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FDA commissioner pressed by Sunday show hosts over Trump’s claim ’99 percent’ of coronavirus cases ‘harmless’

  • July 05, 2020

Deep partisan divide over virusVideo

Deep partisan divide over virus

As Trump hails a different surge, in new jobs.

FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn on Sunday refused to comment when pressed by multiple Sunday show hosts over President Trump’s suggestion the previous day that 99 percent of coronavirus cases were “harmless.”

Hahn’s appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC News’ “This Week,” followed Trump’s Fourth of July Speech from the White House’s South Lawn.

“There were no tests for a new virus, but now we have tested almost 40 million people,” Trump said. “By so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless, results that no other country can show because no other country has testing that we have, not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality.” 

Asked by “State of the Union” host Dana Bash to verify the president’s statement, Hahn said he would not “get into who is right and who is wrong.”

“It’s a serious problem that we have. We’ve seen the surge in cases. We must do something to stem the tide,” Hahn said. “We have this in our power to do it is by following the guidance from the White House task force and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”

Hahn also refused to comment directly on Trump’s “99 percent” figure, during his appearance on “This Week.”

Hahn reiterated that Americans must “follow the guidance of the CDC; follow the protocols of the local and state governments” because “that’s how we’re going to get out of this. That’s how we’re going to further flatten. That’s how we’re going to stop this rising number of cases in the Sun Belt.”

President Trump remarks at the 2020 'Salute to America' eventVideo


Hahn likewise refused to comment directly on Trump’s assertion during his speech that the U.S. “will likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year.”

“I can’t predict when a vaccine will be available,” Hahn told “This Week” host Martha Raddatz.


“Yes, we are seeing unprecedented speed for the development of a vaccine. But… we issued guidance this past week about vaccine development because we want to be very clear, our solemn promise to the American people is that we will make a decision based upon the data and science on a vaccine with respect to the safety and effectiveness of that vaccine.”

On Saturday, the World Health Organization reported that the United States has recorded over 53,000 new cases and some 623 deaths in a single day, bringing its total up to more than 2.7 million and 128,481, respectively.

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