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Doctors refute Trump’s claim that COVID-19 is less lethal than the flu

CDC estimates influenza has resulted in between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

President Donald Trump waves from the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump waves from the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is a lot of misinformation surrounding COVID-19, but the medical community says one fact remains — the virus is not going away anytime soon.

“We are still seeing a number of COVID cases,” said Dr. David Caro, who specializes in Emergency Medicine at UF Health Jacksonville.

Dr. Caro says while the number of hospitalizations is down compared to the end of summer, people should not let their guards down.

“It’s hard to predict who’s going to do well and who’s not all we know some people are at higher risk for having problems,” he said.

With flu season fast approaching Dr. Caro warns people not only have to take precautions against COVID-19 but also the flu.

But which virus is more deadly?

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

Facebook took the post down and Twitter labeled the tweet “misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”

Dr. Jonathan Kantor with Ascension St. Vincent agrees.

“The flu is definitely not more lethal than COVID,” Kantor said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that influenza has resulted in between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010. More than 209,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19 complications since March, according to the CDC.

Dr. Caro and Dr. Kantor agree that COVID is more deadly, but that’s not to downplay the flu.

The biggest difference between the flu and COVID-19 is there is a vaccine for the flu that can reduce the severity of the virus and save lives.

As for COVID-19, if you end up in the hospital it is highly unlikely you will end up getting the same treatments Trump received during his recent visit to the hospital.

“Certainly being treated with steroids will be the standard of care but his other treatments like his regenerome cocktail is really not available outside of clinical trials it’s certainly not something you can walk into your local hospital and ask for yourself,” said Dr. Kantor.

However, people can avoid hospitalizations by taking the correct steps to prevent getting or spreading COVID-19 by washing your hands for 20 seconds, wearing a mask, and social distancing, health experts say.


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