Anthony Fauci testifies in Washington, D.C., on June 30. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci said at an event with Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Tuesday "that it's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death" from the coronavirus in the U.S., warning: "There’s so many other things that are dangerous and bad about the virus. Don’t get into false complacency."

The big picture: The mean age of Americans currently being infected by the virus has declined by 15 years compared to where it stood several months ago. This has been one contributing factor in the lower death rate the U.S. has experienced during the recent surge in cases, since "the younger you are, the better you do, and the less likely you're gonna get seriously ill and die," Fauci said.

  • Another reason for the lower death rate is that treatments and therapies for those with advanced coronavirus symptoms have improved in the U.S., Fauci said.
  • He noted that "the idea that the virus is mutating and so is less damaging to people, has not yet been proven at all."
  • President Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday: "We have the lowest Mortality Rate in the World. The Fake News should be reporting these most important of facts, but they don’t!"

Where it stands: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

  • Fauci said on Tuesday that there have been "multiple examples of young people who are getting sick, getting hospitalized, and some of them even requiring intensive care" as cases rise in younger Americans.
  • He urged local officials to implement mask mandates and condemned the politicization of the issue: "If you say 'it doesn't matter whether you put it on or take it off,' you’re giving a wrong, mixed signal," Fauci said. "The message should be, 'Wear a mask, period.'

Go deeper: Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

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Chris Wallace fact-checks Trump on U.S. coronavirus mortality rate

Fox News' Chris Wallace fact-checked President Trump in an interview Sunday after Trump falsely claimed that the U.S. has the lowest coronavirus mortality rate in the world.

Why it matters: Trump has touted the country's mortality rate in his defense of the administration's response to the pandemic, dismissing the fact that the U.S. has the world's highest confirmed case count as simply a product of increased testing.

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President Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images

The reworked Republican National Convention will be a four-night spectacle including still-under-wraps venues, a 10 p.m. "nightly surprise" and guests and themes playing to "the forgotten men and women of America," two senior Trump campaign officials involved tell Axios.

Driving the news: The messaging will focus heavily on "very granular details" of what a second term for President Trump would look like — answering a question Trump left hanging in a Fox News event earlier this summer — and attack cancel culture, "radical elements" of society and threats to public safety.

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Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.