Rudy Giuliani Accused Of Peddling Misleading Coronavirus Statistics

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and current lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks to members of the media during a White House Sports and Fitness Day at the South Lawn of the White House May 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is getting eviscerated on social media for peddling allegedly misleading statistics about the coronavirus crisis that he quoted from conservative commentator Candace Owens, Raw Story reports.

“Approximately 7,500 people die every day in the United States,” he quoted her as saying.

“That’s approximately 645,000 people so far this year. Coronavirus has killed about 1,000 Americans this year. Just a little perspective.”

The backlash for Giuliani’s tweet, which appeared to downplay the danger of the coronavirus pandemic, was swift.

“You are going to get people killed,” one user wrote. “Just shut up and let the scientists make the calls.”

“Stick to drinking,” another said.

“Someday, you too will be a statistic,” another chimed in. “That’s a comforting thought. Thank you.”

According to Science Alert, the fatality rate of COVID-19 — while still an approximation — is around 2 percent on average, which is 20 times higher than influenza. The illness caused by the novel coronavirus is also more contagious than the flu, with every COVID-19 sufferer infecting approximately two to three other individuals. The publication notes that this reproduction rate is about twice as high as the flu, which spreads to 1.3 new people for each patient it infects.

French deputy health minister Jerome Salomon told Science Alert that COVID-19 is not well-researched compared to the flu, which has been studied for over 100 years. The lack of research means it is harder to predict and still has no vaccine.

In a piece for The Atlantic, Ed Yong claimed that a significant danger of coronavirus is that it is overwhelming hospital systems that already took a hit from the flu during the winter season. He pointed to a recent University of Pennsylvania analysis that claimed even with successful social distancing that decreases infection rates by 95 percent, 960,000 Americans will still require intensive care.

“There are only about 180,000 ventilators in the U.S. and, more pertinently, only enough respiratory therapists and critical-care staff to safely look after 100,000 ventilated patients.”

As Yong notes, a faltering hospital system can amplify the danger of coronavirus.

Despite many signs pointing to disaster, Trump allies like Giuliani and Owens continue to downplay the pandemic as the president considers reopening the economy by Easter. The restlessness amid the halted economy has pushed some outspoken business leaders to push for opening the economy even if it means risking death or quarantining specific populations. MicroStrategy cofounder Michael J. Saylor was reportedly one of the first business leaders to push for a return to work and the quarantine of elderly and immune-compromised people.