A new report from The Daily Beast reveals that President Donald Trump and members of the White House coronavirus task force are pressuring officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to change “how the agency works with states to count coronavirus-related deaths.”
The report notes that Trump and his associates are “pushing for revisions that could lead to far fewer deaths being counted than originally reported, according to five administration officials working on the government’s response to the pandemic.”
The president has reportedly suggested that the official death count––which now stands at over 83,400––was “incorrectly tallied or even inflated by current methodology.” As such, the White House has pushed the CDC to adjust how it counts coronavirus-related deaths and Deborah Birx, who coordinates the task force, has urged CDC officials not to count individuals who do not have confirmed test results and are presumed positive or who have the virus “and may not have died as a direct result of it.”
CDC officials are pushing back against the White House’s request, in a blunt refusal to underplay the coronavirus’s mortality rate. Multiple individuals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believe the death toll is much higher than recorded.
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