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The Guardians of Democracy

The Guardians of Democracy

Pence Breaks With Trump, Confirms Coronavirus Is More Lethal Than The Flu


Pence Breaks With Trump, Confirms Coronavirus Is More Lethal Than The Flu

Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is more lethal than the flu and predicted that the United States can expect “thousands of more cases,” a significant break from President Trump’s declaration this week that the virus will simply “go away.”

Trump has repeatedly pushed talking points in recent weeks that sought to play down the threat posed to the American public by comparing the novel coronavirus to the seasonal flu, a statement Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the president’s coronavirus task force, disagreed with.

“I mean, people always say, well, the flu does this, the flu does that,” Fauci said during a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “The flu has a mortality of 0.1 percent. This has a mortality rate of 10 times that. That’s the reason I want to emphasize we have to stay ahead of the game in preventing this.”

NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie asked Pence during an appearance on “Today” to confirm Fauci’s assertion that “this is much more lethal than the seasonal flu.”

“It is, Savannah,” Pence responded.

Pence added that global data indicates the virus is a “threat of very serious consequences” for senior citizens with underlying health conditions but not for younger Americans, “particularly children under the age of 15.”

When Guthrie asked Pence how many Americans are expected to be infected, Pence said, “We know there will be thousands more cases of coronavirus in this country.”

“Thousands or millions?” the “Today” host pressed.

“I’ll leave to the experts to make the estimates of how many people may be infected,” Pence said.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. had recorded more than 1,300 cases and 38 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.


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