Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, believes some official COVID-19 statistics like death tolls may be inflated by up to 25%, a new report states.
Birx criticized the method the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was using to collect its data during a heated task force meeting, according to a report Saturday from The Washington Post. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Jan.21: Fauci Says Coronavirus ‘Not A Major Threat’ To U.S.)
“There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust,” Birx reportedly told CDC Director Robert Redfield.
Birx told The Post in a statement that “mortality is slowly declining each day,” and that the focus should be on protecting Americans who are older or have pre-existing health conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus.
Two-thirds of Americans also doubt official coronavirus numbers, according to an Axios poll published earlier in May. The poll found that 40% of Republicans believe the number of deaths are being overcounted, compared to 24% who believe they are being undercounted. On the other side of the aisle, just 7% of Democrats believe the number of deaths are being overcounted, compared to 63% who believe they are being undercounted. (RELATED: America Is Reopening Whether Politicians Like It Or Not)
Concerns over the way death tolls were being counted emerged after New York added 4,000 people who had never tested positive to its official count overnight. The CDC later confirmed that they were including “probable” cases of the virus in its official counts, potentially adding thousands of people who never tested positive to official death tolls.
Official death tolls from certain diseases can often take years to accumulate, and the CDC studies death certificates to estimate death tolls for diseases.