• President Donald Trump in an early February interview told veteran reporter Bob Woodward that COVID-19 was deadlier than even the worst flu viruses. 
  • Meanwhile, Trump downplayed the threat of COVID-19 publicly. 
  • The US has the worst COVID-19 numbers in the world in terms of cases and fatalities, but Trump has consistently diminished the threat to the public.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In early February, President Donald Trump told veteran reporter Bob Woodward that COVID-19 was deadlier than “even your strenuous flus.” The conversation was recorded.

On February 7, as he downplayed the threat of the virus to the public, Trump said to Woodward: “It goes through the air. That’s always tougher than the touch. You don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s

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The White House may be considering a controversial and deadly path through the coronavirus pandemic: herd immunity before a vaccine is ready.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who joined the Trump administration as a top pandemic adviser earlier this month, has urged the president to adopt Sweden’s laissez-faire approach.

Herd immunity is the point a population reaches when enough people become immune to a virus to stop it from continuing to spread.

The most obvious path to that threshold is through mass vaccination. But five officials recently told the Post that Atlas, who is a healthcare policy fellow at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution, encouraged Trump to pursue herd immunity before a shot becomes available, as Sweden has. That would happen by reopening businesses and allowing the virus to spread among the young and healthy, while keeping elderly or vulnerable people at home.

GettyImages-scott-atlas

Scott

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  • The coronavirus outbreak in New York City brought nearly as many excess deaths as the peak of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
  • During the spring COVID-19 outbreak, deaths from all causes in the city were more than four times higher than the prior year.
  • During the Spanish flu, all-cause deaths nearly tripled in New York City.
  • That means that even after 102 years of technological and medicinal advances, the coronavirus was not much less deadly than the prior century’s most devastating pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus outbreak that ravaged New York during the spring, leaving bodies piled in refrigerated trucks, has largely ended there. In taking stock of the damage, researchers have found that those few months were roughly as deadly for the city as the peak of the 20th century’s most devastating pandemic.

1918 flu

Members of the St. Louis Red Cross Motor Corps on duty.

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