According to Trump, his administration’s strategy to address the coronavirus “is moving well.” He added: “We have learned to put out the flame.”
In the days leading up to Trump’s remarks, the United States set a new world record for the highest number of coronavirus cases recorded in a day. And the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testified last week that at least 12 states reported an increase in daily hospitalizations for coronavirus patients.
To be fair, Trump acknowledged that the virus is still a problem and said: “It goes off in one area, it shows its ugly face in another area.”
But still, claiming that the United States’ response to the pandemic “is moving well” is false, and ignores not only the current situation in the United States, but also how it compares to other countries.
The United States’ response to the coronavirus is also not “moving well” compared to other countries. While coronavirus cases remain high in the U.S., other countries in Europe and around the world have seen clear downward trends in the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases. The European Union has also banned US residents from traveling there given the sudden increase in coronavirus cases in the US.
In his comments on Saturday night, Trump falsely suggested, not for the first time, that the recent increase in US coronavirus cases is due to increased evidence, and claimed that most cases positive for coronavirus are “totally harmless”.
“We have now tested it, almost 40 million people. In doing so, we show cases, 99% of which are completely harmless, results that no other country can show because no other country has evidence that we have,” Trump said.
Facts First: While higher case numbers can sometimes be attributed to better evidence, experts say recent increases in coronavirus cases are outpacing the increase in evidence.
Even officials from the Trump administration itself have testified to that fact. Last week, Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, deputy secretary of health for the US Department of Health and Human Services, told the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis: “There is no doubt that while the more tests you do, the more you will find out – but we think this is a real increase in cases, because the percentage of positivity is going up. So this is a real increase in cases. “
Furthermore, it is unclear how the president might have the impression that 99% of coronavirus cases in the United States are “totally harmless.” Of the at least 2.8 million coronavirus cases in the U.S., Johns Hopkins estimated a death rate of 4.6%, as of Saturday. According to the latest Johns Hopkins data, the death toll in the United States from coronavirus is also more than double that of the country with the second highest death rate, Brazil.
While the World Health Organization has said that the global death rate is likely to be less than 1%, the WHO also said that about 20% of all people diagnosed with coronaviruses are sick enough to need oxygen or hospital care.
The commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration refused on Sunday to defend the president and repeatedly refused to say whether Trump’s comment is true or false.
“I am not going to analyze who is right and who is wrong,” Dr. Stephen Hahn, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN’s “State of the Union” Dana Bash.
The White House has not returned CNN’s request for comment on the president’s claim.
Continuing to frame his initiatives as successful, the President said: “We are unleashing the scientific brilliance of our nation. And we will likely have a therapeutic and / or vaccine solution long before the end of the year.”
Facts First: Trump’s timeline is more optimistic than both experts’ earlier predictions. Last week, some senior health officials said the United States may be on track to receive a vaccine by the end of the year, but not “much earlier.” While several vaccine candidates have shown initial positive data, all of them still need to undergo further testing.
Trump touted his administration-led efforts to manufacture the equipment necessary to combat the outbreak. He stated: “We have manufactured fans where there were none.”
Facts First: Their is not true that the Trump administration did not leave fans on the part of the Obama administration, something that Trump has falsely claimed on numerous occasions. As of March, 16,660 fans were available in the national reserve for immediate use, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Trump previously claimed that he inherited “non-fans” from the previous administration. While the arsenal had depleted some supplies, such as masks, there were significant amounts of other items. You can read a fact check here on Trump’s broader claim for empty shelves and cabinets.