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Sunday shows: Health officials push back on Trump's 'exaggerated' COVID death toll claim

Public health experts took to the Sunday political news shows to refute claims made by President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was inflating the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 on the same day the U.S. death toll reached the grim milestone of more than 350,000.

Also on Sunday, lawmakers anticipated challenging the Electoral College vote count for president to be certified by Congress this week. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from CPAC 2021 Trump wins CPAC straw poll with 55 percent 'SNL' envisions Fauci as game show host, giving winners vaccines MORE, one of 11 GOP senators who plan to contest the count, called for people who accused him of sedition to "calm down" while NBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddBrown vows Democrats will 'find a way' to raise minimum wage Fauci lays out timeline for vaccinating teens, children Trudeau: Canadian, US border to remain closed 'for now' MORE called Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director MORE an "arsonist" for joining the effort.

Read The Hill's complete coverage below.

Fauci pushes back on Trump on COVID-19 'exaggerated' remarks: 'The deaths are real deaths'
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci'SNL' envisions Fauci as game show host, giving winners vaccines Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate Fauci lays out timeline for vaccinating teens, children MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, pushed back on claims by President Trump Sunday that the federal government has exaggerated the COVID-19 death toll.
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Surgeon General says 'no reason to doubt' COVID death toll number
BY JOHN BOWDEN
 
The U.S. Surgeon General pushed back against President Trump's claims about the COVID-19 death toll being artificially inflated during an interview Sunday.
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Fauci says he didn't expect such a high US death toll from COVID-19
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday he did not expect the death toll from the coronavirus to be so high in the U.S.
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Surgeon General says rate of vaccine rollout is increasing
BY JOHN BOWDEN 
 
Surgeon General Jerome AdamsJerome AdamsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis Biden to name nurse as acting surgeon general: report Judge drops case against former surgeon general over alleged virus restrictions violation MORE pushed back against criticism of the Trump administration's rollout of the vaccines for COVID-19 on Sunday, pointing to improvements that authorities have made nationwide in their efforts to vaccinate as many as possible.
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Surgeon General vows COVID-19 surge can be tempered
BY JOSEPH CHOI
 
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams acknowledged on Sunday that current projections on the coronavirus pandemic are “pretty scary,” but maintained it was still possible to “temper” the current surge of cases.
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Cruz says people accusing him of sedition need to 'calm down'
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday called for critics of his challenge to the results of the presidential election to “tone down the rhetoric.”
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Loeffler sidesteps questions on challenging Electoral College vote in Senate
BY JOSEPH CHOI 
 
Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerKelly Loeffler's WNBA team sold after players' criticism Please, President Trump: Drop your quest for revenge and help the GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan MORE (R-Ga.) on Sunday avoided directly answering whether or not she’ll join her fellow GOP senators in challenging the Electoral College if she wins the Georgia runoff the day before.
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NBC's Chuck Todd to GOP senator on Electoral College challenge: 'You're the arsonist here'
BY DOMINICK MASTRANGELO 
 
Chuck Todd of NBC's "Meet the Press" sharply criticized Sen. Ron Johnson during a Sunday interview over the Wisconsin Republican's decision to join other GOP senators in challenging the presidential election in several states, saying, "You're the arsonist here."
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Abrams says concession comparisons to Trump are 'apples to bowling balls'
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Stacy Abrams on Sunday said comparisons between her refusal to concede her loss in a governor's race to now Gov.-Brian KempBrian KempRick Scott acknowledges Biden 'absolutely' won fair election Georgia teachers to be next in line in state for coronavirus vaccine The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan MORE (R) to President Trump’s refusal to concede the presidential race are "apples and bowling balls."
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Hoyer on GOP challenges to Biden win: 'A sad day'
BY JOSEPH CHOI
 
Democratic House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package Key Democrat unveils plan to restore limited earmarks Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission MORE said Sunday the challenge by Republican senators who said they will oppose the Electoral College count by Congress marks “a sad day for democracy.”
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US hits 350,000 COVID-19 deaths amid fear of surge after holiday gatherings
BY DOMINICK MASTRANGELO
 
More than 350,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the U.S., with another surge of cases and deaths expected in the coming weeks as a result of smaller holiday gatherings.
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