Overall, the data show that COVID-19 is more deadly than the flu. By one estimate, it is 10 times more deadly.
On Oct. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that "Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu." "Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!"
Trump's tweet was flagged by Twitter with a warning, saying it "violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19." Facebook also removed a similar post from the president.
In the U.S. so far this year, about 210,000 people have died from COVID-19. Trump's figure for the number of people who have died from seasonal flu is exaggerated and distorts the government's actual estimates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 22,000 people in the U.S. died from the flu during the last flu season from late 2019 to 2020. For the flu season between 2018 and 2019, the CDC said that about 34,000 people died. And for the 2017 to 2018 flu season, there were 61,000 influenza-related deaths. In the past decade, the average yearly death toll from the flu has been 35,900. About 50 years ago, 100,000 people died one year, in 1968. Overall, the data show that COVID-19 is more deadly than the flu. By one estimate, it is ten times more deadly.
Trump's estimate of how many die of seasonal flu in a year is an outlier and not an average. Moreover, data shows that, on average, in the U.S., the flu's mortality rate is .1%, while the coronavirus' mortality rate is 5.2%, making it more lethal. Therefore, we conclude that this claim is false.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.