During a briefing with senators, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the coronavirus death toll is “almost certainly” higher than the official figure — the United States currently counts over 80,000 coronavirus deaths.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) noted that some epidemiologists who “suggest the number may be 50% higher” than the 80,000 figure and asked what Fauci believes the number may be.
Fauci responded, “I’m not sure, Senator Sanders, if it’s going to be 50% higher, but most of us feel that the number of deaths are likely higher than that number.”
He continued, “Given the situation, particularly in New York City, when they were really strapped with a very serious challenge to their health care system, that there may have been people who died at home who did have COVID who are not counted as COVID because they never really got to the hospital.”
Fauci added, “I think you are correct that the number is likely higher. I don’t know exactly what percent higher, but almost certainly it’s higher.”
Here’s that clip:
An important reminder that the reported U.S. death toll from Covid-19, 80,897, is an undercount:— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 12, 2020
"Most of us feel that the # of deaths are likely higher" than 80,000, Dr. Fauci says. "It almost certainly is higher." pic.twitter.com/wlzkCknwn8
Data from the CDC released in late April suggested that the coronavirus death toll could be higher than the reported figures.
Another CDC study suggested that the number of those killed by the coronavirus in New York City specifically is likely higher than the official figures.
President Donald Trump has stopped short of publicly arguing that the U.S. coronavirus death count figure is inflated, though he has reportedly suggested that the numbers appear inflated.