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Vulnerable NC Sen. Tillis Says he Doesn’t Believe 200k Have Died of COVID-19

Thom Tillis is in a rough spot. He is serving in a state that is becoming increasingly blue. And he is facing a tough opponent in Cal Cunningham. Most recent polls show him trailing Cunningham. 538.com shows Tillis behind the Democrat from anywhere from 4-11 percentage points.

Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Tillis, who recently announced that he will vote for a Trump Supreme Court nominee prior to the election, is soon to have another crisis on his hands. During a recent virtual event with voters, Tillis said that he does not believe that 200,000 people have died of COVID.

The senator was asked by a caller, “How many people has COVID actually killed? Because I think the numbers are skewed, and as citizens, we’re having a hard time of getting a real grasp of what that number actually is.”

Tillis responded:

“You are absolutely right. I want to make sure I get a chance to answer your question, but you’re making a very, very important point.

In fact, we understand that 95% of the deaths were comorbidities. Sounds like you’re studied in this, so you know what that means. But for the other people in the telephone town hall: Comorbidity means that that person had some other underlying health condition.

So you’re absolutely right. We’re not at a granular level yet. They’re using conservative numbers to encourage people to use social distancing and try and end the spread of the virus. But I think when the final accounting is done you are going to see, sadly, that the number of people who died may have died from an underlying condition at the same time that they had COVID.”

The vulnerable lawmaker concluded, “When the final accounting is done,” [the actual COVID-19 death count will be lower].



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