Experts have warned that the true US COVID-19 death toll could be double. The official figures due to delays and inconsistencies in reporting. Testing shortages and the likelihood that thousands of people have. Avoided seeking treatment for life-threatening conditions. The latest death count stands at 80,308 as of Sunday morning. With more than 1,356,650 infections confirmed across the country.
But many leading epidemiologists, regional officials. And other experts have said that the current counts do not reflect the full devastation of the virus. In part because there is no national standard for investigating deaths. Fears about an under-reported death toll come as many states expand efforts to ease lockdown restrictions. That has crippled the US economy and left millions of Americans out of work.
Mark Hayward, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Who advises the CDC on its mortality statistics. On Friday warned that it is very difficult to assess the full mortality burden of COVID-19. He cited the time lag in cases reported and emerging evidence. This suggests that thousands of seriously ill people have failed to seek medical attention. For life-threatening conditions such as heart failure. Strokes or cancer because they feared to come in contact with COVID-19.
Mark Said, "I think the undercount is enormous. The overall burden of mortality from COVID-19. Which covers all the causes that you talked about, could be enormously higher". He also added that "the true number of deaths is likely to double the current count around 160,000".
Trump has yet to comment directly on the deaths of people who avoided seeking treatment due to virus concerns. But White House press secretary "Kayleigh McEnany" alluded to the issue at a briefing last week as she urged people who are ill to visit the doctor.
McEnany said, "I've disturbed to read many quotes from doctors & stories of people. Who is staying home with chest pain and don't go to the hospital when they could be on the verge of having a heart attack. Who is missing on important appointments like mammograms screenings like colonoscopies".
Meanwhile, leading task force member Dr. Deborah Birx has boasted. That the US has one of the most comprehensive reporting processes for COVID-19 deaths. Because officials include anyone who died after testing positive for the virus, even if it wasn't the main cause.