Kellyanne Conway appears to misunderstand the '19' in Covid-19

‘You would think the people charged with the World Health Organisation facts and figures would be on top of that’

James Crump
Thursday 16 April 2020 00:12 BST
'This isn't Covid-1- Kellyanne Conway demands facts from the WHO after Trump cuts funding

Trump administration senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, appeared to misunderstand what the number 19 in Covid-19 refers to, during a Fox News television appearance.

Speaking on Fox and Friends on Wednesday, the White House official spoke about the virus while discussing president Donald Trump’s decision to suspend funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Ms Conway explained that “some of the scientists and doctors say that there could be other strains later on”, and added that “this could come back in the fall in a limited way”.

She added that the organisation has done a poor job of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic so far, but seemingly misunderstood the origin of the name, Covid-19.

“This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people charged with the World Health Organisation facts and figures would be on top of that.”

On its website, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the name, Covid-19, was chosen because the first outbreak occurred in 2019.

“The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease,” the website reads.

“Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV’.”

A White House official told The Independent that Ms Conway was well aware that “19” referred to the year.

The official added that she attended Task Force meetings daily and sat behind Drs Birx and Fauci. Ms Conway never mentioned “18 other coronaviruses”.

The president announced on Tuesday the US will be suspending its funding of the World Health Organisation (WHO), so it can review its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The reality is the WHO failed to obtain, vet and share information in a timely fashion,” Mr Trump said. “The WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable.”

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, the US has upwards of 632,874 people have tested positive for coronavirus. The death toll has reached at least 27,850.

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