Donald Trump busted his boastful exaggeration record Saturday when he claimed he likely saved “billions” of lives with his measures against Covid-19. The entire population of the US is just 330 million.
Trump claimed Monday he saved “tens of thousands” or possibly “hundreds of thousands” of lives because in late January he restricted foreign nationals from entering the country if they had been in China the previous two weeks. The restrictions did not apply to Americans, however, allowing a conduit for the disease to enter the US.
Trump made his outlandish billions claim at his press briefing Saturday. Based on some models, the Covid-19 death toll in the US was predicted to reach 100,000 to 220,000, he noted. “I really believe it could have been billions of people [who died] had we not done what we did,” he added. “We made a lot of good decisions,” he claimed.
There are eight billion people in the entire world, so it’s possible Trump was taking credit for saving an extraordinary number of lives around the world for some unknown reason. The US has nearly a third of the 2.3m Covid-19 cases around the globe — the highest in the world — but only 4.2% of the Earth’s population. The US also has the highest number of deaths — 36,000 — of any country. So whatever measures the nation is taking don’t appear to be particularly successful.
Trump, however, declared Saturday that the US has “produced dramatically better health outcomes than any other country with the possible exception of Germany.”
It’s uncertain what an accurate Covid-19 death toll prediction will prove to be, or how many will ultimately die. But several experts have said that Trump’s months of inaction with a lack of testing, disease contact isolation and early social distancing measures likely cost countless lives in America.