Donald Trump Jr. downplayed the impact of the coronavirus in the U.S. Thursday night, saying the death rate has dropped to “almost nothing” amid a rise in confirmed cases.
In an on-air interview with Fox News anchor Laura IngrahamLaura Anne Ingraham‘Drink water and don’t be racist’: Ocasio-Cortez gives Republicans upset over Vanity Fair outfit ‘pointers’ on how to look better Trump calls Fox ‘disappointing’ for airing Obama speech Fox’s Ingraham: ‘Biden-COVID ticket’ using ‘virus panic button’ to ‘scare old people into voting’ MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform’s pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi’s letter to him about stimulus talks ‘in the press’ Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE‘s son said he’s examined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics that show proper therapeutics and better knowledge on how to deal with COVID-19 have greatly reduced fatalities.
“The reality is this. If you look — I put it up on my Instagram a couple days ago because I went through the CDC data because I kept hearing about new infections but I was like, ‘Why aren’t they talking about deaths?’ ” he said, referring to the dramatic surge the U.S. has seen in the past week.
“Oh! Oh! Because the number is almost nothing. Because we’ve gotten control of this thing. We understand how it works — they have the therapeutics to be able to deal with this. If you look at that, look at my Instagram, it’s gone down to almost nothing.”
Donald Trump Jr. falsely claimed on Thursday that the number of Americans dying from the coronavirus amounts to “almost nothing.” But roughly 1,000 Americans died from Covid-19 on the day he appeared on Fox News to downplay the U.S. death toll. https://t.co/AdHy9Yx9wK pic.twitter.com/9Cy0r9yZId
— POLITICO (@politico) October 30, 2020
“Why isn’t the ACTUAL data from the CDC being discussed? Why is the media only talking about cases going up (because we are testing) more but the real numbers that matter namely the death rate are way down,” Trump wrote on Instagram the day before.
“I guess they can’t rule you with fear if they tell you the truth,” he continued.
The Hill has reached out to Donald Trump Jr.’s staff for further comment.
The U.S. is experiencing a massive surge in coronavirus cases, confirming almost 90,000 infections on Thursday alone, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. also had close to 1,000 deaths Thursday, and more are expected as death counts lag behind hospitalizations.
A recent analysis from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine indicates that by January, about 2,250 Americans could be dying every day from COVID-19, close to the peak of almost 2,600 a day back in April.
Health officials including top infectious diseases expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciListening to experts isn’t perfect, but ignoring them is far worse Fauci: Maybe 2022 before US sees ‘some semblances of normality’ Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate MORE have said that the surge is part of a “third wave” of COVID-19 infections they predicted would come as people congregate indoors in colder weather.
President Trump has also sought to downplay the virus leading up to Tuesday’s election, accusing the media of blowing the impact of COVID-19 out of proportion.
The president has also repeatedly and misleadingly claimed that the reason the U.S. has more cases is because there are more tests being administered. Friday morning he tweeted, “More Testing equals more Cases. We have best testing. Deaths WAY DOWN.”
More Testing equals more Cases. We have best testing. Deaths WAY DOWN. Hospitals have great additional capacity! Doing much better than Europe. Therapeutics working!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2020
Many of Trump’s own officials involved in the pandemic response have pushed back against this claim, including the White House testing czar Brett Giroir, who said Tuesday that the increase in cases is indicative of the disease spreading.
The U.S. has recorded close to 9 million coronavirus cases and more than 228,000 deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins.