At Tuesday's White House coronavirus press conference
, task force member Dr. Deborah Birx said that while some countries are reporting coronavirus fatality numbers differently, in the U.S. you are counted as a victim of the pandemic if you die while testing positive for the virus, even if something else causes your death.
DR. DEBORAH BIRX: So, I think in this country we've taken a very liberal approach to mortality. And I think the reporting here has been pretty straightforward over the last five to six weeks. Prior to that when there wasn't testing in January and February that's a very different situation and unknown.
There are other countries that if you had a preexisting condition and let's say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem some countries are recording as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. Right now we are still recording it and we will I mean the great thing about having forms that come in and a form that has the ability to market as COVID-19 infection the intent is right now that those if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.