Trump Says COVID-19 Deaths Down 39 Percent

By Meiling Lee
Meiling Lee
Meiling Lee
Meiling Lee is a health reporter for The Epoch Times. Contact her by emailing
July 9, 2020Updated: July 9, 2020

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early July 8 to talk about the economy and the declining CCP virus death toll.

“China Virus Mortality Rate is among the LOWEST of any country,” the president wrote.

In another post a day before, he said that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus deaths were down 39 percent.

The fatality rate was on a decline heading into June with the exception of a one day peak of 2,501 deaths on June 25, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. The overall death rate ranged from 200 to over 700 on a daily basis, but July 8 saw an increase of 897 deaths. It’s not known how much the protests and riots across the country toward the end of May and into early June contributed to the increasing new cases and death toll.

The decreasing COVID-19 death counts for the past month should be welcoming news for all Americans as new cases are on the rise, but some are saying it may be too early to embrace the positive news since fatalities can take up to two weeks to catch up to cases.

One of whom is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Regarding the declining COVID death rate, Fauci said at a press conference with U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), “It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” reported the Alabama Media Group. “There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don’t get yourself into false complacency.”

But Dr. Donald Yealy says the CCP virus is not making people as sick as before, pointing to a change in the virus prevalence. “All signs that we have available right now show that this virus is less prevalent than it was weeks ago,” Yealy, the chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), told Penn Live.

He also said that for people who tested positive for COVID-19, “the total amount of the virus the patient has is much less than in the earlier stages of the pandemic.” UPMC had less than 4 percent positive cases out of about 30,000 CCP virus tests conducted, and in the testing of 8,000 patients without symptoms, the patients tested “positive at a rate of about 1 in 400.”

Dr. Abe Malkin, Founder and Medical Director at Concierge MD LA, says the fatality rate has not gone up because “treatment protocols have improved” and high-risk people, particularly adults 65 and older with underlying health conditions, continue to take precaution and adhere “more to their own quarantine.” Furthermore, it is now the younger people becoming ill with the disease, but are less likely to die from it, so we are “not seeing them have that mortality rate that we saw back in March,” Malkin told The Epoch Times.

Concerns of Inflated COVID-19 Cases

Epoch Times Photo
People are tested in their vehicles in Phoenix’s western neighborhood of Maryvale in Phoenix for free COVID-19 tests organized by Equality Health Foundation, which focuses on care in underserved communities, in Phoenix, Ariz., June 27, 2020. (Matt York/AP Photo)

The United States has so far conducted over 36 million tests, more than any other country. Malkin says with more testing, there will be a rise in COVID-19 cases. “Certainly we are testing quite a few more people than we were, you know, back in March, in April when the virus was more prevalent,” Malkin said. “Many, many more providers, clinics, and services are offering testing, and tests themselves are more readily available.”

As important as tests are in helping to give accurate data of COVID-19, the tests’ inaccuracy that is known to occur is concerning when a false positive is given and may be included in the number of new cases since testing companies have to report a positive result.

A nursing facility in Wichita, Texas, had to retest all 78 of their residents and staff members who were asymptomatic and had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 25. However, in a Facebook post on June 4, the administrator of the facility made a correction:

“All forty-six Sheridan Medical Lodge residents and thirty-two staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 on May 25, 2020, were asymptomatic and therefore retested this week, as it is unlikely that every case would be asymptomatic. We are thrilled to share that all seventy-eight tests came back negative for COVID-19. We are thankful for the continued good health of our residents and staff.”

Roche Diagnostics, one of the companies that received the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorizations to test for COVID-19, declares on its webpage under the FDA-Emergency Use Only, “Positive results do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.”

All of the diagnostic tests approved for Emergency Use Only are not approved by the FDA since their effectiveness and safety have not been proven.

COVID-19 Probable Cases and Death Encouraged

Not all states report probable cases and deaths in their report, but the ones that do raise concerns about the inflation of COVID-19 numbers. New York was one of the first states to include probable cases in its COVID-19 death toll back on April 14 when it decided to include more than 3,700 probable cases, raising the death toll from 6,589 to 10,367.

Texas had been reporting confirmed cases based on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that is considered the gold standard for testing COVID-19, but that changed when the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) revised its guideline on its adopted case definition of COVID-19 in May to include probable COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The updated guideline had one Collin County official warning residents of DSHS’s revised definition of COVID-19 of having the “potential to significantly and artificially increase case totals.” In a Facebook post, Judge Chris Hill said people only need to meet two of three criteria (clinical, epidemiologic linkage, and presumptive laboratory evidence) to be classified as a probable case.

According to Hill, the guideline made it too easy for people to be classified as a probable COVID-19 case. He said every resident in Collin County had already met one of the three criteria—the third option of the epidemiologic linkage criteria: “Travel to or residence in an area with sustained, ongoing community transmission of COVID-19” within the last 14 days before the onset of symptoms. Then if any resident exhibited one of the three clinical criteria, they would be considered a probable case.

The DSHS took over the county’s CCP virus reporting in June.

Texas on July 7 saw its highest number of new cases, at 10,028, and on July 8 its highest number of deaths, at 98.

Comparing Texas to other states, Texas has the fourth-highest number of cases, at 220,564, yet is 14th on the list of states in numbers of deaths, at 2,813, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Here are the 13 states with more fatalities than Texas:

  1. New York: 24,944 deaths and 398,929 cases
  2. New Jersey: 15,423 deaths and 174,039 cases
  3. Massachusetts: 8,243 deaths and 110,602 cases
  4. Illinois: 7,309 deaths and 150,554 cases
  5. Pennsylvania: 6,812 deaths and 92,148 cases
  6. California: 6,562 deaths and 289,468 cases
  7. Michigan: 6,262 deaths and 74,551 cases
  8. Connecticut: 4,343 deaths and 47,108 cases
  9. Florida: 3,991 deaths and 223,783 cases
  10. Louisianna: 3,339 deaths and 70,151 cases
  11. Maryland: 3,275 deaths and 70,861 cases
  12. Ohio: 2,991 deaths and 60, 181 cases
  13. Georgia: 2,922 deaths and 103,890 cases.