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COVID deaths 'real': Fauci rejects Trump tweet

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Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday disputed a claim by President Donald Trump that federal data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. is overexaggerated, after Trump in a tweet attacked the CDC's tabulation method.

Fauci on ABC "This Week" said of coronavirus data released by the CDC that quote, "The deaths are real deaths." He added that jam-packed hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers are "not fake. That's real."

The CDC on Sunday reported there were 349,246 deaths from the new coronavirus as of Saturday, a rise of 2,321 deaths from a day before.

Trump on Sunday fired off this tweet: "The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of the @CDCgov's [CDC's] ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low."

Trump then took aim at Fauci in a subsequent tweet, that read, quote: "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..."

Another top U.S. health official, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, on CNN on Sunday also defended the CDC data.

The Trump administration has been criticized for falling far short of its target of inoculating 20 million Americans by the end of December.

Operation Warp Speed Chief Adviser Moncef Slaoui on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday said, "We need to improve."

The recorded number of infections in the U.S. spiked to more than 20 million cases, the CDC said on Sunday.

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