President Donald Trump busted his boastful exaggeration record Saturday when he claimed he likely saved “billions” of lives with his measures against COVID-19. The entire population of the U.S. is just 330 million.
Trump had claimed Monday that he saved “tens of thousands” or possibly “hundreds of thousands” of lives because in late January he restricted foreign nationals from entering the country if they’d been in China the previous two weeks. The restrictions did not apply to Americans, however, allowing a conduit for the disease to enter the U.S.
Trump made his outlandish “billions” claim at his press briefing Saturday. Based on some models, the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. was predicted to reach 100,000 to 220,000, he noted. “I really believe it could have been billions of people [who died] had we not done what we did,” he added. “We made a lot of good decisions.”
There are 8 billion people in the world, so it’s possible Trump was taking credit for saving an extraordinary number of lives around the world for some unknown reason. The U.S. has nearly a third of the 2.3 million COVID-19 cases around the globe — the highest number in the world — but only 4.2% of the Earth’s population. The U.S. also has the highest number of deaths — over 36,000 — of any country. So whatever measures the nation is taking don’t appear to be particularly successful.
Trump, however, declared Saturday that the U.S. has “produced dramatically better health outcomes than any other country with the possible exception of Germany.”
It’s uncertain how many people will ultimately die of COVID-19. But several experts have said that Trump’s months of inaction, with a lack of testing, disease contact isolation and early social distancing measures, likely cost countless lives in America.
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