More than 14,000 Americans have died as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Conservative media figures have begun promoting conspiracy theories that the number of deaths attributable to the coronavirus is being artificially inflated. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, dismissed those theories in an interview on Thursday.
From the April 9 edition of NBC's "Today":
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC: You weighed in on a theory that's been floating around that perhaps the number of fatalities related to COVID-19 is being inflated because people are actually dying of other things. What's your read on that theory?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: You know, Savannah, there is absolutely no evidence that that's the case at all. You know, I think it falls under the category of something that's very unfortunate – these conspiracy theories that we hear about. Every time we have a crisis of any sort, there's always this popping-up of conspiracy theories.
I think the deaths that we're seeing are coronavirus deaths, and the other deaths are not being counted as coronavirus deaths.
GUTHRIE: On the flip side of that, do you think there's a potential that we're undercounting coronavirus deaths? Because unfortunately we see in New York some people are dying at home and there has been a persistent lack of testing.
FAUCI: That's a good point. I think there's more of a chance of missing some that are really coronavirus deaths that are not being counted, but I don't think that number is significant enough to really substantially modify the trends that we're seeing at all.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.