CDC director says coronavirus death toll could turn out much lower than predicted

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many models put forth by academic institutions — and adopted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — predicted that the U.S. would experience a massive death toll from COVID-19.

As it turns out, however, the director of the CDC says those numbers may have greatly overestimated the impact of the virus, especially considering the strict social distancing guidelines in place throughout the nation, the Washington Examiner reports.

Numbers going down?

When the outbreak first started, we were told there could be as many as 2.4 million deaths from the coronavirus disease. Last week, suddenly we were told the realistic number of deaths to expect is between 100,000 and 240,000.

The far end of that was recently lowered to about 200,000 by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, but even that may be an overzealous estimate.

“If we just social distance, we will see this virus and this outbreak decline, decline, decline. And I think that’s what you’re seeing,” Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, stated on Monday, according to ABC News.

He went on” “I think you’re going to see the numbers are, in fact, going to be much less than what would have been predicted by the models.”

Regardless of the final number expected, most experts have stated this will be our worst week yet, then hopefully we will see the curve start to trend down. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 422,369 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., with 14,463 deaths, according to a Worldometer tracker.

Over-reporting numbers?

Both Dr. Fauci and fellow White House task force member Dr. Deborah Birx made a pretty astonishing admission at Tuesday’s White House coronavirus press briefing.

Dr. Birx initially stated that the reporting on the coronavirus deaths in this country is pretty liberal, meaning that all patients who die in the U.S. right now who test positive will be recorded as COVID-19 deaths, regardless of the actual underlying cause of death, Fox News noted.

Dr. Fauci agreed with Birx, saying, “I can’t imagine if someone comes in with coronavirus and goes to an ICU, and they have an underlying heart condition and they die, they are going to say cause of death heart attack. I cannot see that happening.”

There could be many deaths that were from other causes, but because of this manner of reporting — and the fact many autopsies are not being done in heavily hit states — we may never really know what caused the bulk of these deaths.

New data already shows that the vast majority of deaths linked to COVID-19 occur in patients with serious underlying health conditions, meaning that it’s not unlikely that deaths from other conditions could be improperly attributed to the coronavirus. Will we ever know the truth?

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