The United States has already suffered more than 82,000 confirmed Coronavirus deaths, but during a Senate hearing this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health acknowledged that the actual death toll in the U.S. could be significantly higher. In discussion with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Fauci explained his belief that the death toll could be higher as based on factors like how overwhelmed that the medical system was in New York for some time, where many individuals may have died outside of a medical facility without confirmation of Coronavirus infection. That same issue could repeat elsewhere, too.
‘I’m not sure, Senator Sanders, if it’s going to be 50 percent higher, Most of us feel that the number of deaths are likely higher than that number because 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 but were not counted as COVID because they never really got to the hospital.’
Fauci: "Most of us feel that the number of deaths are likely higher than [current count of 80,000+]. There may be people [in NYC] who died at home who did have COVID-19 who were not counted because they never really got to the hospital. I don't know exactly what percent higher." pic.twitter.com/SwKJ9ESuWT
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 12, 2020
This revelation is not the first time that public health analysts have suggested that the death toll in the U.S. could be significantly higher than what’s been officially recorded. In many areas around the country, the overall number of deaths has been staggeringly higher than the number recorded during similar periods in prior years, and the gaps are not at all accounted for by the official number of deaths that have been attributed to the Coronavirus.
Charts on the NYT front page tell the awful story: "The Pandemic Death Toll is Much Worse Than Reported." https://t.co/oV7DktU7zO
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 30, 2020
As of late April, New York City alone had reported 1,700 deaths above the average for past years that were not accounted for by official virus death tolls. In the state of New Jersey, 3,000 deaths above the average fatality rate for past years were not accounted for by official virus death tolls by the same late April point. That’s potentially thousands of unreported Coronavirus fatalities in a single major city and a single state alone. Extrapolating that trend to the rest of the U.S. paints a grim picture.
Amidst the national push to reopen the economy via lifting social distancing demands that have been meant to stem the spread of the virus, more waves of infection and death could ensue. The University of Washington currently estimates that the U.S. will end up with a total Coronavirus fatality count of over 137,000. After similarly grim internal Trump administration numbers emerged, The New York Times reported:
‘The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation right back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways.’
"The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation right back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways"
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) May 4, 2020
President Donald Trump has consistently been clamoring for a broad reopening of the economy, no matter the issues that may ensue. He has frequently brazenly refused to acknowledge the public health needs that continue to plague the United States amidst the pandemic.
The top infectious disease expert in Trump's own government, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said less than a week ago that coronavirus testing needs to be doubled before businesses and schools are reopened https://t.co/7roR5aKD2N
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 1, 2020