US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that the record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases, almost 300,000 in the past 24 hours, are exaggerated due to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) method of counting.
Earlier on Sunday, Trump criticized the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, saying the health authority's methods of determining cases had led to inflated figures.
"The deaths are real deaths", Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC News' This Week, adding that jam-packed hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers are "not fake".
"I think we all assumed that people would want this vaccine so badly, that when it became available, people would just come get it", Roberts said.
The country's initial immunization plan aims to vaccinate 300 million people - health care workers, front-line staff including police, and those considered vulnerable due to their age or other diseases - by August.
That would put the country on track to meet President-elect Joe Biden's goal of vaccinating 100 million people in his first 100 days in office. Levine said it will depend on how much vaccine Pennsylvania receives from Operation Warp Speed.
"I think the vaccine has made everyone so hopeful they can relax their behavior", he said.
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He complained, too, that Fauci has been credited by the news media with doing "an incredible job" when Fauci "works for me and the Trump Administration, and I am in no way given any credit for my work".
While appearing on CNN's State of the Union, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams defended the federal government's actions over the discrepancy and responded to Romney. But it is unlikely the immunization effort underway will prevent the majority of infections, hospitalizations and deaths expected this winter, especially amid a surge following the holidays. "We have well over 300,000 deaths, we are averaging two-to-three thousand deaths per day", he told host Chuck Todd.
Dr Adams said he, too, expects vaccinations to "rapidly ramp up in the new year". "We are not where we want to be, there's no doubt about that". She said they also suspect that the number of deaths reported in the coming days will see a bump because of lags in reporting during the holidays.
The Jackson County Health Department has recorded 737 new COVID-19 cases since December 21, pushing the county's number of cases to 7,758.
She said some people were hesitant to get the vaccine and wanted to see how others handled it.
Since then, the distribution effort has been mired in delay and confusion, including one mid-December episode in which Pfizer claimed that it had millions of doses sitting in its warehouse.
As states create their own approach to roll out the vaccines, some are having more success than others.