CNN Bashed Trump For Saying The Same Thing About Coronavirus Death Percentage That They’re Now Reporting

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
Font Size:

CNN journalists bashed President Donald Trump for saying on March 4 that the death rate of the novel coronavirus is likely much lower than data indicates, but the network published a report Monday evening that backs up the president’s previous statement.

Trump said that he believes the mortality rate of the virus “is way under one percent” during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity earlier in March. The president was widely criticized by media pundits for his comments, and numerous CNN journalists trashed him over it.

“I hesitate to even print the United States president’s words here, because they’re so at odds with what health experts are saying,” CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote about Trump’s alleged “spurious claims.”

“Trump has misled before. He has not until now done so during a health crisis,” CNN’s Jim Sciutto tweeted.

Trump’s comments were also criticized in a round-up by CNN’s Chris Cillizza listing “the 27 most downright odd lines” from Trump’s interview with Hannity.

“No big deal — just the President of the United States contradicting the medical community on the mortality rate of coronavirus. What’s he basing his conclusions on? Oh, a ‘hunch,'” Cillizza wrote.

“Again, maybe! But the President has no real basis — or at least he isn’t sharing any evidence — for his claims that the current mortality rate for coronavirus is way overblown,” Cillizza added later on in the round-up.

After CNN thoroughly hit Trump for his commentary, the network published an article Tuesday citing research from the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The research echoes the president’s comments to Hannity just a few weeks earlier.

“The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die,” according to Monday’s article. “That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed — but it’s still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu.”

Trump’s much-challenged comment from his March 4 interview about the virus is backed up by this research recently reported by CNN.

“Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number,” Trump said after Hannity asked about the global death rate percentage given at the time. “Now, this is just my hunch, and – but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild.”

“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 added. “I think the number, personally, I would say the number is way under one percent.”


CNN’s report does not mention that the president previously noted the death rate of the novel coronavirus is likely lower than the data at the time indicated, despite the network previously bashing him for it. The data reported by CNN backs up Trump’s comments that “the number is way under one percent.”

“Asymptomatic cases — or mild cases — may not always be counted,” CNN’s latest article reports, which also echoed Trump’s past comments about those who have mild cases. (RELATED: The Coronavirus Death Rate Might Be Lower Than We Think)

CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.