Deborah Birx: Donald Trump's Coronavirus Official May 14, 2020 21:02:45 GMT
Post by Admin on May 14, 2020 21:02:45 GMT
The head of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force is urging the Centers for Disease Control to change the way it calculates due to the coronavirus in a way that would lower the death count as part of an 'all encompassing' data review.
An administration official on Thursday confirmed elements of a report when asked if Dr. Birx was pushing changes in the death count methodology, telling DailyMail.com: 'Members of the Task Force are looking at ways to improve data quality, and mortality data is only one aspect of that review process.'
Asked if that included total U.S. COVID-19 infections – which have surpassed 1 million – the official said the review was 'all encompassing.'
The advocacy by Dr. Deborah Birx was confirmed by three unnamed administration officials, the Daily Beast reported – and comes as the U.S. death toll due to the disease topped 83,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University count, and 82,000 according to the latest published CDC count.
Birx is seeking to remove from the count two categories of deaths: people who are presumed positive for COVID-19 but do not have confirmed lab tests showing they have the disease, and people who have the virus but may have died of something else, according to the report.
The CDC already acknowledges on its web site that it's death counts and mortality rates are estimates based on state-by-state data, but seeks to put out the latest information available anyway for tracking and scientific purposes. It counts both confirmed and 'probable' cases.
Among the numerous factors contributing to the challenge of getting good estimates are a severe lack of testing early in the outbreak. Many states have been revising their deaths counts to include people who died at home, presumably of the disease, but were never hospitalized.
Additionally, testing has proven to be less than 100 per cent accurate – even on the Abbott testing machine used in the White House and touted by President Donald Trump.
People who suffer from the disease may ultimately succumb to related ailments including pneumonia or heart complications.
At a Senate hearing Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, among the nation's top infectious disease expert, fielded a question from Sen. Bernie Sanders about the death count. Sanders noted some experts believe the accurate totals may be 50 per cent higher that what is reported.