Fox News anchor Sandra Smith asked whether it was “helpful” for the president to characterize the virus in that way, pointing out that FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn did not back up the statement in a subsequent interview.
“The president was making a factual point that most people will recover from coronavirus who get it, that there are a very small fraction of people who fall victim to coronavirus in a fatal way,” McEnany told “America’s Newsroom.”
McEnany explained that the fatal risk of coronavirus is minuscule because there are several treatment options that have been developed in the past few months.
“We have therapeutics, we have ways to treat this, and when you look at the mortality rates across the world, we are far below Italy. We are below Germany, we are below France and it is because of the great work we’ve put in,” McEnany said.
“There were no tests for a new virus, but now we have tested almost 40 million people,” Trump said. “By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless, results that no other country can show because no other country has testing that we have, not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality.”
Asked by “State of the Union” host Dana Bash to verify the president’s statement, Hahn said he would not “get into who is right and who is wrong.”
“It’s a serious problem that we have. We’ve seen the surge in cases. We must do something to stem the tide,” Hahn said. “We have this in our power to do; it is by following the guidance from the White House task force and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”
Hahn also refused to comment directly on Trump’s “99%” figure during his appearance on “This Week.”
McEnany said that the United States has outperformed other countries in terms of combatting the coronavirus because Trump “takes COVID seriously.” McEnany said that Trump is “monitoring” the spike in new cases in some states, but the “mortality rate” should also be closely watched.
“He believes we, as a federal government, are equipped to handle those fires. We have great therapeutics, dexamethasone, convalescent plasma, Remdesivir that are used to treat this. We are aware of the spikes and we are on it here at the White House,” McEnany said.