On Friday, while touring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s headquarters in Atlanta—and this was only after his punk ass backed out of the trip when it was reported that a worker in the center may have tested positive for the virus—Donald Trump noted that he was shocked to hear that people died from the flu.
“When I was hearing the amount of people that died with the flu, I was shocked to hear it,” Trump said, CNN reports. “Over the last, long period of time when people have the flu, you have an average of 36,000 people dying. I’ve never heard those numbers, I would’ve been shocked. I would have said, ‘Does anybody die of the flu?’ I didn’t know people died from the flu.”
According to Trump biographer, Gwenda Blair, he knows at least one person who died of the flu, his own damn grandfather.
In 1918, an influenza pandemic spread throughout the world and killed an estimated 675,000 people in America and 50 million worldwide, according to the CDC. Trump’s paternal grandfather, Friedrich Trump, was one of those people who died of the influenza in 1918, according to Blair’s book, “The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President,” which was first published under a different title in 2001 and later republished after Trump won the White House. The Washington Post was the first outlet to point out, in the wake of Trump’s comments last week, that the flu killed his grandfather.
Trump being the narcissistic shitbag that he’s always been, didn’t want to talk to the biographer about his own family history as he had more baller shit to talk about: his business. But he did know some of his grandfather’s history.
“In a 2016 documentary, The Kings of Kallstadt, Trump mentioned his family’s first landing in America. ‘My grandfather Friedrich Trump came to the United States in 1885,’ Trump said in the documentary. ‘He joined the great gold rush, he did fantastically well, he loved this country,’” CNN reports.
Friedrich, which, when broken down is, “Fried-Rich!” was a 49-year-old father of three when he died in 1918.
The White House didn’t respond to CNN’s request that they explain how the president is such a fucking idiot. But he was right about one thing: thousands of Americans die each season from the flu. “The CDC estimates that there were more than 34,000 deaths from the flu in the 2018-2019 flu season. The previous season that number was estimated to be more than 61,000,” CNN reports.
See, as soon as we try to give him some credit, he runs out here and tweets some presidential irresponsible shit.
Let’s break this tweet down, shall we?
Trump claims that 37,000 people die from the flu each year. According to the CDC, there have been 20,000 deaths from flu this flu season. So Trump’s number of how many have died is a little high, but let’s keep going.
What Trump’s tweet doesn’t show is that during October 2019 till February 2020 some 34,000,000 came down with the flu and 350,000 hospitalizations. Trump’s tweet also doesn’t account for the number of people getting vaccinated each year or that there is a vaccine for the flu. There is no vaccine for the coronavirus. The number of infected cases of the flu versus the number of flu deaths works out to .058 percent.
Trump then explains that there have been 546 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States (also note how Trump spells it “CoronaVirus” because he’s nothing if not a branding machine!), and there have been 22 deaths. If someone in Trump’s administration knew how to carry the one, they would know that that’s a 4 percent fatality rate!
Of course, because the president struggles with math, “4 percent” began trending on Twitter:
Math aside, as I don’t expect white supremacy’s president to reach anything close to an actual president’s level of thinking (looking at you, Barack Obama), this can’t be stated enough: emergency facilities are fully prepared to handle flu cases. What they aren’t prepared for is a second virus that doesn’t have a vaccine and that is causing mass hysteria.
Here’s how Vox explains the biggest issue with the president’s continuous denial and subsequent irresponsible, reckless and misinformed tweet.
There are many, many problems with this comparison. One big one is that the US health care system is equipped for dealing with the seasonal flu — but not the flu and another potentially deadly contagious disease at the same time, so more extreme measures may be necessary to prevent it from being overwhelmed. Another is that people have immunities to the flu but not to the coronavirus, which means that one person with Covid-19 could spread it much more easily in an office or school than a person with the flu.
Looks like president Trump isn’t just a birther, as he appears to be a COVID-19 denier, too.