President Donald Trump again falsely claimed that for the young the coronavirus "affects virtually nobody."
The president made the misleading claim at a campaign rally in Swanton, Ohio, on Monday.
"[The coronavirus] affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems, if they have other problems that's what it really affects, that's it," Trump said at the rally.
"In some states, thousands of people, nobody young, below the age of 18," Trump continued. "They have a strong immune system. Who knows? Take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It's an amazing thing."
While the coronavirus is more likely to be fatal to older individuals and those with underlying conditions, the virus has still taken a toll on younger people who were infected — and some even died from COVID-19.
Additionally, according to the World Health Organization, even if they are not as impacted, young people are emerging a the primary spreaders of the disease, making it more likely that it can be transmitted to those who are more at risk.
The coronavirus has infected nearly 7 million people in the US, and nearly 200,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 as of Monday.
The number of global coronavirus cases surpassed 30 million, and the death toll surpassed 938,000.
Trump's non-alarmist attitude toward the coronavirus largely contradicts his private views of the virus in February, when he told journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year that the virus is a "killer" and said it was "more deadly than even your strenuous flus."
On March 7, Trump told Woodward that "Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older. Young people too — plenty of young people.”
A week after declaring a national emergency in March in light of the COVID-19 outbreaks, Trump told Woodward that he "wanted to always" downplay the pandemic, the veteran journalist wrote in his book.
"I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic," Trump said on March 19.
However, Trump's downplaying of the coronavirus has prompted some anti-science backlash, as some Americans refuse to adhere to health safety guidelines from infectious disease experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020
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