Worried that honoring such demands might "falsely skew" the mortality rate at a crucial time, CDC officials have reportedly been tasked with pushing back against requests from Trump's team for COVID-19 death-tallying modifications.
That's one of many takeaways from a troubling new Daily Beast report citing unnamed Trump administration officials and CDC sources. According to the report, Trump and members of the White House's coronavirus task force have recently been pushing for changes in how the CDC works with states to count virus-related deaths. Some of the sought revisions, per the report, could result in "far fewer deaths" than originally reported.
The report adds that recent discussions with "top officials" have included allegations from Trump that CDC numbers have been incorrectly counted or inflated, while Dr. Fauci and others maintain that the actual death count is likely higher than currently shown in government data.
Of course, the relationship between Trump's team and the CDC is no stranger to such tensions. Earlier this month, for example, the Trump administration reportedly shelved the agency's guide on how to keep safety in mind when making reopening efforts across the country.
And just this week, Dr. Fauci warned that reopening too soon will lead to "needless suffering and death."
At the time of this writing, the CDC was reporting more than 1.3 million total cases of the virus in the U.S., while CDC-confirmed deaths are nearing 81,000.