Trump Hammered For Once Again Downplaying Coronavirus

SWANTON, OH - SEPTEMBER 21: President Donald Trump charges up the crowd while speaking of the need to win the upcoming election during a campaign rally at the Toledo Express Airport on September 21, 2020 in Swanton, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the Toledo Express Airport on September 21, 2020 in Swanton, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)
|
September 22, 2020 10:32 a.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

President Donald Trump faced harsh criticism Monday night for saying that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody,” part of his continued efforts to downplay the virus.

During a campaign rally in Swanton, Ohio, Trump told his supporters that “we now know the disease.”

“We didn’t know it,” the President said, directly contradicting to what he privately told reporter Bob Woodward all the way back in February when he said COVID-19 was “deadly stuff.”

Trump painted the virus as something that only really impacts elderly people “with heart problems and other problems” but “nobody young.”

“Below the age of 18, like nobody. They have a strong immune system,” the President said. “Who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system.”

“But it affects virtually nobody,” he added. “It’s an amazing thing.”

The reaction was swift on Twitter:

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci contradicted Trump’s claim:

Trump himself privately admitted to Woodward on March 19 that the virus did in fact afflict young people.

“It’s not just old, older. Young people too, plenty of young people,” Trump told the reporter.

Johns Hopkins University reports that as of Tuesday morning, 199,890 Americans have died from COVID-19 and that there are currently 6.8 million cases in the country.

Watch Trump below:

Correction: An earlier version of this post vastly misstated the death toll of COVID-19 among young people. The post has been substantially revised because the original premise was mistaken. We regret the error.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
Latest News
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30