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200,000 US coronavirus deaths will be Trump’s legacy, and his cynical lies should be his end

By Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus reached 200,000 Tuesday.

That staggeringly grim count came less than a day after President Donald Trump, rambling like a clueless loon before a crowd of largely maskless Ohioans, said the coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” under 18.

It was more deceptive, idiotic nonsense from the man who is supposed to be leading our nation through one of the worst public health crises in history, a crisis that has claimed more American lives than World War I and the Vietnam War combined.

The deaths already are nearly 70 times the number of lives lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It’s as if the entire population of a city the size of Aurora, Illinois, was wiped out in eight months, and more are dying each day.

America has less than 5 percent of the world’s population and more than 20 percent of the reported deaths from COVID-19. Only five countries — Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Spain and Brazil — have higher deaths per capita from this virus.

And our president continues to lie to the American people about the virus and downplay its seriousness. Saying the coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” under 18 is a dangerous deception.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flagged a steady increase of coronavirus cases among children younger than 18 from March to July.

Last month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said young people who get the virus often “have residual symptoms for weeks and sometimes month.” And he said follow-up checkups of those young people show they “have a substantially high proportion of cardiovascular abnormalities, evidence of myocarditis by MRI and PET scans, evidence of emerging cardiomyopathies.”

Perhaps most importantly, we know that Trump knows the virus affects young people because he told Bob Woodward, in recorded interviews in March, that the virus affects “plenty of young people.”

“Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob,” Trump said. “But just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older.”

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