President Donald Trump has told nearly 20 thousand lies since his inauguration in 2017, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Trump has no problem misleading the public during times when it's most consequential—such as a pandemic outbreak.
With nearly three million cases and over 130 thousand deaths, the President continues to dismiss the threat of the virus as cases rise around the nation, with the United States breaking its daily new case record multiple times in the past two weeks.
The President took to Twitter to boast—falsely—that the United States had "just about" the world's lowest mortality rate of the virus.
BREAKING NEWS: The Mortality Rate for the China Virus in the U.S. is just about the LOWEST IN THE WORLD! Also, Deat… https://t.co/dKwoIfWXp8— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1594060610.0
Hours later he asserted that the death rate was now the lowest in the world.
Why does the Lamestream Fake News Media REFUSE to say that China Virus deaths are down 39%, and that we now have th… https://t.co/EEaFRGY3xC— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1594066666.0
This is far from the truth.
Not only does the United States have the highest raw number of virus deaths in the world, but according to Johns Hopkins, the country has the second highest mortality rate of the top 20 nations hardest hit by the virus, judging by deaths per population.
Expanding by the number of deaths per million leaves the United States at the ninth worst in the world.
Measuring the mortality rate by percentage of cases over the last two weeks, rather than percentage of population, still shows the U.S. with a rate worse than 29 countries with populations of more than 10 million.
The Washington Post's Philip Bump elaborated on Trump's claim:
"What Trump's data skips over, of course, is that the reduced mortality rate now plays a role similar to the recent uptick in testing. It's good—but a lot of damage has already been done."
"The United States' failure to contain the initial outbreak of the virus elevated our death toll to the highest in the world. On a per capita basis, the vast majority of countries reporting case and death data have seen fewer deaths per 100,000 residents than has the United States."
Bump also points out that the United States has seen a massive uptick in new cases over the last two weeks.
Trump's claim doesn't account for the fact that people who've contracted the virus don't die at the moment of diagnosis—it's often a painful, weeks or months long process. Judging by ballooning hospitalization rates in states like Texas, the mortality rate could paint a much grimmer picture by this time next month.
National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases director, Dr. Anthony Fauci—who also serves as a leading voice on the White House's virus response team—said of the death rate on Tuesday:
"It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death. There's so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don't get yourself into false complacency."
People have grown weary of Trump's potentially deadly lies.
@TheRightMelissa @realDonaldTrump Proven fake. When all you can do is offer lies to support your position… I think… https://t.co/zKzsadDafR— Jason Lewis (@Jason Lewis)1594068777.0
This is a huge lie. The US's case-fatality rate is in the middle of the pack, not even close to lowest in the world… https://t.co/Qq5L2UBydb— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1594067169.0
@realDonaldTrump Because these numbers are wrong.— Mystery Solvent (@Mystery Solvent)1594072257.0
@realDonaldTrump What?!?!? Where did you ever get THIS idea? COVID is running wild and over TWO MILLION AMERICANS… https://t.co/j9COmQeJMZ— Lee in Iowa #WearYourMask #TeamPelosi (@Lee in Iowa #WearYourMask #TeamPelosi)1594079819.0
With over 130 thousand dead Americans in four months and counting, people weren't satisfied with Trump and his supporters' dismissals.
130,000 dead Americans. The virus is his. He is the virus. #TrumpVirus— Bryce Tache (@Bryce Tache)1594007224.0
The world is in the middle of a pandemic. Over 130,000 Americans are dead. And the corrupt and incompetent administ… https://t.co/3AUZQl47Zk— Em (@Em)1594144778.0
Republicans are the party of 20 million lost jobs and 130,000 dead Americans https://t.co/XcpstP3qEE— Michael Glenn Meyer (@Michael Glenn Meyer)1594144248.0
@DonaldJTrumpJr 130,000+ dead and dying No federal plan or response Not enough PPE Not enough testing Bounties on U… https://t.co/CNGpJu98mi— 2AT (@2AT)1594144176.0
Cases around the country continue to spike.