Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded to President Donald Trump’s claim that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are “harmless,” telling The Financial Times, “Obviously not.”
“I’m trying to figure out where the president got that number,” Fauci told the outlet. “What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 percent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”
Experts agree that Trump’s claim that most coronavirus cases are harmless is not backed by evidence. Although 80 percent of coronavirus cases do not require hospitalization, 20 percent do, and there is concern about the number of cases that remain undetected.
The death toll in the United States is nearing 136,000 since the first death of the coronavirus in the country was reported in February.
In an interview with Fox News personality Sean Hannity, Trump said Fauci has “made a lot of mistakes,” adding: “A lot of them said don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Now they are saying wear a mask. A lot of mistakes were made, a lot of mistakes.”
“We have cases all over the place. Most of the cases immediately get better, they are people, young people, they have sniffles and two days later they are fine and they are not sick to start,” Trump added.