Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning, fill-in host Dana Bash put FDA head Dr. Stephen Hahn on the hot seat as she confronted him with Donald Trump's claim on Saturday night that 99 percent of the COVID-19 cases are harmless, telling the administration official that it was a provable lie.
The CNN host cut right to the chase in her interview, asking about Tump's dismissive assertion that there is nothing for people to fear about getting the coronavirus.
Referring to the president's claim, Bash asked, "99 percent of coronavirus cases are, quote, 'completely harmless.' No health expert that we have found can back that up, can you?"
"So, we know that cases are surging in the country, we've all seen the graphs associated with that. It's too early and I'm not going to speculate on what the causation is there," Hahn replied before moving on to telling Americans to follow CDC guidelines of health safety.
"Dr. Hahn, I think it's important to stick to the question about the 99 percent that the president threw out there. I can tell you it's not true, and that's obviously not my opinion. It is fact-based on CDC estimates. Only a third of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. the WHO, World Health Organization says 20 percent of people who die of coronavirus need oxygen or hospital care," the CNN host lectured. "This is really important, probably one of the most important misclaims or, frankly, lies the president has put out there. It really affects people's health if they hear the president saying 99 percent of people are fine. They're going to change their behavior, potentially get sick and infect other people. how does that make you feel as a member of his own task force?"
"I totally support the CDC and the information that they're putting out with respect to this pandemic," the doctor demurred. "I think it's, again, really important. the guidelines that we've emphasized, the data that we have -- again, it's a rapidly evolving situation and we're going to have more data."
"Dr. Hahn, I realize this is not easy for you. You are working really hard to protect Americans. I have to ask you flatly to that end, to protect Americans, is the president wrong?" Bash pressed.
"So, I'm not going to get into who is right and who is wrong," Hahn replied. "What I've going to say, Dana, is what I've said before. It's a serious problem that we have, we've seen the surge in cases, we must do something to stem the tied tide, and we have this in our power to do this by following the guidance from the task force and the CDC."