Report: Birx and Others Want CDC to Lower COVID Death Toll
With the COVID-19 hitting the United States so hard, it has been difficult for officials to get a clear idea on how the country has been affected. Hospitals have been completely overwhelmed and states have complained about not having access to tests.
The current death toll from the pandemic stands at over 80,000. During yesterday’s Senate hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the number is almost certainly higher. But according to a new report from the Daily Beast, Dr. Deborah Birx and others in the White House are encouraging the CDC to revise the number lower.
Erin Banco and Asawin Suebaeng write, “Dr. Deborah Birx, in particular, has urged CDC officials to exclude some individuals who are presumed positive but don’t have confirmed lab results or those who have the virus but may not have died as a direct result.”
This mirrors comments made by Trump surrogates like Art Laffer. The economic adviser said, “When you attribute a death to the coronavirus today, what that means is that the guy had the coronavirus and died. It doesn’t matter if he got hit by a car and died, and he would still be categorized as a coronavirus death… You need the whole transcribed medical records on a disk so people can sit there, maybe without names, and look for causes and correlations.”
Comments from the CDC, however, are more in line with those made by Fauci yesterday. An official told the Beast, “The system can always get better. But if we’ve learned anything it’s that we’re seeing some of these individuals who have died of the virus slip through the cracks. It’s not that we’re overcounting.”