Trump On Coronavirus: “There’s A Very Good Chance You’re Not Going To Die”
President Donald Trump appears desperate to convince the American public it has nothing to fear over the coronavirus — which has infected more than 80,000 people worldwide and killed more than 2,700.
And while it’s understandable that any administration would desire to stave off public panic, Trump’s comments on the issue are less than reassuring, particularly for the fact he seems either unknowledgeable or callous about the disease’s spread across the globe and to the United States — or perhaps a little of both.
On Tuesday, the president appeared to make light of the coronavirus as he compared it to Ebola, which has a drastically higher mortality rate.
“There’s a very good chance you’re not going to die,” Trump said. “It’s just the — it’s very much the opposite. You’re talking about 1 or 2 percent [fatality rate for coronavirus], whereas in the other case, it was a virtual 100 percent.”
The Washington Post’s Philip Bump noted that while Trump was not wrong about the difference in mortality rates between Ebola and this strain of coronavirus, he “isn’t simply reminding Americans that the coronavirus has a low mortality rate; he’s dismissing it as a threat broadly.”
This virus could end up hanging around as a long-term problem, Bump wrote, but in his attempt to create the appearance of having control over the situation (and keep the stock market from plummeting any further), the president would have Americans believe there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the coronavirus might have a fatality rate in the neighborhood of 20 to 40 times that of the seasonal flu, which kills tens of thousands of Americans each year.