Virus Cases Went Up 100,000% After Trump Said They Would Soon Be “Close To Zero”
President Donald Trump told Americans on February 26 that coronavirus cases in the U.S. stood at 15 but would soon be “close to zero.”
Not only was he wrong about the number of cases at the time — there were actually 60 confirmed cases on the day he spoke — but as nearly everyone expected, the number of cases have risen significantly in the time since.
According to The American Independent, coronavirus cases in the U.S. have increased 114,123 percent since Trump made his prediction. And the publication noted the increase is 456,793 percent from the falsely-claimed 15 cases Trump mentioned at the time.
New York Times data shows that the U.S. now has 75,178 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, as of Thursday afternoon, and at least 1,069 deaths. The country’s first known virus-related death occurred just three days after Trump claimed we were on our way to zero.
Despite pivoting to a more serious tone earlier this month, after weeks of insisting the pandemic was nothing to worry about and well under control, Trump again has shifted to a lighter stance in hopes of reopening the economy by Easter.
However, The American Independent noted that just one day after Trump made his desire know, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization director-general, suggested such a move would be a bad idea.
He said on Wednesday that social distancing measures "are the best way to suppress and stop transmission, so that when restrictions are lifted, the coronavirus doesn't resurge,” adding that “the last thing any country needs is to open schools and businesses, only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence."
Despite Trump’s initial assessment — that the cases would simply go away — the coronavirus has continued its spread and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the president’s coronavirus task force, said on Friday that social distancing will need to continue for some time.
"If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks and other areas, at least going to be several weeks,” he said.