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Trump Pushes Coronavirus Death Toll Estimate to 100,000 as Task Force Projections Trend Higher 2020

The Trump administration continues to push the theory that the virus outbreak came from a lab in Wuhan.


President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall "America Together: Returning to Work," event from the Lincoln Memorial, May 3, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

The number is a jump from the president's recent estimates of 60,000-70,000 deaths. However, the U.S. has already reached 67,000 deaths and 1.1 million cases without major signs of significant slowing.

"Look, we're going to lose anywhere from 75,000, 80,000 to 100,000 people. That's a horrible thing," Trump said Sunday night at a Fox News town hall.

The coronavirus is threatening to take the lives of up to 100,000 Americans, President Donald Trump said over the weekend.

White House coronavirus task force member Deborah Birx contradicted that number over the weekend, saying the toll could be significantly higher.

"Our projections have always been between 100,000 and 240,000 American lives lost, and that's with full mitigation and us learning from each other of how to social distance," she told "Fox News Sunday."

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed there was evidence that the virus outbreak came from a lab in Wuhan, China.

"I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan," Pompeo said on ABC's "This Week."

Trump mentioned the claim last week, also saying that he has seen evidence that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, but he declined to elaborate.

When asked to clarify his knowledge on the subject, he said, "I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that."

The theory has caused pushback from China.

"The U.S. government has ignored the facts, diverted public attention and engaged in buck-passing in an attempt to shirk its responsibility for incompetence in the fight against the epidemic," Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday.

[ MAP: The Spread of Coronavirus ]

But The Associated Press reported that a Department of Homeland Security intelligence report dated May 1 claims that Chinese leaders "intentionally concealed the severity" of the pandemic in early January in order to stock up on medical supplies to respond to the virus.

"Intelligence has just reported to me that I was correct, and that they did NOT bring up the CoronaVirus subject matter until late into January, just prior to my banning China from the U.S.," Trump tweeted on Sunday without citing specifics. "Also, they only spoke of the Virus in a very non-threatening, or matter of fact, manner…"