A new report claims that President Donald Trump and task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx are pushing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revise how it tallies the nation’s overall coronavirus death count.
Trump has called on the CDC to rework how states report their individual coronavirus deaths to the federal government, and Birx specifically asked the CDC to exclude deaths of individuals who have not tested positive for coronavirus and deaths in confirmed cases not immediately attributable to the disease, according to the Daily Beast.
In recent days, Birx has suggested that the CDC is over reporting coronavirus deaths by as much as 25 percent. She allegedly told CDC Director Robert Redfield at a task force meeting that “there is nothing from the CDC that [she] can trust.” (RELATED: After Consulting With Governors, White House Earmarks $11 Billion To Help States Expand Testing Capacities)
The president has also voiced displeasure with the CDC’s data after the agency announced it was counting “probable” cases, and his messaging has been amplified by those in favor of reopening the economy sooner than later.
“My view is the president is totally correct that we need to have medical transparency,” economist Art Laffer told Daily Beast. “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.”
Still, CDC officials told Daily Beast that the requested changes could skew the disease’s true mortality rate and appear to be resisting the White House’s pressure to revise statistics.
The White House did not immediately respond to Daily Caller’s inquiries on the report.