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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The vast majority of Americans officially recorded as dying from COVID-19 also had other factors contributing to their deaths, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) admitted in its most recent weekly update of provisional death counts.

“For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned,” the August 26 report states. “For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death,” such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, diabetes, or heart disease.

This does not mean that COVID-19 is only to blame in 6% of the deaths; the virus can contribute to patients contracting other conditions, and other conditions can leave patients less able to defend against the virus. But the revelation does underscore the fact that not all members of society are equally at risk, which critics say undermines the justification for the comprehensive lockdown policies adopted across the country.

As of August 31, the United States is estimated to have seen 6.2 million cases of COVID-19 with more than 187,000 deaths and 3.4 million recoveries. But doubt and debate have surrounded those numbers all year, thanks in part to various health agencies admitting that they counted anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 before dying as having died from the virus, regardless of their actual cause of death.

In May, the Washington Post reported that Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, privately admitted “there is nothing from the CDC that I can trust.” Birx reportedly suspected that deaths might be inflated by as much as 25%.

Further casting doubt on the need for mask mandates and bans on public gatherings is a New York Times report published over the weekend that the primary tests currently being used are so sensitive that “most” of the positive cases they identify “are not likely to be contagious” because they “may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.”

“We have shut down our economy and our lives for months based on hundreds of thousands of asymptomatic people testing positive for a virus that was presumed to be contagious at the time of the positive test result,” Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz reacted. “We make people isolate for 14 days, then trace all their contacts and disrupt their lives and liberty as well, without any due process. Yet according to the Times, up to 90% of those who test positive in state labs are likely no longer contagious by the time they test positive and in fact would test negative under more prudent lab protocols.”