The dangerous ignorance of President Donald Trump was on full display Tuesday as he disregarded growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus throughout the world and within the United States.
When asked about the virus, Trump has consistently stated that the U.S. is in great shape — only, his words don’t exactly match the reality of the situation scientists and doctors are seeing.
Trump on Tuesday continued with that theme, suggesting (without evidence) that the number of infected in America was actually on the decline.
“We’re really down to probably 10” cases, Trump said, per reporting from CNBC.
In reality, more than 50 confirmed cases have been reported in the U.S., up from 34 that were known about last week. In other words, the disease isn’t disappearing — it seems to be spreading, slowly for now.
Indeed, the CDC announced on Tuesday, hours after Trump made his statement, said that Americans should prepare for “significant disruption” in their lives due to the disease, ABC News reported.
Trump on coronavirus: "We're really down to probably about 10 [cases]." (More than two dozen Americans had the illness as of yesterday.) pic.twitter.com/pZHkrG9FlT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 25, 2020
“Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said regarding the CDC’s new warning.
Trump’s lackadaisical and un-scientific concern over coronavirus mirrors comments he made earlier this month. Just two weeks ago, Trump said that the virus would likely just die out on its own, as warmer weather came about.
“A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat. Typically that will go away in April. We’re in great shape, though,” Trump said, per prior reporting from HillReporter.com.
The CDC, however, contradicted Trump’s comments at that time, noting that not much was known about the virus in general, and that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion yet that a warm spring could ease the number of cases seen.
“This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said at the time.