Jul 6, 2020 - Health

Meadows: Trump "is right" to claim 99% of coronavirus cases are "harmless"

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told "Fox & Friends" Monday that there are facts and statistics — without citing any — to back up President Trump's claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are "totally harmless."

The big picture: Nearly 130,000 Americans have died from the virus, and FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn declined to provide evidence to support Trump's claim over the weekend.

  • While speaking at a Fourth of July celebration on Saturday, Trump said the U.S. has tested almost 40 million people and "by doing so, we show cases 99% of which are totally harmless," per Politico.
  • The number of tests completed in the U.S. is going up, but the number of new cases is increasing faster. The gap between testing and cases is generally largest in the cases with the fastest-growing coronavirus outbreaks, like Florida and Texas.

Between the lines: The president may have been referring to death rate estimates, but that "excludes a multitude of thousands who have spent weeks in the hospital or weeks at home with mild to moderate symptoms that still caused debilitating health problems," per the New York Times.

What he's saying:

"I don't even know that it's a generalization. When you start to look at the stats and look at all the numbers we have, the amount of testing that we have, the vast majority of people are safe from this. When you look at the deaths that we have, if you're over 80 years of age or if you have three what they call co-morbidities: diabetes, hypertension, heart issues, then you need to be very, very careful. Outside of that, the risks are extremely low, and the president's right with that and the facts and statistics back us up there."
— Meadows on "Fox & Friends"
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