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The Guardians of Democracy

After Initially Downplaying COVID-19 Threat, Trump Now Wants Credit For Saving ‘Billions’ Of Lives

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After Initially Downplaying COVID-19 Threat, Trump Now Wants Credit For Saving ‘Billions’ Of Lives

President Donald Trump on Saturday bizarrely claimed that had he not acted as soon as he did, “it could have been billions of people” who would have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic.

“60,000 or so, that’s a lot of people but that’s 100,000 was the minimum we thought that we could get to and we will be lower than that number,” Trump said, explaining modeling figures suggesting the first wave death toll could surpass 60,000 people in the U.S.

“Anywhere from 100,000 to 220,000 people,” Trump said, before he claimed that he believes the death toll could have been billions had he not acted as soon as he did.

“But I really believe it could have been billions of people if we had not done what we did,” he falsely claimed. “We made a lot of good decisions but – one of those things.”

According to the World Health Organization, the “mortality for COVID-19 appears higher than for influenza, especially seasonal influenza. While the true mortality of COVID-19 will take some time to fully understand, the data we have so far indicate that the crude mortality ratio (the number of reported deaths divided by the reported cases) is between 3-4%, the infection mortality rate (the number of reported deaths divided by the number of infections) will be lower. For seasonal influenza, mortality is usually well below 0.1%. However, mortality is to a large extent determined by access to and quality of health care.”

Even if you took the higher end 4% case fatality rate and assumed every single person on earth (7.58 billion) became infected, it would result in approximately 303 million deaths, nowhere near the billions Trump is claiming to have hypothetically saved.

At a campaign rally in Iowa on January 30, President Trump said the virus was “under control.”

“We think we have it very well under control,” Trump told the crowd. “We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for it. So that I can assure you.”

“I think it’s going to work out fine,” Trump said on Feb. 19. “I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus.”

On Feb. 24, President Trump tweeted false assurances that the stock market is “starting to look very good” and the coronavirus is “very much under control.”


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