Utah officials accuse president of spreading coronavirus ‘misinformation’

Mar 6, 2020, 11:18 AM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:03 am
coronavirus misinformation...
President Donald Trump with Vice President Mike Pence, speaks during a coronavirus briefing with Airline CEOs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A state coronavirus-response team in Utah is calling comments from President Donald Trump ‘misinformation’ and warning people to stay home from work if they show symptoms that match the virus.

In a tweet posted Thursday and later removed, the task force led by Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox posted an audio clip from Mr. Trump’s wide-ranging interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity when he said many cases of coronavirus are mild and that some people still go to work.

The interview that started it all

Hannity asked President Trump about a travel ban he enacted in response to the widespread coronavirus. President Trump also initiated quarantines for Americans who came back from foreign countries where there were known cases of the virus.

“You’re saying people recommended you not do this?” Hannity asked President Trump. “Why did you go with this so quickly, what was your rationale at the time?”

President Trump said the increasing numbers in China were worrisome, and he thought there was great success with stopping those from coming into the country.

He went on to say the virus mainly affected older people and those who “are not well.” President Trump said only a small number of people in the country have been affected, and his administration will work to keep it that way.

Hannity then asked what President Trump would say to those who are worried about the virus.

“A lot of people will have this and it’s very mild,” he said. “They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor, you never hear about those people. You can’t put [those people] down in the category of the overall population in terms of the […] virus.”

Questioning the numbers

President Trump said many get the virus and get better relatively quickly because it’s “not that severe.”

“We have thousands or hundreds of thousand that get better just by sitting around and going to work,” President Trump. “Some of them go to work, but they get better.”

Hannity pointed to a recent report that showed the global death rate at 3.4%, which could get worse and may be declared a pandemic.

“It seems like 3 or 4 % which is a very high number as opposed to a fraction of 1%,” President Trump said. “They don’t know about the easy cases because the easy cases don’t go to the hospital they don’t report to the doctors or hospitals in those cases. I would say the numbers are way under 1%.”

Accusations of coronavirus misinformation

A spokeswoman for Cox said he was not involved in the tweet. The tweet has since been deleted, with the page specifying it wants to avoid “politicization of the issue.”

The Twitter account commended the White House for working with the Task Force on the issue, noting it is doing everything possible to protect the health of Utahns.

Many businesses struggle with stopping the spread of coronavirus misinformation. In recent days, Facebook and Amazon both announced measures aimed at combatting false information about COVID-19.

Cox is a candidate in the race to replace outgoing Gov. Gary Herbert.

The president responds

President Trump quickly took to Twitter to defend against the statements, saying it’s “Fake News and misinformation” to “do harm to the incredible & successful effort being made!”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Lindsay Aerts

Will lawmakers fund free UTA fare beyond one week?

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Transit Authority has approved free fares on all public transit for one week starting Feb. 12 during the time the NBA all-star game is in town. But will lawmakers fund it further? Gov. Spencer Cox has asked for a year of free transit in his budget. But the chair of […]
14 hours ago
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, Groundhog Club co-handler Al Dereume holds Punxsutawney Ph...
CNN Meteorologist Monica Garrett

Punxsutawney Phil left his burrow for his annual prediction. Here’s how much longer winter will last according to the legend

Punxsutawney Phil -- the legendary groundhog weather watcher -- woke up and saw his shadow Thursday morning, calling for six more weeks of winter.
14 hours ago
Thousands of fraudulent nursing diplomas  were dispersed in Florida. (Canva)...
Associated Press via Miami Herald

Fake nursing diploma scheme in Florida; 25 arrested

The defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.
14 hours ago
A bill making its way through the Utah legislative session this year wants to promote Utah's extrem...
Allessandra Harris

SB 151 would exempt certain businesses from farmer’s market regulations

Under S.B.151, minor producers would not be required to tell consumers their food is not officially licensed by the state.
14 hours ago
Sen. Nate Blouin, D-Salt Lake, left, and Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake, speak at a press conferenc...
Lindsay Aerts

Bill to set target water level for the Great Salt Lake dries up

The bill proposed by Sen. Nate Blouin, would set a target elevation goal at 4.198 feet. However, the bill died in committee.
14 hours ago
Police are looking for a shooting suspect, after a man was found with a critical gunshot wound in S...
Kate Davis and Simone Seikaly

One man dead, suspect on the run after Glendale shooting

Glendale police said the shooting happened Wednesday night near 1665 South Riverside Drive, not far from the Jordan River.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Utah officials accuse president of spreading coronavirus ‘misinformation’