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Fauci: Focus on COVID Death Rate Is a 'False Narrative'

Newser — Rob Quinn

President Trump has praised the falling COVID-19 death rate in the US as evidence that the fight against the virus is being won—but Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday against "false complacency." Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said it is "a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death," the Washington Post reports.

He said the lower mortality rate is due to a rise in infections among younger people, who are less likely to die from the virus but can still experience serious complications.

"There's so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don't get yourself into a false complacency," Fauci said at a livestreamed press conference.

"We are now getting multiple examples of young people who are getting sick, getting hospitalized and some of them even requiring intensive care," Fauci said, per the Hill.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's pandemic response coordinator, said later Tuesday that that officials had not anticipated the amount of community spread that began in 18-to-35-year-olds, the New York Times reports.

"This is an age group that was so good and so disciplined through March and April," she said. "But when they saw people out and about on social media, they all went out and about. And so we right now have really significant cases in people under 45." Several states reported record high totals of new infections Tuesday, including California and Texas, which became the third state, after New York and Florida, to record more than 10,000 cases in a day, the AP reports.

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