Trump Brag-Tweets that COVID-19 “Numbers” Are Declining. The Numbers Don’t Say That.

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President Donald Trump spent Sunday much the same way he did his Saturday—tweeting conspiracy theories about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and the threat of mail-in voting. But, strikingly, as the U.S. approaches 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, Trump also issued a blithe announcement that all-things “pandemic” are improving, without bothering to back it up, of course.

In many ways, this tweet is no different than Trump’s other random proclamations of progress, which he has issued from the very start of the pandemic. But the brag seems particularly tone deaf: experts are warning that even as former COVID-19 hotspots like New York City appear to be making progress, there are signs of new outbreaks in rural areas scattered around the country

According to data compiled by the Washington Post, while some moderation of new cases is being reported, numbers have remained fairly flat for the past two weeks, with the seven-day average number of new cases remaining well over 20,000. Yesterday, for instance, there were 22,520 new cases, which is lower than the previous two days, but more than other days in the last two weeks. And according to the Post’s numbers, there were 1,071 new COVID deaths yesterday, which is less than the previous days, but slightly more than the previous Saturday.

Experts also say those numbers are only telling part of the story. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner who served under Trump and now works with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday morning and said that the threat from virus has not abated. “We expected cases to go up and hospitalizations to bump up as we reopened, but we need to understand this isn’t contained, and it’s continuing to spread,” Gottlieb said.

Later, he tweeted data showing that after two weeks of moderate decline in numbers, in the past week has revealed a slight uptick.

Gottlieb was making the case for reopening the country, but safely, to mitigate the risks of new outbreaks.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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