Did Trump Really Just Tweet Out That Concerns About Coronavirus Are ‘Fake News?’

During a series of early morning tweets on Monday, President Donald Trump appeared to describe coronavirus as “fake news” while discussing the latest market drops.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Trump didn’t say as much in a direct way, but suggested he believed as much as he was talking in the same breath about what had caused Wall Street to shut down for 15 minutes due to reaching a significant drop in the S&P 500.

“Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil,” Trump began. “That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!”

Economists largely agree that worries over coronavirus, or COVID-19, were largely responsible for the declines in market shares — meaning Trump is implying, at the very least, that concerns over the virus are dragging the markets down, and that those concerns are based on fake reports.

Meanwhile, Trump issued another tweet in which he tried to compare mortality rates of coronavirus and the flu, to bolster his point that the former wasn’t that big of a deal.

“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu,” Trump wrote. “It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

But most health experts — including some on Trump’s coronavirus task force — agree that it’s inappropriate to compare influenza statistics with what’s happening with coronavirus.

“Despite the morbidity and mortality with influenza, there’s a certainty…of seasonal flu,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, one member of the task force, said at a press conference on coronavirus in early February. “The issue now with [COVID-19] is that there’s a lot of unknowns” that rightly make it worth worrying over, he added.

The mortality rate of coronavirus also appears to be higher, although that rate may lessen as the virus spreads to other areas of the world and it gets reported on more. Presently, the estimated death rate of the disease is around 3.4 percent, according to ABC News.

Though that rate may lessen, the disease has still resulted in thousands of deaths, including 22 who have died so far in the U.S. alone.

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