WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump in current days all of a sudden acknowledged the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic and edged away from a few of his most audacious falsehoods about it. That’s to not say he gave the general public an sincere accounting.
Trump minimized the potential threat to youngsters and people round them as he advocated reopening faculties. He once more marveled on the variety of COVID-19 exams being carried out within the U.S. even because the overwhelmed testing system crucially fails to ship enough entry and well timed outcomes.
And he cited a low U.S. loss of life price from COVID-19 in contrast with different international locations, when the worldwide statistics seem to contradict him.
All this whereas Trump canceled Republican Nationwide Conference occasions in Jacksonville, Florida, bowing to the fact that many Republicans had been reluctant to go a state the place the virus has been uncontrolled.
Meantime his press secretary peddled false web rumors that the “cancel tradition” led to the cancellation of a cartoon about puppies.
A overview of some statements from the previous week:
TRUMP, on the U.S. approaching 50 million exams: “This permits us to isolate those that are contaminated, even these with out signs. So we all know precisely the place it’s going and when it’s going to be there.” — briefing Tuesday.
THE FACTS: That is under no circumstances true.
In lots of if not most components of the nation, individuals who handle to get a check can wait for a lot of days for the outcomes as a result of labs are overwhelmed. Within the meantime, these folks could possibly be and in some circumstances absolutely are spreading an infection. And many individuals who desire a check however report no signs can’t get one.
Some labs are taking weeks to return COVID-19 outcomes due to the crushing workload from the surge of latest circumstances.
“There’s been this obsession with, ‘What number of exams are we doing per day?’” mentioned Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. “The query is, what number of exams are being accomplished with outcomes coming again inside a day, the place the person examined is promptly remoted and their contacts are promptly warned?”
KIDS and COVID-19
TRUMP on younger folks and the virus: “Now, they don’t catch it simply; they don’t convey it house simply. And in the event that they do catch it, they get higher quick. We’re taking a look at that truth.” — briefing Wednesday.
THE FACTS: That isn’t a truth. He doesn’t have the science to achieve this broad conclusion.
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His coronavirus activity pressure coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, and different public well being officers have mentioned repeatedly that whereas youngsters seem to get much less sick from the virus than adults, the menace to younger folks and their capacity to unfold the virus will not be understood as a result of not sufficient analysis has been accomplished on children and COVID-19.
Birx underscored the purpose Friday on NBC’s “Right this moment” present. Whether or not youngsters below 10 unfold the virus the identical as older youngsters “remains to be an open query” she mentioned.
“We all know that youngsters below 18 are much less sick, however there are some that endure horrible penalties if they’ve underlying situations,” she added. “Youngsters below 10 do get contaminated. It’s simply unclear how quickly they unfold the virus.”
Trump has been pushing for faculties to reopen and at one level threatened to withhold federal cash in the event that they don’t.
Whereas his assurances about youngsters had been unsupported, they had been a step again from his earlier rhetoric that portrayed children as virtually proof against an infection. “It’s very distinctive how the kids aren’t affected,” he mentioned in early Might. “Unimaginable.”
TRUMP on the U.S. and different international locations within the pandemic: “We’ve accomplished a lot better than most. And with the fatality price at a decrease price than most, it’s one thing that we are able to speak about, however we’re working, once more, with them as a result of we’re serving to numerous international locations that folks don’t even learn about.” — briefing Tuesday.
THE FACTS: No, the U.S. doesn’t shine compared with different international locations. The U.S. has skilled much more recorded infections and deaths from COVID-19 than some other nation, together with these with bigger populations, and it lags a lot of different nations in testing and containment.
Trump appears to have edged away from claiming that the U.S. mortality price is the world’s greatest, after being confronted on that time in his Fox Information interview every week in the past with Chris Wallace. His extra modest boasts since, although, additionally will not be right.
Understanding deaths as a share of the inhabitants or as a share of identified infections is problematic as a result of international locations observe and report COVID-19 deaths and circumstances in another way. Nobody can reliably rank international locations on this regard.
The statistics that do exist fail to assist his assertion.
In an evaluation of the 20 international locations at present most affected by the pandemic, the Johns Hopkins College Coronavirus Useful resource Heart finds the U.S. with the fourth worst price of deaths per 100,000 folks — solely Britain, Peru and Chile are seeing extra reported deaths as a proportion of their populations.
On one other measure, taking a look at what share of reported circumstances result in loss of life, the U.S. is in the course of that pack, with a case-fatality ratio of three.6%
deaths amongst all international locations, not simply those most struggling at this stage of the pandemic, the U.S. fares considerably higher however nonetheless not among the many greatest. Its recorded 44 deaths per 100,000 compares favorably with Britain (68.6 per 100,000) in addition to Spain (60.8), Italy (58) and Sweden (55.7), for instance, however poorly with Canada (24), Brazil (40), Mexico (33) and dozens extra international locations.
