Breaking News
More () »

President Trump downplays COVID-19, saying it 'affects virtually nobody' as US death toll hits 200,000

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed that COVID-19 can be serious in young people with underlying conditions.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Editor's note: The video above is from Sept. 16.

While speaking to a crowd of supporters in Ohio on Monday, President Donald Trump told the crowd that the coronavirus pandemic “affects virtually nobody,” and said it doesn't pose much of a threat to young people. 

The president's comments came just one day before the U.S. hit 200,000 deaths in the wake of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed that COVID-19 can be a threat to young people. 

“It can be serious in young people,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday in an interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He acknowledged that quantitatively it's much less serious as a group of young people, but is still serious for younger people with underlying conditions. 

"There are plenty of younger people who have underlying conditions that put them at risk," Fauci explained. 

The president also told the crowd, “It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems, if they have other problems, that’s what it really affects, in some states thousands of people, nobody young, below the age of 18, like nobody, they have a strong immune system, who knows?” Trump said

According to the CDC, Americans that are 17-years-old and young make up about 8.4% of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, and about 107 Americans between the ages of 0-18 have died from coronavirus. 

The CDC also reported that weekly hospitalizations for children has steadily increased for COVID-19 infections in children under the age of 18.

Experts believe that there are many more asymptomatic infections among the youth population in the U.S. then the data shows, and with the return to school, fears are mounting those numbers may rise. 

A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association showed that, in the U.S., over 513,000 children have contracted the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. 

During an interview with journalist Bob Woodward of the Washington Post back in March, Trump told him regarding the pandemic, “Now, it’s turning out, it’s not just old people, Bob. Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just older,” the president said in a recorded interview. “It’s plenty of young people,” Trump told Woodward.  

RELATED: CDC removes update about coronavirus airborne transmission

RELATED: Scientists say they've discovered promising potential therapeutic that neutralizes coronavirus

Before You Leave, Check This Out