Trump Abandons Early COVID Death Toll Projection, Now Admits It Could Hit 100K

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on March 23, 2020. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
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May 4, 2020 10:28 a.m.
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President Donald Trump hiked up his original projected death toll of 50,000 to 100,000 on Sunday.

“Look, we’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” he told Fox News hosts Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier during a virtual town hall. “That’s a horrible thing. We shouldn’t lose one person over this.”

Later in the event, Trump pushed his projected number down slightly.

“I used to say 65,000,” he said. “Now I’m saying 80 or 90 and it goes up, and it goes up rapidly.”

In fact, the President used to say it would be 50,000. Back before that he said a handful of cases in the U.S. would soon go down to zero.

There was also a moment Sunday when Trump seemed to agree with his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, when Baier brought up Kushner’s claim that the administration’s response to the outbreak was “a great success story.”

“It is,” Trump said.

But then he took a step back after Baier asked him directly if he believed it was a success story.

“Well, it’s too soon to say that really, I guess, because we’re still in the middle of something,” Trump told the Fox News host.

“But certainly we would have lost a lot more people, Bret,” he added.

John Hopkins University reported more than 67,700 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. as of Monday morning.

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).
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