False theories that the country’s top public health officials drastically decreased the estimate of the coronavirus death toll went viral on social media over the weekend, in part thanks to posts President Donald Trump shared. Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, also shared the fake news.
The posts, which have been shared by supporters of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory, claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its data to say that only 6% of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. were real. One such post the president shared has been removed by Twitter.
Although the numbers cited did come from CDC data, they were widely misinterpreted, health experts say.
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