During a campaign rally in Ohio on Monday, President Donald Trump falsely claimed that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody,” despite the United States’ death toll passing 200,000.

“It affects elderly people. Elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects,” Trump said. “That’s it. You know, in some states, thousands of people, nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody. They have a strong immune system, who knows. You look — take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 89 people in the U.S. under the age of 18 have died from COVID-19.

Additionally, a new—albeit rare—syndrome appearing to be linked to COVID-19 has begun afflicting children. The inflammatory syndrome presents symptoms similar to Kawasaki’s disease, including fever, difficulty eating and abdominal pain.


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The New York State Department of Health said they are investigating 254 reported cases and two child deaths potentially from the mysterious syndrome. Of those children, 96% tested positive for COVID-19.

His comments contradict what he told journalist Bob Woodward during an interview on March 19. His statements were made public in Woodward’s newly released book.

“Now, it’s turning out, it’s not just old people, Bob. Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just older,” Trump told Woodward. “It’s plenty of young people.”

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