Providing further proof that President Donald Trump’s words cannot be taken seriously when it comes to the spread of coronavirus in America, more than 1,000 cases have now been identified across the United States.
The exact number, according to the calculations provided by the New York Times, is 1,015 individuals across the country who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus disease.
Cases have been identified across 38 separate states. Additionally, 31 people have died from the disease in the U.S.
Yet on February 26, Trump suggested at a press conference on the disease that the number of cases was actually going to go down. At the time, there were only about 60 cases in the U.S.
“Within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done,” Trump said at that press conference. “We’re going very substantially down, not up.”
Just four days ago, as Rep. Ted Lieu of California pointed out, Trump claimed to reporters that his actions had “stopped” coronavirus from spreading further.
Four days ago @realDonaldTrump said he “stopped” the #coronavirus & “closed it down.” As of tonight, there are over 1,000 cases in America with at least 31 deaths. The virus has now spread to 37 states.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 11, 2020
Throughout all of the claims Trump has made about the number of cases going down, his own health officials have contradicted his statements, saying that we should expect more cases, not less, to develop over time. But Trump’s words seemed to have an effect on his base of supporters — especially after he criticized Democrats for calling out his comments as false and misleading.
Trump described Democrats’ actions as a coronavirus “hoax,” and while he tried to explain that he didn’t believe the virus itself was a hoax, just their criticisms, pro-Trump supporters at his rallies and elsewhere seem to buy into the belief that coronavirus was nothing more than a flu-like disease (it’s not), or that the disease itself was entirely made-up.
Those types of assertions are dangerous to assume, for what should be obvious reasons. And they came about entirely because the president’s words contradicted medical science and expert opinion on the disease.
The spread of coronavirus seemed to have been inevitable, so blame on Trump for that may be misplaced. But certainly, he could have done a better job of educating the public, to ensure that more individuals, not less, wouldn’t be confused or hold wrong opinions about basic information on the disease.