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Donald Trump Jr. claims US coronavirus death rate at 'almost nothing'

Donald Trump Jr. downplayed the impact of the coronavirus in the U.S. Thursday night, saying the death rate has dropped to "almost nothing" amid a rise in confirmed cases.  

In an on-air interview with Fox News anchor Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamGeorgia's Perdue, Kemp to appear with Fox News's Laura Ingraham Senate committee advances FCC nominee on party-line vote  Pai formally announces plans to leave FCC MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE's son said he's examined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics that show proper therapeutics and better knowledge on how to deal with COVID-19 have greatly reduced fatalities.

"The reality is this. If you look — I put it up on my Instagram a couple days ago because I went through the CDC data because I kept hearing about new infections but I was like, 'Why aren't they talking about deaths?' " he said, referring to the dramatic surge the U.S. has seen in the past week. 

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"Oh! Oh! Because the number is almost nothing. Because we've gotten control of this thing. We understand how it works — they have the therapeutics to be able to deal with this. If you look at that, look at my Instagram, it's gone down to almost nothing."  

"Why isn’t the ACTUAL data from the CDC being discussed? Why is the media only talking about cases going up (because we are testing) more but the real numbers that matter namely the death rate are way down," Trump wrote on Instagram the day before. 

"I guess they can’t rule you with fear if they tell you the truth," he continued. 

 

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Why isn’t the ACTUAL data from the CDC being discussed? Why is the media only talking about cases going up (because we are testing) more but the real numbers that matter namely the death rate are way down. Chart one shows actual deaths and the trend going way down. 2nd slide shows that the number of new cases and number of deaths per week are no longer correlated. In other words, while there have been increases in new cases per week, there has actually been a steady decrease in deaths per week. I guess they can’t rule you with fear if they tell you the truth. all data from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/10232020/specimens-tested.html and https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

A post shared by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr) on

The Hill has reached out to Donald Trump Jr.'s staff for further comment.

The U.S. is experiencing a massive surge in coronavirus cases, confirming almost 90,000 infections on Thursday alone, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. also had close to 1,000 deaths Thursday, and more are expected as death counts lag behind hospitalizations. 

A recent analysis from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine indicates that by January, about 2,250 Americans could be dying every day from COVID-19, close to the peak of almost 2,600 a day back in April. 

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Health officials including top infectious diseases expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciHarris: 'Of course I will' take COVID-19 vaccine Overnight Health Care: Biden asked Fauci to serve as chief medical adviser | COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo says she won't be Biden's HHS secretary Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter encourage people to take COVID-19 vaccine MORE have said that the surge is part of a "third wave" of COVID-19 infections they predicted would come as people congregate indoors in colder weather. 

President Trump has also sought to downplay the virus leading up to Tuesday's election, accusing the media of blowing the impact of COVID-19 out of proportion. 

The president has also repeatedly and misleadingly claimed that the reason the U.S. has more cases is because there are more tests being administered. Friday morning he tweeted, "More Testing equals more Cases. We have best testing. Deaths WAY DOWN." 

Many of Trump's own officials involved in the pandemic response have pushed back against this claim, including the White House testing czar Brett Giroir, who said Tuesday that the increase in cases is indicative of the disease spreading. 

The U.S. has recorded close to 9 million coronavirus cases and more than 228,000 deaths as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins.