- President Donald Trump on Sunday said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — led by people he appointed himself — tracks coronavirus case and death rates inaccurately.
- The number of US cases and deaths “is far exaggerated,” he said in a tweet Sunday, a claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts have disputed.
- It’s far likelier that the CDC underexaggerates cases. Experts for months have said case and death toll rates are actually much higher than known.
- Trump’s remarks come just as the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 350,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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President Donald Trump on Sunday railed against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying the agency exaggerates the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.
The CDC is run by people he appointed himself. The agency has been updating new cases and death counts daily for months.
“The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @CDCgov’s ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low,” Trump tweeted. “‘When in doubt, call it Covid.’ Fake News!”
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
Importantly, the CDC and other COVID-19 trackers are only able to identify the number of known coronavirus cases and deaths. Experts for months have suggested that the case and death toll rates are actually much higher than known, since some cases might not be reported.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases specialist and a core member of the White House coronavirus task force, disputed Trump’s remarks on Sunday.
Speaking on ABC News’ “This Week,” Fauci said the deaths “are real” and objected to Trump’s tweet.
“All you need to do is go out into the trenches,” he said. “Go to the hospitals and see what the healthcare workers are dealing with. They are under very stressful situations in many areas of the country. The hospital beds are stretched, people are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted.”
“That’s real,” Fauci continued. “That’s not fake. That’s real.”
—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 3, 2021
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams also disputed Trump’s tweet. “From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.
Trump’s remarks came as the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States crossed over 350,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 20,000,000 confirmed cases in the country, JHU data show.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.