FDA commissioner refuses to defend Trump claim that 99% of Covid-19 cases are "harmless"
The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday declined to defend President Donald Trump's unfounded claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are "totally harmless" and repeatedly refused to say whether Trump's remark is true or false.
"I'm not going to get into who is right and who is wrong," Dr. Stephen Hahn, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."
During his remarks Saturday at the White House Independence Day event, Trump claimed without evidence that 99% of coronavirus cases "are totally harmless."
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 35% of cases are asymptomatic, but even people with mild or no symptoms can spread the virus to others.
While the World Health Organization has said the global fatality rate is likely less than 1%, the WHO also said about 20% of all people who are diagnosed with coronavirus are sick enough to need oxygen or hospital care.
Pressed by Bash on the program, Hahn did not defend the President's claim about how many coronavirus cases go unnoticed by the infected.
"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," Hahn said.
There have been more than 2.8 million cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 129,000 people in the US have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest tally.
By Veronica Stracqualursi and Sarah Westwood, CNN via The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
The Gayly. 7/5/2020 @ 9:14 a.m. CST.