Trump is falsely claiming coronavirus numbers are 'going down almost everywhere' — here's the truth

President's claims can be easily debunked with verifiable data surrounding new coronavirus cases in the US

Chris Riotta
New York
Monday 11 May 2020 17:28 BST
Trump says there's 'no great win one way or the other' on relaxing guidelines

Donald Trump falsely claimed the numbers surrounding coronavirus cases in the United States were “going down almost everywhere” in a tweet on Monday — despite easily verifiable data showing an increase in new infections nationwide.

The president wrote on Monday: “Coronavirus numbers are looking MUCH better, going down almost everywhere. Big progress being made!”

His comments came as more than 1.3 million people living in the US have tested positive for Covid-19. At least 79,531 people in the country have died due to complications resulting from the novel virus, according to the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases are increasing in nine states as the growth rate remains about the same in 27 others, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, the New York Times reported on its live-tracking map.

His comments also came after an Associated Press analysis last week showed the known infection rate in the US increasing nationwide. That analysis separated the New York metropolitan area from the rest of the country, revealing the rate of new cases rising from 6.2 per 100,000 people to 7.5.

New York — which found itself at the epicentre of the pandemic in the US during the initial months of the outbreak — has made more progress in testing and combatting the novel virus in comparison to many other states, thus skewing the data when pooled together with the rest of the country.

The daily death rate in the US remains well over 1,000 people, as more than 20,000 cases have been confirmed each day in recent weeks. Health officials have warned those numbers are holding steady — and in some cases, increasing — as states across the country prepared to reopen businesses to the public.

“Make no mistake: This virus is still circulating in our community, perhaps even more now than in previous weeks”, Linda Ochs, director of the Shawnee County Health Department in Kansas, told the Associated Press.

The number of new cases were decreasing in New York and 13 other states by Monday, according to the New York Times, as well as in Guam, where 1,120 people have contracted Covid-19.

Health officials have also said the number of true cases in many states could be far higher due to substantial hurdles the federal government has faced in distributing testing kits throughout the US.

And yet Mr Trump continued to tout his administration’s response to the pandemic on Monday, writing in a separate tweet: “Great credit being given for our Coronavirus response, except in the Fake News. They are a disgrace to America!”

The number of new infections in the US has largely plateaued at high rates as lockdown orders and stay-at-home guidelines are set to expire in many states. Experts said a second wave of the virus could potentially be far more deadly and widespread if adequate testing and tracing capabilities are not in place before those orders are lifted.

“Listen, the fact of the matter is, pretty much every scientific and medical report shows that whenever you have a reopening, whether you want to call it a reopening of business or just a reopening of society in the aftermath of something like this, it actually will lead to an increase in spread,” Governor Greg Abbott (R—TX) said in a statement. “It’s almost ipso facto.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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