The campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday fired back after White House chief of staff Mark Meadow who agreed with President Donald Trump that 99% of COVID-19 cases are "totally harmless."
Andrew Bates, rapid response director for the Biden campaign said the comments show the administration has "rotten values," The Hill reported.
"Donald Trump has had over six months to stop abysmally failing the American people during this historic public health crisis," Bates, said in a prepared statement. "But even though over 132,000 Americans have lost their lives and tens of millions have lost their jobs due to his unprecedented negligence and incompetence, he has surrendered to the coronavirus and, for the sake of his own optics, is outright lying to the nation about the extreme threat of COVID-19 while undermining testing.
"His White House is even telling Americans that they simply need to 'live with it.' It's a tragic commentary on the rotten values and dangerousness of this administration that listening to the president and his top staffer could literally compromise even more American lives than their malpractice has already taken. And 1% of America is 3.2 million people," Bates said.
Though Bates gave a 1% figure for the entire U.S. population, which is estimated at 330 million people, only 1.56 million have been estimated to have contracted COVID-19. One percent of that figure is 15,572. More than 132,000 deaths in the United States have been attributed to the virus.
Trump sparked controversy among critics in his July 4 speech when he said the United States is showing more cases than other countries because it has more robust testing.
"But by so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless," Trump said. "Results that no other country will show, because no other country has testing that we have — not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality."
Meadows, appearing Monday on "Fox & Friends" said "I don’t even know that it's a generalization. When you start to look at all the [statistics] and all the numbers that we have, the amount of testing that we have, the vast majority of people are safe from this."
He added people older than 80 or who have comorbidities "need to be very, very careful. Outside of that, the risks are extremely low and the president is right on that, and the facts and the statistics back us up there," though he did not cite specific statistics.
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