FDA Head Does Not Back Trump’s Unfounded Statement That 99% Of COVID Cases Are ‘Harmless’
President Donald Trump's latest comments dismissing the severity of COVID-19 were met with criticism from mayors currently trying to manage outbreak hot spots. On the Sunday shows, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn declined to confirm the validity of the president's statement, while fact-checkers lay out the data that show it to be "dangerously" untrue.
FDA Commissioner Refuses To Defend Trump Claim That 99% Of Covid-19 Cases Are 'Harmless'
The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday declined to defend President Donald Trump's unfounded claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are "totally harmless" and repeatedly refused to say whether Trump's remark is true or false. "I'm not going to get into who is right and who is wrong," Dr. Stephen Hahn, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." (Stracqualursi and Westwood, 7/5)
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn Won’t Confirm Trump’s Promises On Vaccine Timing
During a Fourth of July address in Washington on Saturday, Trump struck a more optimistic tone, both on the speed of virus treatment research and development, and on the impact COVID-19 is having upon individuals who test positive. "We are unleashing our nation's scientific brilliance and we'll likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year," Trump said, after earlier touting the nation's testing efforts and claiming, without evidence, that "99%" of coronavirus cases "are totally harmless." (Kelsey, 7/5)
Trump’s ’99 Percent’ Coronavirus Comment Finds Little Support
On ABC’s “This Week,” co-anchor Martha Raddatz asked Hahn whether Trump’s statement was accurate. “Well, let’s talk about where we are right now. We’re seeing cases around the Sun Belt,” he said. “We are certainly concerned, at the White House corona task force, about this … We’ve sent teams into those states to actually help with taking care of the patients who are now with Covid-19.” (Dugyala and Forgey, 7/5)
AP Fact Check:
Trump Falsely Says 99% Of Virus Cases Benign
President Donald Trump is understating the danger of the coronavirus to people who get it, as more and more become infected in the U.S. In his latest of many statements playing down the severity of the pandemic, Trump declared that 99% of cases of COVID-19 are harmless. That flies in the face of science and of the reality captured by the U.S. death toll of about 130,000. Trump also sounded a dismissive note about the need for breathing machines. (Yen and Woodward, 7/6)
The New York Times:
Trump Falsely Claims ‘99 Percent’ Of Virus Cases Are ‘Totally Harmless’
Experts say the president appears to have seized only on a death rate estimate of 1 percent or less that does not capture the entire impact of the disease, and excludes a multitude of thousands who have spent weeks in the hospital or weeks at home with mild to moderate symptoms that still caused debilitating health problems. That death rate is narrowly focused on the number of people who die as a percentage of the total number of people affected — including those who are asymptomatic and do not experience any illness, and those with mild cases, who experience fleeting symptoms. (Caryn Rabin and Cameron, 7/5)
Trump’s Leadership Is Tested In Time Of Fear, Pandemic
These are times of pain, mass death, fear and deprivation and the Trump show may be losing its allure, exposing the empty space once filled by the empathy and seriousness of presidents leading in a crisis. Bluster isn’t beating the virus; belligerence isn’t calming a restive nation. (Lemire and Woodward, 7/6)