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Fauci Pushes Back on Trump Retweet Questioning Coronavirus Death Rate

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Over the weekend, President Donald Trump frustrated scientists when he retweeted a post saying that only 9,000 people have “actually” died from coronavirus.

In the post, which was later taken down by Twitter for spreading false information, a user claimed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “quietly updated the Covid number to admit that only 6%” of reported deaths — or about 9,000 — “actually died from Covid.”

Asked about the post on Tuesday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “The CDC came out with a statement, which really did reflect the reality that in fact if you look at the people who have died of COVID disease, the point that the CDC was trying to make was that a certain percentage of them had nothing else, but just COVID.”

He added, “That does not mean that someone who has hypertension of diabetes who dies of COVID didn’t die of COVID-19. They did. So the numbers that you’ve been hearing, the 180,000 plus deaths are real deaths from COVID-19. Let there not be any confusion about that, it’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19, it’s 180 plus thousand deaths.”

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Trump and Fauci have had a tenuous relationship. In late July, the president retweeted accounts accusing Fauci of misleading the public.

But Fauci brushed aside concerns about those tweets, saying, “I don’t tweet. I don’t even read them so I don’t really want to go there.”

He added, “I just will continue to do my job, no matter what comes out because I think it’s very important, we’re in the middle of a crisis.”

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has also been openly critical of Fauci. Navarro authored an editorial in USA Today writing that Fauci had “been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”

The White House later distanced themselves from Navarro’s op-ed, saying, “The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone.”

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