Fauci: ‘Too Early’ to Link Young Virus Cases to Death Rate

It’s too soon to tell whether a jump in coronavirus infections among young people is holding down the overall mortality rate from Covid-19, a top U.S. health official said on Tuesday.

“It’s too early to make that link,” Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, said at a Congressional hearing.

Data in recent weeks show new cases of the coronavirus are climbing even as the rate of deaths has remained relatively stable. That’s perplexed some health experts, and has been seized on by President Donald Trump as evidence of progress in fighting the pandemic. Trump has said that coronavirus infection rates are rising because of increased testing.

“Cases up only because of our big number testing,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “Mortality rate way down!”

In some states, more people under the age of 50 are falling ill than earlier in the outbreak. While that could be playing a part in keeping down the number of deaths, Fauci said he was reserving judgment.

“Deaths always lag considerably behind cases,” Fauci said, pointing out that it took time for mortality to fall in New York City as the overall number of cases started to diminish.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.