“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”
“This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis.
At that time, Trump was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than a seasonal flu, predicting it would soon disappear, and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control. It would be several weeks before he would publicly acknowledge that the virus was no ordinary flu and that it could be transmitted through the air.
You have hot spots, but we’ve had hot spots before. We’ve had horrible flus. I mean, think of it. We average 36,000 people. Death, death. I’m not talking about cases. I’m talking about death. 36,000 deaths a year. People die, 36 — from the flu. But we’ve never closed down the country for the flu.
As of today, 190,00o Americans have died of COVID-19.