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Dr. Fauci Defies Trump: "The Deaths are Real"

“The deaths are real deaths,” he said. “I mean, all you need to do is to go out into the trenches.”
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, listen as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci delivers remarks during a coronavirus update briefing.

On a weekend in which coronavirus deaths passed 350,000 total—with a "surge upon a surge" predicted—hospitals in many cities remained overwhelmed. "At least 123,639 people nationwide were in the hospital with coronavirus on Saturday, marking 32 consecutive days that the number of hospitalizations has exceeded 100,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project," reported CNN. President Donald Trump took a break from tweeting about the election results to comment on these record-breaking numbers, tweeting: 

"The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @CDCgov's ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low. 'When in doubt, call it Covid.' Fake News!"

During an appearance shortly after on ABC's This Week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded to Trump's tweet. Read on to see what he said—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

"The Deaths are Real Deaths," Dr. Fauci Says

"The deaths are real deaths," Fauci said when asked about Trump's claim. "I mean, all you need to do is to go out into the trenches, go to the hospitals, to see what the healthcare workers are dealing with. They are under very stressed situations. In many areas of the country, the hospital beds are stretched. People are running out of beds, running out of train personnel who are exhausted right now. That's real. That's not fake. That's real."

At least one person was listening. During Fauci's appearance, the President tweeted: "Something how Dr. Fauci is revered by the LameStream Media as such a great professional, having done, they say, such an incredible job, yet he works for me and the Trump Administration, and I am in no way given any credit for my work. Gee, could this just be more Fake News?"

On Meet the Press about 30 minutes later, Fauci reiterated his statement. "The numbers are real," he said. "You know, you're going to have some deviation plus or minus a bit, but the numbers are real. We have well over 300,000 deaths, we're averaging 2 to 3,000 deaths per day. All you need to do is go in to the trenches, go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening. Those are real numbers, real people and real deaths."

RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds

The Surgeon General Also Said Trump is Wrong. 350,000 People Have, in Fact, Died.

Dr. Jerome Adams, the nation's Surgeon General, appeared on CNN's State of the Union this morning and, naturally, was also asked about Trump's tweet. Could the numbers indeed be fake? "From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers," said Adams. "And I think people need to be very aware that it's not just about the deaths. It's about the hospitalizations, the capacity, these cases are having an impact in a range of ways. And people need to understand that there's a finish line in sight, but we've got keep running towards it."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Survive This Pandemic

As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, because one COVID death by your hand, however inadvertent, is too many—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.