Donald Trump Doubles Down On False COVID-19 Death Rate Claim

On Monday, Donald Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, shared a false assertion that the U.S. has one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world. Though she was fact-checked, Trump posted the same false claim on Twitter — and on Tuesday morning, he doubled down, now claiming that the U.S. has not only one of the lowest, but the lowest mortality rate in the world. It’s still not true.

Donald Trump doubles down on COVID lie
[Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]

On Monday, Newsweek addressed false claims from the Trump administration. One of these is the claim Trump made and McEnany repeated that 99% of COVID-19 cases are harmless. Even without considering the cases that are serious but not fatal, a death rate of over 4% means that the 99% claim misses the mark.

There’s also the claim that the U.S. has one of the lowest death rates, when in truth, Johns Hopkins assembled data showing that the U.S. is in the top quarter of worst death rates.

That didn’t stop Trump from doubling down. Monday afternoon, he tweeted that the media is failing to accurately report that the U.S. has one of the lowest death rates. Tuesday morning, he went beyond, now claiming the lowest mortality rate.

Notably, though Trump cites the Washington Times‘s Valerie Richardson as the source of this false statistic, it’s also not what she said. In her article on the virus, she does cite claims about the U.S. mortality rate — but only says that it’s lower than some European countries, not that it’s the lowest, or even among the lowest, worldwide.

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