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Trump Blames Coronavirus Death Toll on Blue States

President says country is 'really at a very low level' if they're not taken into consideration
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2020 1:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump on Wednesday blamed the country's coronavirus death toll on states that lean Democrat, despite the fact that current data indicate 47% of all US deaths have taken place in red states. Trump was discussing the early projections on total number of deaths at a news briefing: "This was a prediction that if we do a really good job, we’ll be at about ... 100,000 to 240,000 deaths, and we’re below that substantially, and we’ll see what comes out," the president said, per the Washington Post. "And that’s despite the fact that the blue states had had tremendous death rates. If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at. We’re really at a very low level. But some of the states, they were blue states and blue state-managed."

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The early surge in deaths was, indeed, in mostly blue states, but most of the deaths occurring now are in red states. USA Today calls the remarks Trump's "most explicit politicization yet of the handling of COVID-19." Another misleading statement? The current death toll stands at at least 193,000, but considering there have been 263,000 extra deaths this year than would typically be expected, some experts believe the official toll is an underestimate. And the University of Washington’s Institute on Health Metrics' latest projection estimates nearly 413,000 deaths by year's end, with almost exactly half of those in red states. One Democratic congressman, Virginia's Rep. Don Beyer, called Trump's words "quite simply one of the most appalling and inhuman statements ever uttered by an American President." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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