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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a July congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci in an ABC interview Tuesday addressed a conspiracy theory recently retweeted by President Trump that falsely interpreted CDC data on the U.S. coronavirus death toll.

Driving the news: Trump's post incorrectly claimed that "only 6%" of those listed in the CDC's tally "actually died from COVID" and "the other 94% had 2-3 other serious illnesses." But Fauci said, "The numbers that you've been hearing — there are 180,000-plus deaths — are real deaths from COVID-19. Let [there] not be any confusion about that."

The big picture: Twitter on Sunday removed the post that Trump retweeted for violating its rules.

  • The Centers for Disease Control report, updated on Aug. 26, states that 94% of people who died from COVID-19 in the U.S. had contributing health conditions. The cause of death listed solely from the novel coronavirus occurred in 6% of cases across the U.S. from Feb. 1 to Aug. 22.

Yes, but: CDC data also shows that COVID-19 was the underlying cause of 95% of all deaths related to the virus.

What he's saying: "If you look at the people who died of COVID disease, the point that the CDC was trying to make was that a certain percentage of them had nothing else but just COVID," Fauci said.

  • "That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of COVID didn't die of COVID-19. They did."

Go deeper

The hurdles we face before reaching herd immunity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Once 75%–80% of people get vaccinated against the coronavirus, there should be strong enough herd immunity that we can return to normal activities, NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

Driving the news: The FDA is meeting with outside experts today as the agency considers granting an emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech for their COVID-19 vaccine. A similar meeting is slated for next week to discuss a vaccine developed by Moderna.

Dem-led committee investigating pandemic accuses CDC of deleting evidence

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the chair of the oversight subcommittee tasked with looking at the coronavirus crisis, accused the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday of concealing evidence that a Trump appointee attempted to influence the agency's scientific case studies.

The big picture: A senior CDC official who heads the agency's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," told Congress this week that director Robert Redfield told staff to delete an email that showed the Trump administration wanted to change language in their coronavirus findings, according to a letter from Clyburn.

Dec 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

New Hampshire speaker of the House dies of COVID-19

Rep. Richard Hinch speaks during the opening session of the New Hampshire Legislature on Dec. 2. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

New Hampshire House Speaker Richard "Dick" Hinch died of COVID-19, the state's attorney general's office said Thursday, citing the autopsy report. He was 71.

The big picture: Hinch is among the record 3,124 people in the U.S. who died from the coronavirus on Wednesday.