President Donald Trump addressed reporters from the White House briefing room on Tuesday on the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the virus will get worse before it gets better.
“It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” Trump told reporters. “Something I don't like saying about things, but that's the way it is. That's the way -- that's what we have. You look over the world, it's all over the world.”
Trump specifically mentioned an uptick in cases in the Sun Belt as a cause for concern.
“As cases and fatalities rise in certain hard hit states, we're surging personnel, supplies, and therapeutics,” Trump said. “We again have tremendous amount of supply. We are in very good shape and we can move them quickly.”
Trump also echoed the advice of leading infectious disease experts by encouraging young people to avoid crowded indoor spaces, such as bars.
“We're, instead, asking Americans to use masks, socially distance, and employ vigorous hygiene, wash your hands every chance you get while sheltering high-risk populations,” Trump said. “We are imploring young Americans to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings. Be safe and be smart.”
While Trump at times took a more serious tone, he repeated a notion that the United States’ response to the virus outperformed other countries due to a low case fatality rate. The case fatality rate is the proportion of confirmed COVID-19 cases to the number of coronavirus deaths. While the US is doing relatively well in this metric compared to several other nations, the number of cases in the US far exceed any other nation.
France, which is considered a country with a high case fatality rate, had 20 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Monday, according to New York Times data. Meanwhile, the US had 531 fatalities. Adjusted for population, the US had more than five times the number of coronavirus-related deaths than France on Monday.
Trump noted that the number of deaths per day remains lower than at the peak of the virus, but according to Johns Hopkins University data, the number has remained steady, if not ticked up, in recent weeks.
“By understanding these risk profiles and learning how to treat the disease, we've been able to greatly reduce the mortality in the United States,” Trump said.