Fauci Smacks Down Trump’s Claim That COVID-19 Deaths Are “Exaggerated”

One man is a doctor who has been fighting infectious diseases with the National Institutes of Health since Lyndon Johnson was president. The other is a reality TV show host who publicly mused if ingesting bleach or shining a really bright light into the body could destroy a virus. Sunday morning both men put their scientific bona fides out there for the world to see. It didn’t go so well for the one who conjured up home remedies for the coronavirus.

Donald Trump, back in Washington, D.C., and unable to play golf on a cold, rainy morning, hopped on Twitter to complain that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is doing him a disservice and over-counting the number of Americans who have died of COVID-19 on his watch. “The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States,” he wrote, calling the CDC’s method of counting deaths “ridiculous” and labeling it “fake news.” It should be noted that he, as president for the past four years, has been in charge of the CDC.

Appearing a short time after that tweet went out, Dr. Anthony Fauci was on “Meet the Press” reiterating his pleas with the public to observe public health guidelines to contain the spread of coronavirus, which to date has killed more than 350,000 Americans. Host Chuck Todd asked Fauci to comment on the president’s claim that COVID-19 deaths are being exaggerated. “The numbers are the real,” Fauci responded. “The deaths are real deaths. Go to the hospitals. See what the health care workers are dealing with. That’s real. That’s not fake. We have well over 300,000 deaths, we are averaging two-to-three thousand deaths per day.” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams echoed Fauci’s opinion during an appearance with Jake Tapper on CNN.

Clearly Trump was tuned in because just a few minutes later he was on Twitter again, this time in a painfully lame attempt to undermine Fauci’s credibility and complaining that he doesn’t get enough credit for his efforts in confronting the disease that he said “would magically go away.” “He works for me and the Trump administration and I am in no way given any credit for my work.”

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