in the midst of a pandemic, the situation is ripe for misinformation. That's why the Verify team is here to look into your claims and your questions about the flu.
Has COVID-19 killed more people in the last eight months than the flu has killed in five years?
Yes. The death toll of COVID-19 from February to September was 206,932 Americans. From 2015 to 2020, 178,165 Americans died because of the flu.
CDC: Past seasons estimated influenza disease burden counts
Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 data
The COVID-19 pandemic is often compared to the flu in social media posts.
A viewer sent us a Facebook post which claims, "In the last 8 months, 211,000+ Americans have died to COVID. In the last five years (2015-2020), [approximately] 178,000 Americans have died from the flu."
The Verify researched got the data and did the math, and found it to be true that more Americans were killed by COVID-19 in eight months than the flu in five years.
According to CDC data, the number of estimated deaths from Influenza are as follows:
In total, the estimated Influenza deaths from 2015 to 2020 are 178,165.
Based on Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 data dashboard, by the final day of September there had been a total of 206,932 deaths caused by Coronavirus.
In the United States, the COVID-19 death toll over a span of eight months is 16% higher than the influenza death toll over the last five years.