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DeWine Warns Against Overreacting To CDC Comorbidity Report

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine says the fact that the vast majority of people who died of COVID-19 had an underlying condition, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, should not come as a surprise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest report showed about 94% of COVID-19 deaths included people with a preexisting condition. Comorbidity is the presence of two conditions or illnesses found in a person.

As the CDC report says, as of August 26, "for deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death."

This statistic was at the center of misinformation that started to spread on social media, arguing that only 6% of COVID-19 deaths were actually because of the coronavirus. But that’s just the number of people who died who didn’t have any other underlying health issues.

DeWine says it doesn't change the severity of the virus.

"That should not surprise any of us that people have other medical problems, and if they have another medical problem, that problem will get listed," DeWine says.

DeWine adds that most deaths are in older age brackets. Up to half of the non-elderly population also have pre-existing conditions.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.