Story at a glance
- Birx said as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continues to rise in large metropolitan areas, she expects the U.S. to experience an increase in the mortality rate.
- President Trump and others have recently downplayed record numbers of daily coronavirus infections reported over the past several weeks as the U.S. mortality rate remained low.
- States experiencing spikes in cases and hospitalizations are reporting an increase in death rates.
Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, on Friday said she expects to see an increase in coronavirus-related deaths after the number of cases in the U.S. has been trending upward over the past several weeks, the Daily Beast reports.
“In the United States we have an increase in the number of cases over the last particularly three weeks,” Birx said Friday during a virtual coronavirus conference.
“We have not seen this result in an increased mortality but that is expected as the disease continues to spread in some of our large metro areas,” Birx said.
Birx’s comments came as deaths began increasing in several Southern and Western states that have been experiencing a resurgence in cases, according to The Washington Post. Arizona, California, Montana and South Dakota hit record highs for their seven-day average of new COVID-19 deaths, the Post reports.
President Trump and others have recently downplayed record numbers of daily coronavirus infections reported over the past several weeks as the U.S. mortality rate remained low.
While infections spiked in several states, the rate of COVID-19 deaths nationwide had not increased. Health experts warned the surge in cases would likely be followed by an increase in mortality rates.
“It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Anthony Fauci said Tuesday during a livestreamed press conference hosted by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.)
Ashish Jha, the faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said earlier this week the data told a concerning story.
“First, remember death is a lagging indicator...Deaths rising in 5 of 5 states with largest outbreaks. In 9 out of top 10 states!” Jha tweeted.
“Let’s stop pretending cases are rising but its all harmless ... Big increases in hospitalizations were obvious days ago,” he said.
“Now, rising death toll in those states,” he said, adding “Exactly as the clinical course of COVID would predict.”
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC