Trump claims 'normal life will return soon.' Doctors and scientists say otherwise.
President Donald Trump made several false claims Monday during his daily briefing about the coronavirus, downplaying what experts have said is the continued need to restrict social movement to slow the spread of the virus and overstating the successes of a potential treatment.
Here’s what Trump said and what the facts are.
Claim: “Normal life will return” soon
“The hardship will end, it will end soon. Normal life will return,” Trump said Monday.
Bristling at the economic losses, Trump has started suggesting that Americans would be able to return to normal life soon. After “15 days” of the social distancing the administration began mid-month, Trump said, officials will decide how to reopen the country.
“It’s a much shorter period of time than I’ve been hearing the news report,” he added later.
But other authorities, including governors in the hardest-hit states and medical professionals, largely do not see a speedy return to normalcy. The nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Friday that Americans will most likely have to continue staying at home and practicing social distancing for “at least several weeks.”
“I cannot see that all of a sudden, next week or two weeks from now, it’s going to be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that,” Fauci said.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned Monday on “TODAY” that the coming week will show the crisis worsening.
“I want America to understand, this week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said.
Over the weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that in New York — which has emerged as a center of the pandemic — he expects the impact of the virus, as well as restrictions to curb it, to last four to nine months.
“I don’t believe it’s going to be a matter of weeks. I believe it is going to be a matter of months, but we are going to get through it,” he said.
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Claim: We’ve got an “approved” drug “that’s looking very, very good”
“The hydroxychloroquine and the Z-pack, I think, as a combination, probably, it’s looking very, very good,” Trump claimed Monday. He called the pair of medicines a “drug that got approved in record-setting time.”
There’s anecdotal evidence that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — decades-old drugs used to prevent malaria and treat rheumatic diseases — might help patients fight off the virus, particularly when paired with the antibiotic azithromycin, commonly known as a Z-Pack.
But it’s not an “approved” treatment for coronavirus, according to the Food and Drug Administration, or even a fully vetted option.
“The information that you’re referring to specifically is anecdotal. It was not done in a controlled clinical trial. So you really can’t make any definitive statement about it,” Fauci said Friday.
Last week, Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the FDA, said the agency wants “a large, pragmatic clinical trial” to see whether the drug “actually benefits patients.”