Donald Trump Jr. described the number of Americans dying from the novel coronavirus as “almost nothing” as roughly 1,000 new deaths in the U.S. were connected to the disease it causes Thursday.
President Trump’s eldest son downplayed the country’s COVID-19 death toll while discussing the ongoing pandemic on the Fox News program hosted by conservative commentator Laura Ingraham.
Appearing on “The Ingraham Angle,” the president’s son claimed recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the number of COVID-19 deaths is next to nil.
“I went through the CDC data, because I kept hearing about new infections,” he said. “But I was like, ‘Well, why aren’t they talking about deaths?’ Oh, oh, because the number is almost nothing.”
As of Friday, Johns Hopkins University’s online coronavirus tracker indicated 971 people died in the U.S. from COVID-19 the day before. Several news outlets put the tally at more than 1,000.
The younger Trump said later in the interview the U.S has “gotten control” of the coronavirus pandemic before again falsely claiming the number of related deaths is down to “almost nothing.”
He was reacting to remarks made on CNN by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the network’s chief medical correspondent, who said attendees of recent Trump rallies were likely exposed to COVID-19 and should quarantine.
“Is he kidding me?” Ms. Ingraham said.
“These people are truly morons,” Mr. Trump Jr. added. “Give me a break, Laura.”
More than 8.9 million positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Nationwide, about 3.5 million people have recovered from the disease while more than 228,000 have died.