Trump announced the staggering numbers at a White House briefing on Tuesday. The White House has not explained how it reached that number, which is more than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War and September 11. As of Thursday evening, there were more than 243,000 confirmed cases in the United States and 5,926 deaths reported, according to a count by Johns Hopkins.
According to the Post, several White House staff have questioned the accuracy of the figures. A source said Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Trump Resists Pressure For National Home Stay Order | Trump ready to talk to Biden about virus response | Fauci gets security details | Epidemic creates emergency in Fauci nursing homes given safety details after receiving threats from Fauci: Improved testing and follow-up can help reopen the country MORE, an immunologist who coordinates the coronavirus working group, told others that there were too many factors at play to arrive at an accurate estimate.
“I looked at all the models. I spent a lot of time on the models. They don’t tell you anything. You can’t really rely on role models, ”he told members of the task force, according to the Post.
Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, whose research was cited by the White House, told The Post that his work did not go far enough to reach these kinds of estimates.
“We don’t know what’s going on here and now, and we don’t know what people will do in the future,” he said. “We also don’t know if the virus is seasonal. “
The purpose of these figures is to help develop a long-term plan to fight the virus, which Shaman said was unsure whether it exists on the White House side.
“I wish there was more than one concerted national plan. I wish it started a month and a half ago, maybe two months ago, “Shaman told the Post.