Darrow Miller and Friends

Coronavirus Is Not the #1 Killer

Only God knows where the COVID 19 storm will take us. Some trends are encouraging, some prognostications troubling. Yet, as many have observed, the pandemic isn’t the leading cause of death in the world. Most likely, you have not been told what is.

Seasonal flu? Smoking? Cancer? No. Nor is it malaria, suicide, or communicable diseases. Or heart disease. More below.

From the earliest days of the Coronavirus, some observers were reminding us that the seasonal flu kills more people every year, or that more people die from accidents, suicide, etc. The World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 – 650,000 people die from seasonal flu each year. As of April 15, 134,000 have perished from the Coronavirus.

Different lists, different findings

Google “leading causes of death” and you’ll get a variety of answers. WHO wrongly puts cardiovascular diseases at the coronavirus is not the leading killertop, 17 million in 2016. That’s not #1. Their list also includes maternal deaths, liver disease, and digestive disease.

None of those entries appear at the list compiled by WebMD, another popular site for health observers. After stating that “The world’s leading causes of death in 2001 were heart disease and stroke” WebMD adds lung cancer, lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colon and rectum cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and stomach cancer. But that list, too, is missing the #1 cause of death. Keep reading.

WebMD also examines age-related deaths. After stating that “Slightly more than 56 million people died in 2001,” it mentions, “Those deaths included 10.6 million children, almost all of whom (99%) lived in low- and middle-income countries.”

Just when you think they’re moving in the direction of truth by referencing deaths of children (although the number is far too low) they reverse course by claiming that, “More than half of the children died from 5 preventable or treatable conditions: respiratory infections, measles, diarrhea, malaria, HIV/AIDS.”

Wrong. Far fewer than half of children who died succumbed to any of those causes. One cause killed far more children: abortion. In fact, at 40-50 million, abortion is the #1 cause of death in the world.

WHO does not contest that number of abortions; in fact, that’s their own estimate. Forty million, the low end of the range, exceeds the top nine on WHO’s list combined; the 50M estimate outstrips the top 24.

Abortion doesn’t even make the list

The obvious question: why does abortion not even get mentioned in a top 10 list? Here’s SNOPE’s answer.

Stating that abortion is the “leading cause of death” worldwide (as opposed to a medical procedure) is a problematic pronouncement, because that stance takes a political position, one which is at odds with the scientific/medical world. The medical community does not confer personhood upon fetuses that are not viable outside the womb, so counting abortion as a “cause of death” does not align with the practices of health organizations such as WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as Heather Boonstra, director of public policy for the reproductive health research organization Guttmacher Institute, told us: “Abortion is a legal, constitutionally protected medical procedure in the United States. It’s not considered a cause of death by CDC, WHO and other leading authorities, and statistics on induced abortion are excluded in the CDC’s national fetal-death statistics.”

There you have it. Abortion doesn’t make the list because:

  • Abortion doesn’t kill persons, just “fetuses.”
  • To believe otherwise is to take a “political position.”
  • This truth is the purview of “the medical community.”
  • It would be wrong-headed to regard “a legal, constitutionally protected medical procedure” as a cause of death.

According to LifeNews, 42 million people died by abortion in 2019. So far this year, 12.3 million have perished by abortion, which extrapolates to 43.6 million in 2020. Go to worldometer to watch real-time updates.

More people die by abortion than any other cause.

Compare the level of effort to stop the Coronavirus with the effort to stop abortions. What’s wrong with this picture?

    • Gary Brumbelow

Leading causes of global deaths so far this year

3,756,549Communicable disease
140,749Seasonal flu

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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.


  1. Don Pahl

    April 16, 2020 - 9:15 am

    Thank you, Gary, for the grim and honest truth.
    During our “shelter-at-home” in Kansas, the abortion industry is still alive (no pun intended) and well. We must stay in our homes but abortionists and those seeking abortions are coming from other states into Kansas but our governor, Laura Kelly, refuses to stop that action. (I heard of a similar situation in Michigan on Fox news this morning.)
    We will be called to account one day. Sad day. But, then, each day this continues we ought to share the sadness.

    • admin

      April 16, 2020 - 12:33 pm

      Thanks, Don. Yes, we were stunned to see this statistic. And the research I did to write the post was very revealing.

      I, too, take courage in the assurance that villainy will be held accountable. And it’s also true, yes, that Christ followers are called to resist evil today.

  2. Jeannie Dalrymple

    April 17, 2020 - 9:57 am

    I recently posted this diagram with Abortion as the leading cause and Coronavirus was at the bottom of the table. I was sadly surprised that a Christian doctor responded that by the end of the year we will get a better understanding of the effects of the Coronavirus. To me, I was astounded that 40 million plus abortions had taken place by April 1, 2020.

    Thank you for this article. It is much needed

    • admin

      April 23, 2020 - 7:06 am

      Good Morning Jeannie

      Thank you for your note. We too were shocked. If abortion were “unthinkable,” everyone would be shocked. But alas, today, the world accepts abortion as normal. Let’s work for it being seen by society for what it is, a moral evil.