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FDA Chief Squirms on Whether Trump Was Wrong to Say 99 Percent of Covid-19 Cases Are ‘Harmless’

Food and Drug Administration Chief Dr. Stephen Hahn repeatedly dodged on Sunday when asked to explain why President Donald Trump claimed 99 percent of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless.”

Hahn gave an interview to CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, who showed him a clip of Trump speaking from the White House on Saturday and saying “We have tested almost 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless.” Bash asked Hahn if he could back up that statement, but he evaded by answering “we know that cases are surging in the country, we’ve all seen the graphs associated with that. It’s too early and I’m not going to speculate on what the causation is there.”

After Hahn recited public health guidelines, Bash continued to dig into Trump’s “99 percent” claim since “I can tell you it’s not true, and that’s obviously not my opinion. It is fact-based on CDC estimates.”

“Only a third of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. The World Health Organization says 20 percent of people who die of coronavirus need oxygen or hospital care,” Bash went on. “This is really important, probably one of the most important misclaims or, frankly, lies the president has put out there because it really affects people’s health…How does that make you feel as a member of his own task force?”

Hahn spun away from the core question again, so Bash tried once more to ask “You are working really hard to protect Americans. I have to ask you flatly to that end, to protect Americans, is the president wrong?”

Hahn’s answer:

I’m not going to get into who is right and who is wrong. What I’m going to say, Dana, is what I’ve said before. It’s a serious problem that we have, we’ve seen the surge in cases, we must do something to stem the tide.

The interview continued with Hahn being grilled on whether he’s okay with Trump holding campaign events amid the pandemic, and whether he thinks its safe to hold the Republican National Convention in Florida despite the recent spike in coronavirus cases throughout the state.

Watch above, via CNN.

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