Donald Trump Is Right to Downplay the Threat of the Coronavirus

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  • Donald Trump held a press conference on Wednesday addressing the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Media outlets criticized the president for downplaying the threat of the virus.
  • Recent reports show that the coronavirus is not as deadly as we might think.

Donald Trump is facing backlash for downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus. While many Americans trust their local pan-handler over the president, in this case, Trump might be right.

None of us know the potential fallout of the coronavirus, but data shows us that even when infection occurs, the odds of it becoming life-threatening are relatively low.

Trump’s Questionable Stance

As the coronavirus continues its spread across six continents, general fear and anxiety are rising with it. Trump’s statements during a press conference on Wednesday did not seem to help.

Media outlets criticized the president, claiming he took the “wrong approach,” and that his statements were “incoherent.


Trump is never happy with his media coverage, but this time he might have a point. | Source: Twitter

To be clear, Trump made some questionable claims, saying things like:

We could be just one or two people over the next short period of time.

He also said the virus is “very much under control.”

While his own scientists have refuted many of his claims, Trump might be right to downplay the virus in general. People across the world have worked themselves into a frenzy, but the actual threat to their lives might be exaggerated.

Coronavirus Fear is More Intense Than the Actual Coronavirus

The New York Times published an article today detailing the realities of coronavirus infection. The article states:

The vast majority of those infected so far have only mild symptoms and make full recoveries.

They quoted Dr. Jin Dongyan, a virology expert at the University of Hong Kong, saying:

Many people are now panicking, and some actually are exaggerating the risks.

According to a study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only 2.3% of the 44,672 coronavirus cases reported in China as of February 11 have been fatal.


The study continues:

Among the 1,023 deaths, a majority have been ≥60 years of age and/or have had pre-existing, comorbid conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

As of Thursday, 41% of confirmed coronavirus patients in China have already been released from the hospital, according to the Chinese Health Commission.

Mortality rates among the elderly are hiking up the overall coronavirus statistics. | Source: Twitter

Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should book a plane ticket to Wuhan and start licking random handrails, but it’s not the worst idea to keep your fear in check.

The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Panic

Panicking will only raise stress levels in your body. I have no medical expertise whatsoever, but it’s common knowledge that stress weakens the immune system.

In an article published by Psychology Today, Andrew Goliszek Ph.D. writes:

Ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease because the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system, which then releases an array of hormones that not only gets us ready for emergency situations but severely depresses our immunity at the same time.

I imagine that a robust immune system is one of your best defenses against the coronavirus. Trump may or may not know what he’s talking about regarding this outbreak, but at the very least, I think he’s right to try to calm our fears.


You should take whatever precautions you deem necessary. But the best thing people in lightly affected countries like the U.S. can do at this point might just be to relax.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

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