Trump’s Claim That 99 Percent Of COVID Cases Are “Harmless” Is Foiled After White House Puts Up A Chart Showing 5 Percent Of Cases Are Fatal

Defeated by a chart. Sad.

632 points

Donald Trump’s incendiary claim that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless” was contradicted by his own press secretary when Kayleigh McEnany unwittingly used actual scientific charts in a desperate effort to defend him.

During his July 4th remarks over the weekend, Trump once again downplayed the virus as nothing to worry about even though upwards of 130,000 Americans are dead and more than 2.5 million are infected.

“Now we have tested, almost 40 million people,” Trump said. “By so doing, we show cases — 99% of which are totally harmless — results that no other country can show because no other country has testing that we have. Not in terms of the numbers, or in terms of the quality.”

When questioned about Trump’s claim, McEnany tried to portray it as a “fact.”

“The president was noting the fact that the vast majority of Americans who contract coronavirus will come out on the other side of this,” she said.

McEnany then trotted out charts showing the fatality rate of the virus. The problem is that the chart, which is from the European CDC, shows the fatality rate in the United States at 4.6 percent. That’s not only far higher than the flu, it’s more than four times the 1 percent Trump claimed.

According to Yahoo News:

The first showed the U.S. case fatality rate, or CFR, dipping to 4.6 percent after topping 6 percent in May; the second compared it to those of European countries — like France, Italy and the United Kingdom — where the rate is upwards of 10 percent. Both charts cited the European CDC as their source, and both showed the U.S. death rate from the coronavirus more than four times the rate Trump’s remark suggested.”

“What that speaks to is the great work of this administration,” McEnany bragged. “And that’s what the president was pointing out.”

Again, the fatality rate is 4.6 percent, not 1 percent. In short, Trump lied when he claimed that 99 percent of cases are “harmless.” And it’s even more false when you consider that those who survive the virus have lingering damage from it that will require long recoveries.

Dr. Gregory Rutherford, an epidemiologist in San Francisco, fact-checked Trump as well during an interview with ABC.

“No, not even close, not even close to a reasonable interpretation,” Rutherford said. “It’s a much more virulent disease that he gives it credit for. He should talk to his pal Boris Johnson about how he had to go to the ICU.”

“Rutherford said around 40% of the people who test positive for COVID-19 develop recognizable symptoms, 20% develop more severe symptoms, which could lead to hospitalizations and at most, 12% have to be hospitalized,” ABC went on to report.

Clearly, Trump lied and he doesn’t care about the health and safety of Americans. And his inept press secretary proved it with a scientific chart.

Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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