Conway Mistakes ‘19’ In COVID-19 For Strain Of Virus While Accusing WHO Of Not Knowing Facts

White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway talks to reporters outside of the West Wing on July 16, 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
April 15, 2020 9:41 a.m.

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway erroneously asserted on Wednesday that the number 19 in COVID-19, which stands for the year in which the virus was discovered, stood for a strain of the disease.

The adviser made the slip-up while explaining to the co-hosts of “Fox and Friends” why President Donald Trump decided to halt the U.S.’s payments to the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to Conway, one reason for doing so was because the organization supposedly can’t be trusted to know how to handle the pandemic.

“Some of the scientists and doctors say that there could be other strains later on,” she said. “This could come back in the fall in a limited way.”

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

“This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that,” the adviser continued.

But the WHO was the one to craft the name in the first place, and the reason it attached “19” to COVID (which stands for “corona,” “virus,” and “disease”) to denote the year in which the virus was first identified, a fact mentioned on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.

Trump announced on Tuesday night that he was putting a hold on funds to the WHO to investigate what the President claimed to be the organization’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus.”

Amid criticism of his fumbling response to the coronavirus outbreak, Trump and his administration have been attempting to shift the blame on the WHO in an effort to shield himself.

Watch Conway below:

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: