Donald Trump has reassured the world about the threat of coronavirus by claiming the World Health Organization’s official death rate is a “false number” based on a “hunch” he has.
The man, nay president, was asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity in a phone interview what he made of the global death rate reaching 3.4 per cent and the news that the Olympics might be delayed as a result. Trump, naturally, refused to immediately comment without the full facts and a sombre period of reflection. Oh no, that’s wrong, he jumped straight in:
Well, I think the 3.4 per cent is really a false number. This is just my hunch, but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. Because a lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly.
Yup, the most powerful man on earth is attempting to allay our fears with recourse to little more than gut instinct. He continued:
So if, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around, and even going to work – some of them go to work – but they get better. And then when you do have a death, like you’ve had in the state of Washington, like you had one in California, I believe you had one in New York, all of a sudden it seems like 3 or 4 per cent, which is a very high number, as opposed to a fraction of 1 per cent.
This is literally what he said. Yet he now seems to have conveniently... forgotten? And is denying he said it, blaming "fake news" instead.
Really hammering home the point, he added:
But again, they don’t know about the easy cases, because the easy cases don’t go to the hospital. They don’t report to doctors or the hospital. So I think that number is very high. I think the number – personally, I would say the number is way under 1 per cent.
Just this once, hopefully the president is proven correct.