Trump Defends February Claim That Coronavirus Cases ‘Would Soon Be Zero’
When asked about his grossly inaccurate prediction from February that the coronavirus cases in the U.S. would soon be ‘zero,” President Donald Trump defended his statement.
In February, Trump said: “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”
There are currently more than a million reported cases in the U.S. and over 61,000 deaths — a far cry from the proclamation that there would be soon zero cases, but Trump backed up his claim on Tuesday saying, “It will go down to zero, ultimately.”
The president also asserted on Tuesday that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said in late February that the coronavirus was “no problem.”
“You go back, and you take a look at even professionals like Anthony were saying, ‘This is no problem.’ This was late in February. This is no problem. This is going to blow over,” Trump said.
While Fauci did tell Americans that their living and working conditions did not have to change at the time, he was clear that this might not be the case in the future if the virus has community spread.
In an interview with NBC’s Today Show in late February, Fauci said: “At this moment, there’s no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day by day basis. Right now, the risk is still low, but this could change. I’ve said that many times even on this program.”
“When you start to see community spread, this could change and force you to become much more attentive to doing things that would protect you from spread,” he said in the interview which has since been touted by some conservatives as proof that Fauci and other experts did not know the virus would grow so exponentially.
He continued: “This could be a major outbreak. I hope not. Or it could be something that’s reasonably well controlled. At the end of the day, this will ultimately go down. Hopefully, we could protect the American public from any serious degree of morbidity or mortality. That’s the reason why we’ve got to do the things that we have in our plan.”
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