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US’s leading experts on coronavirus shoot down conspiracy theories

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  • The top US health officials leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic shot down the numerous conspiracy theories about how the mortality rates were being misrepresented.
  • In recent days, several influential figures have floated theories that the US had been inflating its statistics on deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
  • “They are nothing but distractions,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.
  • “I would just hope we just put those conspiracy stuff — and let somebody write a book about it later on, but not now,” he added, while waving his hand.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The top health officials leading the US’s response to the coronavirus pandemic shot down the numerous conspiracy theories about how the mortality rates were being inflated.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said during a press conference on Wednesday that her team has been “hearing both sides” to the unverified rumors about the number of coronavirus-related deaths being inflated or underreported.

“This has been known from the beginning: so those individuals will have an underlying condition, but that underlying condition did not cause their acute death when it’s related to a COVID infection,” Birx said. “In fact, it’s the opposite. Having an underlying condition and getting this virus, we know, is particularly damaging to those individuals.”

“If you have asthma … if you have diabetes, if you have hypertension, these are preexisting conditions that put you at a greater risk to having a worse outcome,” she added.

deborah birx

Dr. Deborah Birx.

Associated Press/Patrick Semansky


In recent days, several influential figures have floated theories that the US had been misrepresenting its statistics on the coronavirus, and that health officials may have not differentiated “between those who die with the disease and those who die from it.”

“There may be reasons people seek an inaccurate death count,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said during a segment on Tuesday. “When journalists work with numbers, there sometimes is an agenda.”

Earlier in April, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh attempted to qualify his theory by saying he was “not trying to stir anything up,” and claimed “that with this new arrival of COVID-19, that coronavirus is being listed as a cause of death for many people who are not dying because of it.”

“They’re dying because of other things,” Limbaugh added, according to The Daily Beast. “But it’s speculation. It’s fascinating.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also weighed in on the false assumptions by recalling his tenure advising previous president’s amid the HIV/AIDS crisis.

“Having been through other serious issues, particularly the very painful early years of HIV/AIDs — when people talk about conspiracy theories, you will always have conspiracy theories when you have a very challenging public health crisis,” Fauci said. “They are nothing but distractions.”

“I can assure you we have so much to do to protect the health and the welfare of the American people that I would just hope we just put those conspiracy stuff — and let somebody write a book about it later on, but not now,” he added, while waving his hand.

Nearly 400,000 people in the US tested positive for the coronavirus as of Wednesday afternoon, and more than 12,000 have died.

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