Donald Trump is doing everything he can to downplay the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, and health experts and casual critics alike are rightfully calling him out on it.
On Monday, the president tweeted out some statistics he assumed would quell the worry about the virus that’s currently threatening a worldwide health crisis by attempting to compare it to the common flu.
“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
Plenty of users did think about it, and quickly pointed out that, using another statistic Trump previously tweeted out, the situation is much more alarming than POTUS is making it seem.
A Twitter user with the handle @4everNeverTrump replied:
“USING YOUR OWN STATS: 40 million people caught the flu in 2018/19. So 37,000 deaths would be a <0.1% mortality rate. 22 deaths out of 546 detected cases of coronavirus is a 4% mortality rate.”
The user continued in a follow-up tweet:
“Further, the ONLY provable method that can mitigate the spread of the coronavirus is near-complete social isolation of entire regions: residents must stay at home, don’t go to work/school, allowed to leave home only at specific times to do specific things.”
Now think about that, Donny!
While the president pretends to understand statistics, the World Health Organization says the threat of a pandemic is now “very real” as the total number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed 106,000 — including more than 3,800 fatalities.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a new press conference:
“Now that the virus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real. But, it would be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled.”
Although health experts agree the situation is much more serious than Trump is letting on, they insist that it’s not a Contagion-esque, end-of-the-world kind of scenario. Still, doctors are urging the masses to educate themselves on how to stay protected.
Dr. Dena Grayson took to social media earlier this month to do just that in a PSA-style video. Ch-ch-check it out (below).
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) March 1, 2020
Dr. Grayson also called Trump for his irresponsible coronavirus tweets on Monday, writing at first:
“The case-fatality rate for #coronavirus is >30-times HIGHER than flu, and the virus spreads easily. The #pandemic has hit our shores, and we must prepare to respond to the sudden, MASSIVE surge in #COVID19 cases. Instead, Trump is downplaying the risk.”
And later explained why she was bothering:
“The problem is not only that @realDonaldTrump spews total lies about the #CoronavirusPandemic, but that people actually believe his lies. History shows that the 1918 Spanish Flu #pandemic that killed 50 million people was made WORSE by leaders not being transparent.”
So why is Trump trying to mislead the public about the virus? Easy. The same reason any bad employee lies about their major screwups; what he lacks in competence he makes up for in a woeful deficiency of character. If the virus is nothing, then he can’t be mishandling it — just another Democrat hoax, right? Eesh.
Keep yourselves safe out there, Perezcious readers!
[Image via WENN]