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Trump Says America's Coronavirus Death Toll Could Hit 100,000. Experts Say It Already Has. DMT.NEWS

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President Donald Trump on Sunday said the death toll from the coronavirus in the U.S. could eventually climb as high as 100,000, but epidemiologists believe that's already happened.

Since the outbreak began, Trump has sought to underplay its seriousness, initially saying it posed no threat to the U.S. and that “like a miracle, it will disappear.”

But as people began to die in the thousands, Trump’s predictions have slowly climbed, first to 50,0000, then to 60,000 — which would represent “a good job” — and then, on April 27, it jumped 70,000. On Sunday, the figure changed again.

“Look, we're going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” Trump told a virtual town hall on Fox News. “That's a horrible thing. We shouldn't lose one person out of this.”

He then attacked China, claiming the outbreak “should have been stopped” there. He added that without the efforts made by the U.S. “the minimum we would have lost is a million, two million, four million, five. That's the minimum."

There have been 1.15 million infections and over 67,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

But epidemiologists say the death toll from the virus is already much higher than the official figures suggest and it's likely already greater than the 100,000 figure touted by Trump.

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According to an analysis of federal data conducted by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health for the Washington Post, 13,500 excess deaths that occurred between March and the middle of April were not classified as coronavirus deaths.

While some of those deaths might be unrelated to coronavirus, the excess death total allows epidemiologists to model a more accurate picture of the coronavirus death toll, taking into account deaths that were not attributed to the outbreak because of a lack of testing.

The most worrying aspect of the data is that the number of excess deaths has increased dramatically. There were 16,600 estimated excess deaths just in the week of April 5 to April 11, compared with 20,500 over the prior five weeks.

This has led some experts to claim that the country has passed the 100,000 death toll already.

“It’s hard to say how much higher, but our best guess might be it’s in the range of one and a half times higher,” Dan Weinberger, a Yale professor of epidemiology who led the analysis, told the Washington Post. That analysis would see the official 67,000 death toll revised up to over 100,000.

“Confirmed and 'possible' COVID-19 deaths now exceed 100,000 in the U.S.,” epidemiologist Larry Brilliant tweeted Sunday. “How? Many U.S. states did not report deaths (even if doctors diagnosed COVID-19) without largely unavailable lab tests. Adding these 'excess deaths' underscores how deadly this disease really is.”

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Cover: President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall from the Lincoln Memorial, Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

via https://www.DMT.NEWS/

by David Gilbert, Khareem Sudlow