U.S. President Donald Trump chatted with Fox & Friends for nearly an hour on Friday, covering topics ranging from the way he was raised to the Russian investigation. During the conversation, the president once again raised the projected coronavirus death toll in the United States, predicting that up to 110,000 people could die from the novel coronavirus.
Trump has repeatedly raised the death toll projection, as Mediaite reports. In late April, he claimed 50,000-60,000 people could die, a number that he called a success given how much worse the cost of the pandemic could have been.
Nine days later, he revised that number to 60,000-70,000. This week, he adjusted that number once again to be somewhere between 75,000-100,000.
While speaking with the hosts of Fox & Friends, he raised the prediction yet again.
“We’ll be at 100,000, 110. The lower level of what was projected if we did the shutdown,” he said.
The number comes after a forecast from Johns Hopkins, which predicted 25,000-35,000 more deaths, adding to the current death toll of just over 76,000 people.
“You’re talking about, I’d say, two Yankee Stadiums of people,” Trump said. “It’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable.”
Trump also weighed in on the number of people filing for unemployment. A recent report revealed that there were an estimated 20.5 million jobs lost in the month of April, raising U.S. unemployment to a number not seen since the Great Depression.
The president predicted that all of the jobs would return and the economy would bounce back next year.
“Those jobs will all be back, and they’ll be back very soon,” Trump said. “And next year, we’re going to have a phenomenal year. People are ready to go, and safely.”
Trump’s comments violate a federal rule, which prohibits employees in the executive branch from speaking about monthly unemployment numbers for at least an hour after they are released to the public, Business Insider reports.
Just last week, Trump said that the virus should have been stopped in China, but since it wasn’t, the U.S. could lose 75,000-100,000 people, as The Inquisitr reported at the time. He said that China didn’t attempt to address the outbreak aggressively enough initially.
Again, he said that the number should be considered a positive given that the virus could have caused millions of deaths if not for aggressive social isolation measures. Trump praised the American people for their willingness to adhere to self-isolation and other mitigation measures.
The federal government has predicted that anywhere between 100,000 to 240,000 lives will be lost to COVID-19, even with the mitigation efforts put in place by local and state governments.