Joshua Roberts/Getty; Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Dr. Anthony Fauci (left) and President Donald Trump
Dr. Anthony Fauci is pushing back on President Donald Trump's claims that the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the United States has been "exaggerated" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While appearing on ABC’s This Week, Fauci rejected Trump's tweet in which the president called the CDC's methodology "ridiculous" and said the number of deaths in the U.S. is "Fake News!"
"Well, the deaths are real deaths. I mean, all you need to do is to go out into the trenches, go to the hospitals, see what the health care workers are dealing with. They are under very stressed situations in many areas of the country. The hospital beds are stretched," Fauci said on Sunday in response to Trump's statement.
"People are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted right now. That's real. That's not fake. That's real," Fauci added.
In the same interview, Fauci told guest host Martha Raddatz: "To have 300,000 cases in a given day, and between two and 3,000 deaths a day is just terrible. There's no running away from the numbers, Martha. It's something that we absolutely got to grasp and get our arms around and turn that inflection down by very intensive adherence to the public health measures, uniformly, throughout the country, with no exception."
NEW: Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to Pres. Trump's morning tweet on COVID-19 related deaths: "The deaths are real deaths. All you need to do is go out into the trenches... that's real, that's not fake." https://t.co/kKafPs2tFM pic.twitter.com/84ypgvOcl1
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 3, 2021
In the first days of the new year, the country recorded its 20 millionth case of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. As of Sunday afternoon, more than 20,464,700 people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 350,329 have died.
The nation doubled its total number of infections in less than two months as the U.S. hit 10 million cases on Nov. 9, NPR reported.
In addition, the U.S. is already behind in administering COVID-19 vaccinations.
Nationwide distribution began on Dec. 14 after the Food and Drug Administration approved two vaccine candidates, one from Pfizer and another from Moderna. Frontline healthcare workers were the first to receive a dose, with an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center getting the historic first shot in New York.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has sent out over 13 million doses as of Jan. 3 but only 4.2 million people have reportedly received the vaccination.
Government officials aren't sure what is causing the delay but blame a variety of factors — including the holiday season, as many people take off from work and clinics reduce their hours, according to the New York Times.
Additionally, a new coronavirus variant is beginning to spread across the nation. This past week it was discovered in California, Colorado and Florida. Even at the time of its discovery, health experts said that the seemingly faster-spreading variant was likely already in the U.S.
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