PRESIDENT Donald Trump claimed last night the deadly coronavirus is “mild” and he thinks the World Health Organization’s fatality rate is “really a false number" — based on his own "hunch."
The organization recently said the rate for the coronavirus, which has killed 11 people in the U.S., is 3.4 percent globally.
Speaking on Fox News’ Hannity Wednesday night, Trump said he doesn’t believe that.
“This is just my hunch, but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have [the coronavirus] and it’s very wild,” he told Sean Hannity.
“They’ll get better rapidly, they don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor — you never hear about those people,” Trump said.
“You can’t put them down in the category, the overall population, in terms of this corona flu, or virus.”
Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency medicine doctor affiliated with Harvard Medical School, shares the same idea: the coronavirus “isn't as deadly as we think.”
Faust wrote in a Slate piece, published Wednesday, that the “true case fatality rate, known as CFR, of this virus is likely to be far lower than current reports suggest.”
“Even some lower estimates, such as the one percent death rate recently mentioned by the directors of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, likely substantially overstate the case.”
The president went on to say some people who contract the coronavirus “sit around” and said some are “even going to work.”
“But they get better and when you do have a death, like you do in the state of Washington, like you had one in California, I believe you had one in New York, you know all of a sudden it seems like, three or four percent, which is a high number, as opposed to a fraction of one percent.”
“I think the number personally is very high, I would say the number is way under one percent.”
So far, 11 people in the U.S. — 10 in Washington and one in California — have died from the coronavirus.
In total, there have been 159 confirmed cases and eight people have recovered.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump, who is a self-proclaimed germaphobe, said his secret to not getting sick is not touching his face.
“I haven’t touched my face in weeks. It’s been weeks. I miss it,” he said, despite the appearance of photos that showed him touching his face during a meeting on Monday.
Trump also blamed the Obama administration for making “a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing.”
“We undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more rapid and accurate fashion.”
But an aide to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, told CNN that was false and former President Barack Obama didn’t have such a decision.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed roughly $8 billion in a bipartisan emergency funding deal to fight the coronavirus.
Minutes before the vote, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., joked the House floor was like a “petri dish” because legislators shake people’s hands all day long.
He was also pictured wearing a gas mask on the House floor.
Officials in King County, Washington — where the country’s coronavirus outbreak appears to be centered — have told recommended certain people should stay home in self-quarantine.
People aged 60 and older, those with underlying health conditions, people with weakened immune systems or anyone who is pregnant should stay home, officials said.
Federal officials said they’re investigating the Life Care Center in Kirkland, a suburb outside Seattle, where most coronavirus victims are.
At least 39 cases have been reported in the Seattle area, where researchers say the virus may have been circulating undetected for weeks.
A 71-year-old man from California who contracted the coronavirus after being a passenger aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship died on Wednesday, officials said.
Health officials believe he — and 2,500 other people — may have been exposed during the cruise, which was from San Francisco to Mexico from February 11 to 21.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than half of the 2,500 are California residents. The state has 53 confirmed coronavirus cases.
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