FDA commissioner declines to confirm Trump claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are ‘harmless’


JULY 5, 2020

FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn. – Getty Images

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn declined on Sunday to confirm or deny whether President Trump’s claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are “harmless.”

Hahn was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” to respond to Trump’s remarks at the White House on the 4th of July when he said “99 percent of [cases] are totally harmless.”

“So we know that cases are surging in the country,” he said. “We’ve all seen the graphs associated with that. And it’s just too early, and I’m not gonna speculate on what the causation is there.”

CNN’s Dana Bash pushed the commissioner saying, “I can tell you it’s not true, and that’s obviously not my opinion. It is fact-based on the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] estimates.” Bash then asked Hahn whether Trump is “wrong.”

“So I’m not gonna get into who’s right and who’s wrong,” he responded. “What I’m gonna say, Dana, is what I’ve said before which is that it’s a serious problem that we have. We’ve seen this surge in cases. We must do something to stem the tide.”

Bash then asked: “So you won’t say whether 99 percent of coronavirus cases are ‘completely harmless’ is true or false what the president said at the White House last night?”

“Dana, what I’ll say is that we have data in the White House task force,” Hahn responded. “Those data show us this is a serious problem. People need to take it seriously.”

During his Independence Day address, Trump seemed to reference a statistic from the CDC this week that 102.5 per 100,000 population require hospitalization.

COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have been surging in recent weeks in states like Arizona, California, Texas and Florida. In total, the U.S. has confirmed more than 2.8 million cases with 129,676 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Courtesy/Source: The Hill


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