A new global database shows a significant gap in reported COVID-related deaths, suggesting the actual worldwide death toll is short by at least 1 million. That’s due in part to false figures from autocratic regimes. Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, countries around the world have officially reported 4.27 million deaths from COVID-19. However, as widely suspected, these purported numbers are far from accurate. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the official global death toll is likely a “significant undercount,” meaning that fewer than the actual number of total deaths directly or indirectly attributed to COVID have been recorded. The reasons are manifold, and depend for example on the political situation or the will to publish data at all.