President Donald Trump is projecting that deaths in the United States from the novel coronavirus could reach as high as 70,000, but says original projections were much higher as he explained why voters should consider re-electing him in November.
Trump has at times this month cited 60,000 as the estimate of how many people would die from COVID-19.
Trump was asked during a White House news conference on Monday whether an American president deserved to be re-elected after losing more Americans in six weeks than died in the Vietnam War. Approximately 58,000 U.S. troops were killed during the Vietnam War.
The number of dead in the U.S. from COVID-19 surpassed 55,000 according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Trump said the nation has lost a lot of people.
“But if you look at what original projections were — 2.2 million — we’re probably heading to 60,000-70,000. It’s far too many. One person is too many for this. And I think we’ve made a lot of really good decisions. The big decision was closing the border or doing the ban, people coming in from China.”
Trump added “I think we’ve done a great job. I will say this, one person is too many.”
Trump is relying on a pandemic forecast that predicted 1.5 million to 2.2 million deaths in the United States in a worst-case scenario, without efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing.