Shelby Talcott at the Daily Caller has caught CNN in a bit of a sticky wicket.
On Tuesday, CNN.com posted an article by Arman Azad with the good news that the death rate from coronavirus isn't as awful as assumed, according to a esteemed British medical journal:
How many people die after being infected with the novel coronavirus? Fewer than previously calculated, according to a study released Monday, but still more than die from the flu.
The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die.
That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed -- but it's still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu.
When undetected infections aren't taken into account, the Lancet study found that the coronavirus death rate was 1.38%, which is more consistent with earlier reports.
But wait -- CNN isn't being consistent with its own earlier reports! CNN's Brian Stelter wrote a story about the president making "spurious claims" the morning after a phone interview with Sean Hannity on March 4. Trump said he had a "hunch," which made it easier to mock, but notice how he's sounding like this Lancet report:
Trump is misinforming
I hesitate to even print the United States president's words here, because they're so at odds with what health experts are saying. But the president's statements to Sean Hannity are significant because millions of people were watching live.
In a phoner with Hannity on Wednesday night, Trump reacted to the World Health Organization's data-driven assessment of the global death rate for the novel coronavirus — 3.4% — by saying "I think the 3.4% is really a false number."
"Now, this is just my hunch," Trump said, which should have spurred Hannity to interrupt, but he didn't, so Trump continued, "based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it's very mild -- 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, so you can't put them down in the category of the overall population, in terms of this corona flu, and/or virus. So you just can't do that."
Talcott added other CNN "experts" echoing Stelter.
“Trump has misled before. He has not until now done so during a health crisis,” CNN’s Jim Sciutto tweeted.
Trump’s comments were also criticized in a round-up by CNN’s Chris Cillizza listing “the 27 most downright odd lines” from Trump’s interview with Hannity.
“No big deal — just the President of the United States contradicting the medical community on the mortality rate of coronavirus. What’s he basing his conclusions on? Oh, a ‘hunch,'” Cillizza wrote.
On his show Reliable Sources after the Hannity interview, Stelter lectured: "The president should lead or else he should get out of the way. By all means, sir, please don’t go out of your way to make a bad situation worse. Lead or get out of the way. Don’t be an obstacle. Maybe just stay on the golf course."