“ ‘I think 3.4% is really a false number. This is just my hunch, 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 get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor.’ ”
President Trump believes the World Health Organization’s coronavirus fatality rate is incorrect.
‘I think 3.4% is really a false number,” he told Sean Hannity on his Fox News show. “This is just my hunch, 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 get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor. You never even hear about those people so you can’t put them down in the category of the overall population in terms of this coronavirus flu, or virus. You just can’t do that.”
“So if we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that just get better just by sitting around, or even going to work — some of them go to work — but they get better and then when you do have a death, like you had in the state of Washington, like you had one in California, I believe you had one in New York, you know all of a sudden it seems like 3% or 4%, which seems like a very high number, as opposed to a fraction of 1%. But, again, they don’t know about the easy cases.”
As the COVID-19 spreads, scientists are learning more about the disease’s fatality rate. “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the WHO, said at a press briefing in Geneva this week. That’s more than previous estimates of around 2% and the influenza fatality rate of less than 1%. Tedros previously said the fatality rate in Wuhan, China, considered the epicenter of the outbreak, is between 2% and 4%.
Worldwide, there are now a total of 95,062 COVID-9 cases and at least 3,250 deaths as of Wednesday; about 51,000 people worldwide have recovered, according to data published by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering’s Centers for Systems Science and Engineering. The medical journal JAMA released this paper analyzing Chinese data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and said the sample’s overall case-fatality rate was 2.3%.
No one has died of the coronavirus in New York. In the U.S., 11 people have died — 10 in Washington State and one in California — and there are more than 150 confirmed cases; 54 of those cases are in California, leading Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of that state, followed in the footsteps of Washington state on Wednesday by declaring a state of emergency. Coronavirus has an incubation period, when people may be asymptomatic, of up to two weeks.
The fatality rate of the novel coronavirus so far appears to be a fraction of that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (9.6%) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (34.4%). “The incubation period for SARS was typically 2 to 7 days, although in some cases it may be as long as 10 days,” the CDC said at the time; most of SARS cases were between November 2002 and July 2003. “In a very small proportion of cases, incubation periods of up to 14 days have been reported.”
How the coronavirus is transmitted: