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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State coronavirus testing plans fall short of demand

Data: Department of Health and Human Services via Harvard Global Health Institute; Note: New York City's plan is included in New York state; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. plans to test around 600,000 people for the coronavirus every day this month, according to plans that states submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Yes, but: That's likely a drop in testing, compared to July, and it's not enough to meet national demand. By December, states said they plan to ramp up to around a collective 850,000 people tested a day — which also likely will not be enough.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

At least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic

Former California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell on Feb. 27 in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least 48 local and state-level public health leaders have retired, resigned or been fired across 23 states since April, according to a review by the AP and Kaiser Health News.

Driving the news: California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell resigned on Sunday without explanation, a few days after the state fixed a delay in reporting coronavirus test results that had affected reopenings for schools and businesses, AP reports.

13 hours ago - World

Australia's Northern Territory extends coronavirus border restrictions to 2022

Monsoons Bar in Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, where borders have been open to residents not in coronavirus hot spots since July 17. Those from states under restrictions must undergo a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine at their own cost. Photo: Shane Eecen/Getty Images

Chief Minister Michael Gunner told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Tuesday the Northern Territory would keep border restrictions in place for Aussie coronavirus hot spots for at least 18 months, stressing it's important to protect the NT's Aboriginal population.

Driving the news: Victoria declared a disaster last week. The state confirmed Tuesday another 331 infections, taking the total number of active cases to 7880, and 19 more deaths — equaling the national daily record it set the previous day. New South Wales (NSW) reported 22 new cases. The NT has three active cases. "We have got an indefinite ban on Victoria," Gunner said. He couldn't give a date on when the NT would ease restrictions on NSW capital Sydney as case numbers were "bubbling away."

Flashback: Australia and New Zealand reopen after coronavirus cases plummet