Senior U.S. medical officials on Sunday contradicted outgoing President Donald Trump’s claims that the escalating death figures from Covid-19 in the country had been grossly exaggerated.
As the death toll from the coronavirus topped 340,000 over the weekend, Mr Trump dismissed the numbers as “fake news,” saying the method the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses to count case was out of step with other countries.
“The number of cases and deaths of the virus from China is far exaggerated in the United States due to @ CDCgov’s ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of which are reporting, on purpose, very inaccurately and low.” , the president tweeted on Sunday morning. .
“If in doubt, call it Covid. Fake News! ”
In an interview on NBC Meet the press, Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert, said the number of Covid-19-related deaths “is real” and the evidence can be seen in hospitals across the country.
Speaking on CNN, Dr Jerome Adams, the US surgeon general, also said there was “no reason to doubt these numbers” of Covid-19 deaths.
The United States had recorded 341,746 deaths linked to Covid-19 as of January 2, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Arizona reported a record 17,234 daily coronavirus cases on Sunday. Arkansas reported a record 1,216 new hospitalizations with Covid-19 on January 2, according to the Associated Press.
Dr Fauci said the United States had failed to vaccinate people as quickly as needed. The United States has vaccinated far fewer people than the 20 million she had targeted at the end of the year.
“We are not where we want to be. We have to do a lot better, ”said Dr Fauci. “Let’s go about a week or two in January to see if we can pick up the momentum that has been slowed down by the holiday season.”
Dr Fauci also warned that the most contagious variant of the coronavirus known as B.1.1.7, which began to spread rapidly in the UK in December, was to “spread” to the US as well. He said the tension didn’t seem to be deadlier.
“It could and probably will get worse in the next couple of weeks, or at least maintain this very terribly high level of infections and deaths that we are seeing,” said Dr Fauci.
“No matter what type of strain you have in circulation, you need to adhere to public health measures,” Fauci said. “And that will stop the spread of any strain.”
President Trump has regularly fought battles with the medical community over the coronavirus, and with Dr. Fauci in particular.
After the infectious disease expert interviewed, the president took to Twitter to complain that Dr Fauci had not given his administration credit for addressing the pandemic.