President Donald Trump on Jan. 3 questioned the accuracy of the official nationwide CCP virus cases and death counts, saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has exaggerated the numbers.
“The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of [the CDC’s] ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “‘When in doubt, call it Covid.’ Fake News!”
According to the CDC, nearly 337,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and more than 19.4 million people were infected by the end of 2020. The agency says on its website that the statistics are based on the most recent numbers reported by states, territories, and other jurisdictions.
“Data are dependent on jurisdictions’ timely and accurate reporting,” the CDC website states. It adds that counting exact numbers of COVID-19 cases “is not possible” due to the symptoms of COVID-19 not appearing immediately, delays in reporting and testing, infected individuals not getting tested or seeking medical care, and differences in how completely states and territories report their cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House pandemic task force, objected to Trump’s comments on Jan. 3, saying the numbers are not fake.
“All you need to do is go out into the trenches,” Fauci said in an interview with ABC News. “Go to the hospitals and see what the health care 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.”
Trump responded to Fauci on Twitter, saying: “Something how Dr. Fauci is revered by the LameStream Media as such a great professional, having done, they say, such an incredible job, yet he works for me and the Trump Administration, and I am in no way given any credit for my work. Gee, could this just be more Fake News?”
Earlier this week, a pair of Minnesota legislators called for a nationwide audit of the COVID-19 death count after they allegedly found evidence that people who died from other causes were added to the state’s pandemic death totals.
Republican state Rep. Mary Franson and state Sen. Scott Jensen said during an interview with Fox News that a team they enlisted to examine data provided by Minnesota’s health department found that COVID-19 was blamed for some deaths that were clearly unrelated.
“We found clear-cut examples from the Minnesota Department of Health’s own files—public records—of suicide, a drowning, an auto accident where the passenger was ejected from the vehicle,” Franson said.