Watch live coverage of Vice President Mike Pence joined by Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee providing an update on the coronavirus spread, which has killed ten people in the state.
President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday night that the mortality rate for the novel coronavirus, which the World Health Organization upped on Tuesday to 3.4 percent, was a “false number.” During an interview on Fox News’ Hannity, the president added that “this is just my hunch” before speculating why he believes COVID-19 has a much lower death rate.
After saying he’s “had a lot of conversations with a lot of people,” the president went on to estimate that “we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work” before deciding to spitball on what he believes is the real rate.
“They don’t know about the easy cases because the easy cases don’t go to the hospital, they don’t report to doctors or the hospital in many cases so I think that that number is very high,” Trump declared. “I think the number, personally, I would say the number is way under one percent.”
President Donald Trump shook hands with CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp at the conservative conference last week, during which Schlapp engaged with an attendee who has since tested positive for the coronavirus.
The American Conservative Union said in a statement that the CPAC attendee was exposed to the coronavirus prior to the conference, which took place Feb. 26-29 in National Harbor, Maryland.
The ACU claimed that the infected attendee is quarantined in New Jersey and had no interaction with Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, both of whom spoke at the conference.
“This attendee had no interaction with the president or the vice president and never attended the events in the main hall,” the group said in a statement. “The Trump administration is aware of the situation, and we will continue regular communication with all appropriate government officials.”
However, Washington Post political reporter Colby Itkowitz claimed on Twitter Saturday that Schlapp said he interacted with the attendee.
“While the timeline is unknown, Schlapp shook Trump’s hand on stage the last day of the conference,” Itkowitz noted.