As the number of COVID-19 deaths is poised to cross the grim threshold of 200,000 any day now, it's sad — maddening, really — that there are still people out there protesting masks and comparing the death toll of COVID-19 to that of the flu.
And in case you're still in doubt about whether COVID-19 is the same as the flu, here's a comparison of weekly US deaths attributed to COVID-19 compared to deaths attributed to the flu and pneumonia.
Using data from the CDC and HealthData.gov, Reddit user johntdowney created a graph that contrasts the United States' weekly death toll from COVID-19 with that of influenza and pneumonia for the past seven years.
It should be noted that pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, is often a complication of COVID-19, which may explain the spike in pneumonia-related deaths in 2020. It's also apparent from the graph that the number of deaths attributed to influenza for the past seven years doesn't come anywhere close to the fatalities caused by COVID-19.
And while earlier this year, some political figures, including President Trump, frequently compared COVID-19 deaths to flu deaths, writers like Jeremy Samuel Faust have pointed out that the flu data cited by Trump are "estimates that the CDC produces by multiplying the number of flu death counts reported by various coefficients produced through complicated algorithms," rather than actual reported flu deaths. Furthermore, according to a recently-released recording from journalist Bob Woodward, Trump knowingly downplayed the severity of COVID-19 in early 2020.