WASHINGTON, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Even though official statistics still indicates that fatalities related to COVID-19 across the United States are on an escalating course on a daily basis, those counts have understated the real death toll, according to a recent report by The New York Times.

The Times said in a report published Sunday that "the true death toll is likely much higher" than what has been reported, citing concerns expressed by hospital officials, doctors, public health experts and medical examiners from a wide array of localities in the country.

"The undercount is a result of inconsistent protocols, limited resources and a patchwork of decision making from one state or county to the next," the report said.

The combination of the absence of a "uniform system for reporting coronavirus-related deaths" and "a continued shortage of tests" has been attributed to what the report said was some states and counties having "improvised, obfuscated and, at times, backtracked in counting the dead."

"We definitely think there are deaths that we have not accounted for," Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

U.S. President Donald Trump in recent days has been using the White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing as an occasion to boast his country's second-to-none total COVID-19 tests.

Yet, U.S. media, such as The New York Times, have offered another angle to look at the issue: Given its relatively larger population, the country has tested far fewer people than other countries on a per capita basis.

Johns Hopkins University has been closely tracking real-time data regarding confirmed cases and mortalities not only in the United States, but also around the globe country by country.

While noting public health experts have stressed that an accurate death count is essential to understanding the evolution of a disease outbreak, the report said that the federal government "does not expect to produce a final tally of coronavirus deaths until 2021, when it publishes an annual compilation of the country's leading causes of death."