SALEM (CBS) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday he’s glad to see that President Donald Trump and the first lady are recovering following their coronavirus diagnosis, but blasted the way Trump continues to talk about the pandemic.
“I’m glad to see that the President the First Lady seem to be recovering from their episode with COVID,” Baker said at a news conference in Salem. “I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for the President or any other public official to ignore the advice from so many of the folks in the public health, epidemiological, and infectious disease community, who have made it absolutely clear to us all – time and time again – that this is a contagion. It is massively contagious and it will wreak havoc on many people, if they become infected.”
Trump’s physician reported Tuesday that the president is not currently experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Trump told Americans after returning to the White House “don’t be afraid” of the coronavirus. He also claimed in a social media post that “sometimes over 100,000” Americans a year die from the flu – a number that vastly overstates the normal toll from the flu, according to CBS News.
“Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” Trump wrote.
The CDC estimates that between 12,000 and 61,000 Americans have died from the flu each year since 2010. Meanwhile the coronavirus has killed more than 210,000 in the United States.
Twitter flagged the president’s tweet about the flu for “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information” while Facebook removed it entirely.
“This is a very contagious virus, and it can have horrible consequences for people,” Baker said. “I think all of us in public life, and I would include the President in this category, need to carry the message that, while this thing may not be bad for some, it can be deadly for others.”