President Trump made the claims during a speech on Independence Day
Donald Trump claimed without evidence during a speech at the White House that 99% of coronavirus cases “are totally harmless,” a claim that is not only dangerous but completely false according to experts.
“Now we have tested, almost 40 million people. 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,” he said. “Not in terms of the numbers, or in terms of the quality,” he said, doubling down on his claim that an increase in cases is caused by increased testing.
“I’m not going to get into who’s right and who is wrong,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn says when pressed about the misleading claim President Trump made — that 99% of coronavirus cases in America are "totally harmless" https://t.co/P3rgUzC3Fq #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/m9jU8QKYQ3
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 5, 2020
According to Johns Hopkins University’s latest numbers, there have been more than 2.8 million cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and at least 132,000 have died. According to the CDC, approximately 35% of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic and 20% of all people who are diagnosed with coronavirus are sick enough to need oxygen or hospital care. The death rate in the U.S. is now sitting at 4.5%.
“We got hit by the virus that came from China,” Trump continued during his speech. “We’ve made a lot of progress. Our strategy is moving along well. It goes out in one area, it rears back its ugly face in another area. But we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned how to put out the flame.”
According to the WHO, states should achieve a 5% threshold of positive tests for at least 14 days before they reopen. Currently, the national average is 7.6%. Florida is currently sitting at 18.1%. Some people who become ill have only mild symptoms, but even people with mild symptoms or those who are asymptomatic can spread the virus to others.
FDA head Dr. Stephen Hahn appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning and was confronted by fill-in host Dana Bash about Trump’s claim about COVID-19 being “harmless.” When Hahn danced around her question as to whether he agrees with the president, she quickly reset expectations. “Dr. Hahn, I think it’s important to stick to the question about the 99 percent that the president threw out there. I can tell you it’s not true, and that’s obviously not my opinion. It is fact-based on CDC estimates. Only a third of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. The WHO, World Health Organization says 20 percent of people who die of coronavirus need oxygen or hospital care,” Bash said. “This is really important, probably one of the most important misclaims or, frankly, lies the president has put out there. How does that make you feel as a member of his own task force?”
Wow. The FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn (MD!!), refuses to contradict Trump’s statement that 99% of COVID-19 cases are harmless. These people care more about their jobs than speaking truth to power. Spineless. #CNNSOTU
— Brian Le Mec (@Dalmatio) July 5, 2020
Hahn responded by essentially saying nothing. “I totally support the CDC and the information that they’re putting out with respect to this pandemic,” Hahn stated. “I think it’s, again, really important. The guidelines that we’ve emphasized, the data that we have — again, it’s a rapidly evolving situation and we’re going to have more data.”
People who have been infected have been vocal about the horrific symptoms and longterm effects that have yet to be fully realized. These accounts are far from “harmless.”
Hey, so, I got #Covid19 in March. I’ve been sick for over 3 months w/ severe respiratory, cardiovascular & neurological symptoms. I still have a fever. I’ve been incapacitated for nearly a season of my life. It's not enough to not die. You don’t want to live thru this, either. 1/
— Dani Oliver (@DaniOliver) July 3, 2020
As the U.S. continues to set new records of positive tests, our leaders should be crystal clear on the facts to ensure the safety of the American public.
Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.