Earlier, the president criticized the method of counting used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“These deaths are real deaths,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC, “adding that overcrowded hospitals and exhausted health workers “are not fake, they are real.”
Fauci and US Health Chief Jerome Adams, who appeared on CNN, defended the data released by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after Trump criticized their counting method.
“The number of cases and deaths from the Chinese virus in the United States is greatly overstated due to the CDC’s ridiculous determination methodology compared to other countries, many of which intentionally report very inaccurate and understated data,” Trump tweeted.
According to the CDC, there have been more than 20 million cases of coronavirus infection in the United States since the virus first appeared in China in late 2019. About 347 million people or about one in 950 people in the US died.
“From a health perspective, I have no reason to doubt these numbers, and I think people need to be aware that this is not just about deaths,” Adams said. “We also need to take into account the number of hospitalizations and the opportunities available.”
Fauci and Adams expressed optimism that the rate of vaccination of Americans is accelerating after a slow start. Since December 14, more than 4.2 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine, far less than the 20 million that the Trump administration planned to vaccinate by the end of 2020.
“We wanted to reach the level of 20 million, but there is some hope that in the last 72 hours, 1.2 million doses were administered, that is, on average, about 500 thousand per day,” Fauci said.
“We are below the level we want to be at. There is no doubt about it. But I think we will reach it,” he added.
Fauci said the number of vaccinations could be increased to one million a day and called for a “real partnership” between the federal and state governments.