Sources within the Trump administration have claimed that lead coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx suspects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are unintentionally inflating coronavirus case counts and death rates.
Speaking with The Washington Post, the unnamed sources cited a heated Wednesday discussion between Birx and CDC Director Robert Redfield over this very matter.
“Birx and others were frustrated with the CDC’s antiquated system for tracking virus data, which they worried was inflating some statistics — such as mortality rate and case count — by as much as 25 percent, according to four people present for the discussion or later briefed on it,” the Post reported Saturday, citing its anonymous sources.
Birx was reportedly so frustrated that she allegedly blurted out, “There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust.”
Two senior administration officials have confirmed that there was a meeting but denied that it was heated.
Contacted by the Post in regard to what happened, Birx issued a statement neither confirming or denying the sources’ allegations but simply highlighting the fact that the coronavirus death rate is indeed declining, according to data.
Mortality is slowly declining each day. To keep with this trend, it is essential that seniors and those with comorbidities shelter in place and that we continue to protect vulnerable communities,” she reportedly said.
The Washington Post tried to push back on her assertion by citing old data from “last week.” But the chart below from Worldometers does indeed show the death rare declining both on a micro-level (within the past few days) and a macro one (within the past few weeks).