Social media users are sharing the false claim that people aged 25 to 44 in the United States experienced an 84% increase in excess mortality due to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Examples can be seen (here) and (here).
The posts include a two minute video where Edward Dowd, who describes himself as an equity investment executive, speaks about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data on the War Room show with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. (What is the War Room show?)
Dowd does not have any medical or public health background listed on his LinkedIn page (here )
Bannon has been criticized for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic (here), (here) and (here).
The video was shared by Dowd on his Twitter page (here) with the text: “If true it boggles the mind.”
The video begins with Dowd showing a graph and saying that an “insurance industry expert” and former Wall Street analyst” examined CDC data for excess mortality. The name of this person or their methods used are not disclosed.
At the 0:28 second mark, Dowd says: “And the money chart is really chart 4, which shows that the millennial age group 25 to 44 experienced an 84 percent increase in excess mortality into the fall. It’s the worst ever excess death mortality I think, in history. Just to give you an idea, when you look at chart 4, you see when mandates and boosters hit the acceleration into the fall and then it reaccelerated into the end of the year.”
The graph shown in the video includes a link to this CDC page (here) as the source.
While Dowd claims the deaths are due to vaccine rollouts, this CDC data represents excess deaths from COVID-19.
The CDC also notes on the page that there are several limitations to the data, saying it is provisional and incomplete. “The estimates presented may be an early indication of excess mortality related to COVID-19, but should be interpreted with caution, until confirmed by other data sources such as state or local health departments,” the CDC says on the page.
CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) told Reuters via email that the provisional data on CDC’s WONDER database (wonder.cdc.gov/) does not show that the percent increase since 2019 reaches 84% in any month for the 25-44 age group.
“And these excess deaths should most certainly not be attributed to specific events or causes – they just represent an overall higher number of deaths in this age group relative to previous years and could be due to any number of different factors (missed COVID-19 deaths, missed emergency care for conditions like heart disease, increases in drug overdose deaths and motor vehicle traffic fatalities, etc.),” NCHS said.
NCHS said that there were 63,141 more deaths in the age group in 2021 compared to 2019; an increase of 44% from 2019 to 2021.
“There is no way to attribute the increase to vaccination or any single specific cause,” NCHS said. “That said, the large increase in COVID deaths (and total deaths) for the latter part of 2021 does coincide with the Delta and Omicron waves.”
Kyle Sheldrick, a medical doctor and researcher, also debunked the video in a Twitter thread (here). Sheldrick explains how Dowd and the unidentified man who examined the data created their graph using CDC data (here), and points to the spread of the dangerous Delta variant as the more likely reason for spikes in deaths in the second half of 2021.
The prevalence of the Delta variant in summer 2021, followed by the Omicron variant at the end of that year led to a large increase in COVID-19 deaths in the United States, especially among the unvaccinated (here). More on this increase can be seen (here), (here).
“In addition to COVID, in 2021 we have also seen increases in deaths due to drug overdose, motor vehicle accidents, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic liver disease and homicide in this age group,” NCHS said.
Dowd did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Misleading. There is no evidence that there was a 84% increase in excess deaths for people aged between 25 and 44 due to COVID-19 vaccines, as claimed in a video on social media. CDC data shows excess deaths related to COVID-19, not COVID-19 vaccines. CDC told Reuters other factors may also have contributed to excess deaths in millennials.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.