‘There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust,’ Dr. Deborah Birx said. Feared CDC’s statistics on mortality rate and case counts inflated by up to 25%
To date, there are now 1.38 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States with at least 81,378 deaths. But many are now calling into questions how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) arrives at the mortality rates.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force response coordinator, blasted the CDC in a White House coronavirus task force meeting during a discussion on COVID-19 data.
“There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust,” she told CDC Director Robert Redfield, two people familiar with the meeting told Post. The newspaper also reported that Birx and others feared that the CDC’s statistics on mortality rate and case counts were inflated by up to 25%. Birx later told The Post in a statement that “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 said. Yet other sources have shown that mortality in the US remains close to 2,000 daily deaths — and does not show a steady downward trajectory, as Birx said.
Apparently, CDC keeps two sets of books on COVID-19 deaths. One is “reporting” deaths, where the data comes from the states. The other is National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reporting COVID-19 deaths. The CDC reports it as “provisional.” The provisional counts for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) deaths are based on a current flow of mortality data in the National Vital Statistics System.
According to NCHS, its COVID-19 death counts may differ from other published sources, as data currently are lagged by an average of 1–2 weeks. The provisional death count is 49,867 as of 5/9/2020.*- with supposedly a 1-3 week lag.