Speaking on Fox News on Thursday, Trump Jr. claimed that deaths from COVID-19 were down to “almost nothing” despite rising cases, rising hospitalizations and a rising death rate as the nation faces a third wave of infections.
Earlier this week, Wisconsin reported what its state health department called “a nightmare scenario” as cases reached record levels. In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) warned of a “dire situation” facing his state, saying: “Our hospitals cannot keep up with Utah’s infection rate.”
Yet Trump Jr. cited a chart posted on his Instagram page that showed coronavirus deaths at “almost nothing.” His chart used Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, but deliberately misinterpreted it.
The CDC said in multiple places that all data after the week ending Sept. 26 was incomplete as the agency relies on formal death certificates and other factors that take more time to compile. However, Trump Jr. claimed the missing data was a sign of “almost nothing” in terms of deaths.
Even with those delays in mind, the incomplete CDC charts showed roughly 10,000 deaths due to COVID-19 for October so far. Data from the COVID Tracking Project, which uses more immediate sources, found roughly 20,000 deaths this month, including more than 1,000 on Thursday when Trump Jr. made his declaration that deaths were “almost nothing.”
Twitter users instantly called him out for the lie:
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.