In August President Trump retweeted a post claiming that only 6 percent of these reported deaths were actually from COVID-19. When somebody dies, a death certificate is filed in the state where the death occurred. A physician, medical examiner or coroner fills out the cause of mortality on the death certificate, and they are instructed to include only those conditions that caused or contributed to death, Anderson says. “What we’re really trying to get at is the condition or disease that started the chain of events leading to the death,” Anderson says. “All serious analyses of these data are showing that the number of deaths we’re hearing on the news is an undercount,” he says.