Donald Trump's most controversial coronavirus statements
Donald Trump has made plenty of claims about the coronavirus this year. Here are some of the President's statements regarding the virus he tested positive for on Friday.
Trump: "If the economic shutdown continues, deaths by suicide "definitely would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we’re talking about” for Covid-19 deaths."
More than 200,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. But the number of people who died by suicide in 2017, for example, was roughly 47,000, nowhere near the Covid-19 numbers. Estimates of the mental-health toll of the Great Recession are mixed. A 2014 study tied more than 10,000 suicides in Europe and North America to the financial crisis.
Trump: "Coronavirus numbers are looking much better, going down almost everywhere,” and cases are “coming way down."
When Trump made these claims in May, coronavirus cases were either increasing or plateauing in the majority of American states. Over the summer, the country saw a second surge even greater than its first in the spring.
Trump: "The pandemic is “fading away. It’s going to fade away."
Trump made this claim ahead of his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when the country was still seeing at least 20,000 new daily cases and a second spike in infections was beginning.
Trump: “99%” of Covid-19 cases are "totally harmless."
The virus can still cause tremendous suffering if it doesn’t kill a patient, and the WHO has said that about 15 percent of Covid-19 cases can be severe, with 5 percent being critical. Fauci has rejected Trump’s claim, saying the evidence shows that the virus “can make you seriously ill” even if it doesn’t kill you.
Trump: "We now have the lowest Fatality (Mortality) Rate in the World."
The U.S. had neither the lowest mortality rate nor the lowest case-fatality rate when Trump made this claim. As of July 13, the case-fatality rate—the ratio of deaths to confirmed Covid-19 cases—was 4.1 percent, which placed the U.S. solidly in the middle of global rankings. At the time, it had the world’s ninth-worst mortality rate, with 41.33 deaths per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University
Trump: Children are “virtually immune” to Covid-19.
The science is not definitive, but that doesn’t mean children are immune. Studies in the U.S. and China have suggested that kids are less likely than adults to be infected, and more likely to have mild symptoms, but can still spread the virus to their family members and others. The CDC has said that about 7 percent of Covid-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of Covid-19-related deaths have occurred in children.
Trump: The U.S. has “among the lowest case-fatality rates of any major country anywhere in the world.”
When Trump said this, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and India all had lower case-fatality rates than the U.S., which sat in the middle of performance rankings among all nations and among the 20 countries hardest hit by the virus.
Trump: America is “rounding the corner” and “rounding the final turn” of the pandemic.
Trump made these claims before and after the country registered 200,000 coronavirus deaths. As the winter approaches, coronavirus cases are increasing in a slew of states in the Midwest and the South, and data suggest that a third national surge might happen in the coming weeks. Fauci and CDC Director Robert Redfield have also warned Americans about the winter, with Fauci highlighting the "need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter, because it’s not going to be easy."
More Trump Covid-19 claims
In March: "You have to be calm. It’ll go away."
In April: "I’m feeling good. I just don’t want to be doing -- somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful resolute desk, the great resolute desk, I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. I just don’t. Maybe I’ll change my mind."
In May: "When we have a lot of cases, I don't look at that as a bad thing, I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing,...Because it means our testing is much better. I view it as a badge of honor, really, it's a badge of honor."
In June: "Coronavirus deaths are way down. Mortality rate is one of the lowest in the World. Our Economy is roaring back and will NOT be shut down. “Embers” or flare ups will be put out, as necessary!"
In July: "You will never hear this on the Fake News concerning the China Virus, but by comparison to most other countries, who are suffering greatly, we are doing very well - and we have done things that few other countries could have done!"
In August: "We've done a great job in Covid but we don't get the credit."
In September: "Take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system. But [the virus] affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing. By the way, open your schools everybody, open your schools."