COVID-19 may be just as, or less, deadly than the regular seasonal flu.


False. Reliable data shows the COVID-19 is significantly deadlier than seasonal flu.


Our ability to measure the mortality rate is affected by the number of tests administered per capita in a given state or country. The greater the number of tests per capita, the more accurate our picture of the true mortality rate will be. Italy and Germany have each performed 36,244 and 30,400 tests per million citizens, respectively, as of 5 May 2020. In contrast, Brazil has only performed 1,597 per million citizens (see Statista link below). Testing rates can also vary within countries. The state of Texas has only performed about 7,000 tests per million citizens, while California has performed over 12,000 per million citizens.

The seasonal flu’s mortality rate varies from year to year, depending on strain, weather, and health trends in different populations, however, it generally stays below 0.1% in the United States. By contrast, the exact mortality rate of Covid-19 varies depending on a number of factors, including the underlying health of the population, availability of ventilators, and the expertise of hospital staff. For example, Italy and Germany, which have both performed about the same number of tests per capita, have wildly different mortality rates: 0.4% in Germany and over 13% in Italy, according to the Robert Koch Institute and Italian Department of Civil Protection, respectively. In Germany, this mortality rate is about 4 times that of the seasonal flu, but in Italy it’s over 130 times greater.

Though the exact mortality rate is difficult to pin down, a widely-cited study by University College London Hospital in late March estimates it to be around 1.38%, with the determining factor being age. That’s nearly 14 times the mortality rate of the seasonal flu in the US in 2018-19.


Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Burden Estimates for the 2015-2016 Influenza Season”

Statista, “Rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests performed in the most impacted countries worldwide as of May 5, 2020 (per million population)”

New York Times, “Coronavirus: Tracking the Global Outbreak”

The Lancet, “Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis”

Origins of Claim


With the lack of testing, there might be way more people with it, so it shows that how it’s not that deadly. It could be less deadly than they think…. They make a lot of predictions man, and how often are they right?”