Stephen Hahn wouldn’t comment Sunday morning on President Doanld Trump’s claim that the vast majority of coronavirus cases are ‘totally harmless.’
‘So, I’m not going to get into who’s right and who’s wrong,’ the Food and Drug Administration commissioner told CNN when asked if there was any evidence to back up the president’s claim.
During a White House speech Saturday to commemorate Independence Day celebrations, Trump reasserted that the U.S. has more confirmed cases than any other country due to bolstered levels of testing.
‘Now we have tested almost 40 million people,’ the president said during his address. ‘By so doing, we show cases 99 per cent of which are totally harmless.’
When Hahn was pushed on if he would say if Trump’s statement were ‘true or false,’ Hahn again dodged the question.
‘What I’ll say is that we have data in the White House Task Force, those data show us that this is a serious problem. People need to take it seriously,’ he said.
FDA Commissioner and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force Stephen Hahn refused to comment Sunday morning on if there is any validity to Donald Trump’s claim that 99 per cent of coronavirus cases are ‘totally harmless’
‘So, I’m not going to get into who’s right and who’s wrong,’ Hahn told CNN as the number of infections continue to skyrocket over the last two weeks
During Independence Day remarks at the White House, Trump said: ‘Now we have tested almost 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99 per cent of which are totally harmless’
Instead of commenting on Trump’s claims, Hahn, who is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said he would reiterate that COVID-19 is a ‘serious problem’ in the U.S.
‘We’ve seen a surge in cases, we must do something to stem the tide – and we have this in our power to do it by following the guidance of the White House Task Force and the CDC,’ Hahn told fill-in State of the Union host Dana Bash.
Conversely, Trump asserted during his address Saturday night, ‘We’ve learned how to put out the flame’ of coronavirus – even though the U.S. has recorded daily record-highs in cases.
As states ended their lockdown orders, began reopening and massive protests ensued across the country over the death of George Floyd, coronavirus cases, which were on the steady decline, began to surge.
Some states, like Florida, experienced their highest number of new daily cases in the past two weeks.
Trump also continued, during his remarks, to put the onus for the coronavirus pandemic’s scale on China, claiming they engaged in a ‘cover-up.’
‘China’s secrecy, deceptions and cover-up allowed it to spread all over the world [in] 189 countries and China must be held fully accountable,’ the president asserted.
Trump held a large event at the White House for July 4, including a flyover of the National Mall
Massive protests ensued outside the White House as demonstrators burned American Flags on the anniversary of the U.S. declaring independence
Trump also insisted that the U.S. would develop a vaccine or some other therapeutic solution to treat the virus ‘long before’ the end of 2020.
The president traveled to the Mount Rushmore Memorial in South Dakota on Friday, July 3 for the Independence Day celebration there.
When Hahn was asked if he’s uncomfortable with Trump holding massive events that those on the task force, including himself, have warned against.
‘Well, I think, in terms of that specific instance at the White House, it’s important for everyone to remember that it’s a different set of circumstances,’ he assured. ‘People are tested regularly. The president is tested regularly. That is a different set of circumstances.’
‘But, in general, following those guidelines, particularly if you find yourself in events where there’s more than 10, 25 people, is very important,’ he conceded.
‘What about Mount Rushmore?’ Bash pushed. ‘I don’t think that everybody there was getting tested.’
‘My understanding is that they followed local and state guidelines at that event,’ he excused.
The event – where Trump delivered remarks, there was a flyover and fireworks – was limited to 7,500 attendees, according to the state’s official travel website.
Trump plans to travel to Jacksonville, Florida in August after the Republican National Committee moved the convention there.
When asked if holding the convention were safe, Hahn said: ‘I think it’s too early to tell.’
‘We will have to see how this unfolds in Florida and elsewhere around the country,’ he said.
Florida is one of the states seeing the biggest surge in cases and deaths over the last few weeks.
Jacksonville issued a mandate last week where people are required to wear masks at all indoor locations and venues and outdoor areas where social distancing is impossible, like the beach.