No Mr Trump, Coronavirus Doesn’t Just Affect Elderly People
President Trump falsely claimed that coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” younger than 18 years.
The US President Donald J Trump contradicted his administration’s data and himself while incorrectly claiming that COVID-19 only affects the elderly with health conditions or comorbidities, at a campaign rally on Monday night, 21 September.
Talking to a packed crowd in Swanton, Ohio, President Trump downplayed the extent of the pandemic again contradicting his previous statements that the virus poses a risk to “plenty of young people”. A day later, on Tuesday, the US crossed the grim 2,00,000 mark in coronavirus fatalities.
The remark can be heard at around 44 minutes.
WHAT HAS TRUMP SAID?
President Donald Trump addressed a not-so-socially distant crowd and said, “It [coronavirus] affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems. That’s what it really affects.”
“In some states, thousands of people — nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody. They have a strong immune system, who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing,” he added.
DOES CORONAVIRUS ONLY AFFECT THE ELDERLY?
The effect of the virus on young people is still being studied, but as per a study by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) data, out of 143,429 deaths, 754 deaths were in the age group of 18-29, while 89 were under the age of 18.
Most fatalities also reported some underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease, morbid obesity, neurologic and developmental conditions, and cardiovascular conditions.
This statement is in sharp contrast to what Trump had earlier said in an interview to Washington Post where he acknowledged the extend of the virus and said that it is impacting “plenty of young people”.
“Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. But just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older,” Trump told veteran journalist Bob Woodward according to audio clips published by the Washington Post. Woodward was interviewing Trump for his book titled Rage.
During the interview, Trump also admitted to having downplayed the pandemic so as to not create panic.
While there might be fewer fatalities for people under 18, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that young people have emerged as the chief spreaders of the virus. WHO’s head of emerging disease and zoonosis unit, Maria Van Kerkhove, said, “We are seeing young people who are dying from this virus.” in a press conference last month.
A recent study on COVID-19-related deaths in persons under 21 showed that nearly three-quarters of SARS-CoV-2-associated deaths have occurred in persons aged 10 to 20 years. The percentage was worse when it came to people of colour with preexisting medical conditions.
Clearly, Trump’s statements cannot be believed as young adults are not immune to the disease. Data, studies and his own statement have proved that his assumptions are incorrect.
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