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Trump says up to 100,000 Americans may die from coronavirus

Coronavirus May 03, 2020 10:51PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S. President Trump walks returns to the White House in Washington 2/2

By Nandita Bose and Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he now believes as many as 100,000 Americans could die in the coronavirus pandemic, after the death toll passed his earlier estimates, but said he was confident a vaccine would be developed by the year's end.

Trump alternated during a two-hour virtual town hall broadcast by FOX News between forecasting a rapid recovery for the U.S. economy and casting blame for the pandemic's spread on China, where the disease is believed to have originated.

The COVID-19 illness, caused by the new coronavirus, has sickened more than 1.1 million in the United States and killed more than 67,000 Americans, shut wide swaths of society, including most schools and many businesses. https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T

"We're going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people. That's a horrible thing," said Trump, who as recently on Friday had said he hoped fewer than 100,000 Americans would die and earlier in the week had talked about 60,000 to 70,000 deaths.

About half the states have now moved toward at least partial lifting of shutdowns as the number of new cases of the COVID-19 illness has begun to drop or level off and as citizens agitate for relief from restrictions that have sent the economy into a tailspin.

"We can't stay closed as a country (or) we're not gonna have a country left," Trump said.

Trump has criticized FOX recently, casting the conservative-leaning network as insufficiently supportive. He faced few tough questions in the event, which gave him a new format to reach the public while he is unable to hold campaign rallies and after he faced widespread criticism for his combative daily briefings.

In an assessment that clashes with those of some public health experts, Trump said he believed that by the end of the year there would be a vaccine against COVID-19.

"I think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year. The doctors would say, well you shouldn't say that," Trump said. "I'll say what I think ... I think we’ll have a vaccine sooner than later."

Many health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, have cautioned that a vaccine is likely a year to 18 months away.

There is an "incredibly small" chance of having a highly effective vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus within the next year, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on April 22.

Trump also said he wanted students to return to schools and colleges in the autumn, even as he acknowledged the possibility of a resurgence of the disease.

"We'll put out the embers, we'll put out whatever it may be. We may have to put out a fire," he said.

Speaking the day before the Senate returns to Washington, Trump said it was possible that federal coronavirus aid could rise to $6 trillion from the nearly $3 trillion Congress has already passed to try to ease the heavy economic toll of the crisis.

"There is more help coming. There has to be," he said.

Democrats have made clear they want to provide a sizable rescue package for state and local governments as part of a broader bill - one that could total over $2 trillion - while some Republicans criticized the idea as unreasonably expensive.

"We will be doing infrastructure and I told Steve (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) just today we are not doing anything unless we get a payroll tax cut," Trump said.

Trump, who has been criticized for not moving faster early in the year to stop the spread of the disease, sought to blunt the criticism by blaming China.

Trump said China had made a "horrible mistake" without saying precisely what this was or providing specific evidence for his assertion.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was "a significant amount of evidence" that COVID-19 emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that it was not man-made.

Trump says up to 100,000 Americans may die from coronavirus
 

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Comments (16)
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson May 04, 2020 12:06AM ET
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We're already at 68K deaths (thanks China), so it's pretty plausible that our final total could reach 100K. If all the socialist doctors would stop blaming EVERY possible death on the virus, we would have a MUCH lower number, but oddly even people drowning, falling off roofs and getting electrocuted are being tallied as Wuhan victims because that supports the democrats operation..
Eric Peterson
Eric Peterson May 04, 2020 12:06AM ET
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go get that flu so you can tell first hand how small it is before spreading your falsehood
tonald drump
tonald drump May 03, 2020 11:54PM ET
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Yea sure, you know it could be somewhere between eh 50 or 500 thousand. You know it's gonna be a number. Think of a number and it probably won't be the one you think.
maga king
maga king May 03, 2020 11:32PM ET
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considering how inflated the death number is, the actual death may be in the thousands range.
David David
David9 May 03, 2020 11:29PM ET
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I tell you guy...Sleepy Joe is going to win hands down. If Trump were to accidentally win again, many people will give up their US citizen and move somewhere.
maga king
maga king May 03, 2020 11:29PM ET
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well here's hope that he won't fall asleep during inauguration lol
maga king
maga king May 03, 2020 11:23PM ET
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100k now?? 2mil -> 60k -> 75k -> 100k?? cdc/fauci just generate ******** random numbers? fire them all!
Don Getty
Don Getty May 03, 2020 11:23PM ET
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well we know trump isn't good with numbers - 65k dea d with 2.0 million already infected - 65k * 175 for the Americans who will become infected = approx. 11.3 million more about to di e - great job Osama Bin Trump!
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 03, 2020 11:20PM ET
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Were all those cheap electronics worth this mass death? China must go.
David David
David9 May 03, 2020 11:19PM ET
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If this was air on Fox News, no one is going to watching it. Lol
steven gitt
steven gitt May 03, 2020 10:53PM ET
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this site is absolutely appalling with their censorship. i hope that this site is required in the not to distant future to post a list of the words that prevent a post from being posted so that the world can see the political bias.
maga king
maga king May 03, 2020 10:53PM ET
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what word did you write bud?
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson May 03, 2020 10:53PM ET
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It's true. The bias of this site is blatant. The words they disallow are generally always to benefit the socialists and communists.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun May 03, 2020 10:17PM ET
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The econ is about 2t a month; shut down is over a month. They need to pump more money to make up the loss. Doesnt take a genius to figure it out. The longer we shut down, the more gov need to pump money. Test all and isolate c@rriers cost less than 50b. What’s a waste.
 
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