Disparities in reporting are just one motive to not take these numbers conclusively. Many elements are in play in shaping a loss of life toll apart from how properly a rustic responded to the pandemic, similar to the general well being or youth of nationwide populations.
KAYLEIGH McENANY, White Home press secretary, on Trump: “He’s additionally appalled by cancel tradition, and cancel tradition particularly because it pertains to cops. We noticed a couple of weeks in the past, ‘Paw Patrol,’ a cartoon present about cops was canceled.” — briefing Friday.
THE FACTS: No, “Paw Patrol” was not canceled. Faux rumors on-line mentioned it was. And it’s not about cops. It’s a cartoon about puppies. The lead pet is a cop. There’s a firefighter pet, too.
McENANY, when requested about Trump’s change in tone this previous week in urging folks to put on masks: “There was no change. …The president has been constant on this.” — information briefing Friday.
THE FACTS: Trump’s messaging has been inconsistent, to say the least.
Trump from the start has made clear that sporting masks is voluntary and shunned sporting one in public. He continuously ridiculed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for sporting a masks in public.
In Might, when a reporter declined to tug down his masks to ask a query at a information briefing so Trump might hear higher, the president mocked by saying, “OK, since you need to be politically right.”
And Trump advised The Wall Avenue Journal final month that some folks might put on them as a political assertion in opposition to him.
“Individuals contact them,” he mentioned. “And so they seize them and I see it on a regular basis. They arrive in, they take the masks. Now they’re holding it now of their fingers. And so they drop it on the desk after which they contact their eye and so they contact their nostril. No, I believe a masks is a — it’s a double-edged sword.”
This previous week, as his ballot rankings on the dealing with of the coronavirus have fallen, Trump on Monday tweeted a photograph of himself sporting a masks and referred to as it an act of patriotism.
That night, he was seen maskless on the Trump Worldwide Resort in obvious defiance of D.C. coronavirus rules, in accordance with video footage of the occasion.
“We’re asking everyone that when you’re not in a position to socially distance, put on a masks, get a masks,” Trump mentioned Tuesday at his first look at a coronavirus briefing since April. “Whether or not you just like the masks or not, they have an effect.”
TRUMP: “, sooner or later, we had a virus are available in, and I closed the borders, did numerous issues that had been excellent. … And no person wished to do it. I wished to do it. We closed the border to China. We placed on the ban. We didn’t need folks coming in from closely contaminated China.” — briefing Tuesday.
THE FACTS: He didn’t ban journey from China. He restricted it. Dozens of nations took comparable steps to regulate journey from scorching spots earlier than or across the identical time the U.S. did.
The U.S. restrictions that took impact Feb. 2 continued to permit journey to the U.S. from China’s Hong Kong and Macao territories over the previous 5 months. The Related Press reported that greater than 8,000 Chinese language and overseas nationals based mostly in these territories entered the U.S. within the first three months after the journey restrictions had been imposed.
Moreover, greater than 27,000 People returned from mainland China within the first month after the restrictions took impact. U.S. officers misplaced observe of greater than 1,600 of them who had been purported to be monitored for virus publicity.
TRUMP: “On the VA, we bought Veterans Alternative. No person thought that will be doable. That’s been many a long time. They’ve been making an attempt to get Veterans Alternative. It’s referred to as ‘Alternative,’ the place they’ll go get a physician if they’ve to attend on line for 2 weeks or 5 weeks or two days.” — briefing Tuesday.
THE FACTS: It’s false that he achieved Veterans Alternative when different presidents couldn’t. President Barack Obama achieved it. Trump expanded it. It has not eradicated delays for care, together with for these with waits of “two weeks” or “two days.”
This system permits veterans to see a non-public physician for major or psychological well being care at public expense if their VA wait is 20 days (28 for specialty care) or their drive to a VA facility is 30 minutes or extra. After the coronavirus outbreak, the VA took the step of limiting veterans’ entry to personal medical doctors, citing the added dangers of an infection and restricted capability at non-public hospitals.
TRUMP on the pandemic: “It’ll most likely sadly worsen earlier than it will get higher.” — briefing Tuesday.
THE FACTS: A uncommon departure from his bullish accounts of progress in opposition to the virus and, by all indications, true.
Related Press author Amanda Seitz in Chicago contributed to this report.
EDITOR’S NOTE — A take a look at the veracity of claims by political figures.