In which the President of the United States tells Americans to spread a deadly virus as quickly as possible.


I'm not sure how else to put this, but it's basically like if the mayor in Jaws not only refused to close the beach, but actually went on the radio and specifically told people with open wounds to go swimming and that the shark just wants to play tug-of-war with their legs.

As Vox journalist Aaron Rupar puts it:

In this clip, Trump:
1. Denies WHO's coronavirus death rate based on “hunch"
2. Calls coronavirus "corona flu"
3. Suggests it's fine for people w/ Covid-19 to go to work
4. Compares coronavirus to "the regular flu," indicating he doesn't get the difference

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 5, 2020

Suffice to say:

  • The death rate of those who've been diagnosed with coronavirus is around 3.4% so far worldwide. This ranges from as low as 0.7% to 4.0% depending on the country.
  • It's not the flu, dammit. It may have some similar symptoms but this isn't something you just "drink lots of fluids & sweat out."

The World Health Organization had said last week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 can differ, ranging from 0.7% to up to 4%, depending on the quality of the health-care system where it’s treated. Early in the outbreak, scientists had concluded the death rate was around 2.3%.

During a press briefing Monday, WHO officials said they don’t know how COVID-19 behaves, saying it’s not like influenza. They added that while much is known about the seasonal flu, such as how it’s transmitted and what treatments work to suppress the disease, that same information is still in question when it comes to the coronavirus.

“This is a unique virus, with unique features. This virus is not influenza,” Tedros said Monday. “We are in uncharted territory.”

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said Monday that the coronavirus isn’t transmitting the same exact way as the flu and health officials have been given a “glimmer, a chink of light” that the virus could be contained. 

“Here we have a disease for which we have no vaccine, no treatment, we don’t fully understand transmission, we don’t fully understand case mortality, but what we have been genuinely heartened by is that unlike influenza, where countries have fought back, where they’ve put in place strong measures, we’ve remarkably seen that the virus is suppressed,” Ryan said.

Speaking of "countries which have put in place strong measures", let's check in on how our own federal government is doing, shall we?

BREAKING: The Trump administration won’t be able to meet its promised timeline of having a million coronavirus tests available by the end of the week

— Bloomberg (@business) March 5, 2020


The Trump administration won’t be able to meet its promised timeline of having a million coronavirus tests available by the end of the week, senators said after a briefing Thursday from health officials.

“There won’t be a million people to get a test by the end of the week,” Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida said. “It’s way smaller than that. And still, at this point, it’s still through public health departments.”

Scott and other lawmakers said the government is “in the process” of sending test kits out and people still need to be trained on how to use them. The entire process could take days or weeks, they said.

“By the end of the week they’re getting them out to the mail,” Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma said. “It’s going to take time to be able to get them, receive them, re-verify them and then be able to put them into use.”

I'm overflowing with confidence.