Trump Calls Recent Coronavirus Spikes ‘Burning Embers’ As US Tops 140,000 Deaths

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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President Donald Trump repeatedly dismissed the coronavirus pandemic as a growing public health threat Sunday, reiterating his theory that “it will disappear” despite numerous public health officials warning about the danger that the virus still poses.

In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Trump said that young people are at extremely low risk regarding the virus and that the increase in positive cases in states across the country is due to increased testing.

“They have the sniffles and we put it down as a test,” he said referring to younger Americans who have contracted the virus.

Trump’s comments came as the United States surpassed 3.7 million positive cases and 140,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. Both numbers are the highest of any country worldwide.

His comments also go against leaders in both parties who have called for a stronger, centralized response from the federal government. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Dr. Anthony Fauci and stressed the importance of wearing masks and adhering to Centers for Disease Control guidelines Wednesday, The Courier Journal reported.

Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also criticized the federal government’s lack of leadership and direction in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.

Wallace pushed back against Trump’s claim that the sharp increase in positive cases was only due to increased testing, saying that while testing had increased by 37%, positive tests had increased by 194% over the same period.

“We have embers and we do have flames,” Trump responded, referencing the recent outbreaks in Florida, but then added that “it’s going to be under control.”

Florida has reported over 10,000 daily cases for almost a week, and is approaching 5,000 deaths statewide, according to Johns Hopkins. It was named the virus’ most recent epicenter last week.

Trump has also refused to sign a national mask mandate, something that Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, said would allow the U.S. to gain full control of stopping the virus, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Though younger people are less likely to become sick or die from the coronavirus, their growing unwillingness to stay home or adopt necessary social distancing precautions has helped the virus spread more rapidly, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Hogan tweeted Sunday that almost half of the state’s new cases were from people in their 20s or 30s, and that the infection rate for the two groups is 85% higher than older Americans.

Regardless, Trump said Sunday that “many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day.”

“Many of them – don’t forget, I guess it’s like 99.7%, people are going to get better and in many cases they’re going to get better very quickly.”

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