Claims on social media have been spreading the falsehood that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention significantly lowered the COVID-19 death toll. There has been no such reduction. These claims confuse two different measures of the number of deaths.
Dismissing concerns that states are reopening too soon, President Donald Trump incorrectly said that a newly revised model projecting 134,000 COVID-19 deaths by August “assumes no mitigation.” In fact, the model assumes states will keep their existing social distancing measures in place, unless suspensions have already been announced.
Despite early warnings about how damaging COVID-19 could be for Americans, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended his late February statement that the U.S. had “contained” the virus, saying on May 3 that the novel coronavirus “spread exponentially in ways that virtually no one could have predicted.”
Social media posts falsely claim that the CARES Act was introduced Jan. 24, 2019 to perpetuate the falsehood that the COVID-19 pandemic was planned or known about in advance. The CARES Act was introduced March 25 as a substitute amendment, replacing the title and language of an older, unrelated bill.