Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday said he didn’t know what President Trump “was talking about” after he disputed the death rate of the coronavirus as reported by the World Health Organization, calling the 3.4 percent figure “really a false number,” but also noting that his belief is based on “just a hunch.”
“I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number,” Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity in a phone interview Wednesday evening when asked for his reaction to the death rate reported earlier this week. “Now, this is just a hunch, but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this.”
“A lot of people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor. You never hear about those people,” Trump continued.
“Personally, I think the number is way under 1 percent,” Trump continued.
WHO officials reported the 3.4 percent death rate among cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide during a press briefing Tuesday — a figure that is higher than previously thought.
“Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Graham pushed back against Trump’s remarks to Fox News, saying the will “listen to the scientists when it comes to the numbers.”
“I don’t know what he was talking about but I listen to the scientists when it comes to the numbers,” Graham explained to CNN’s Manu Raju. “I would encourage the president if he’s going to report things to make sure the science is behind what he says.”
“I would encourage the president if he’s going to report things to make sure the science is behind what he says,” Graham told me
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 5, 2020