US President Donald Trump (L) and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn (File photo)
President Donald Trumpís claim that almost all coronavirus cases in the United States are "totally harmless" has been undermined by Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn.
Speaking on Saturday during a speech celebrating US Independence Day, Trump said, "Now we have tested almost 40 million people. ... By so doing, we show cases 99 percent of which are totally harmless."
His remarks came in spite of data showing the virus is still a "serious problem" in the country as the number of reported cases is rising markedly in 39 US states.
Hahn, who was speaking on CNN Sunday, said that "we know that cases are surging in the country."
When asked to respond to Trumpís latest claim, he said, "Weíve all seen the graphs associated with that, and itís just too early, and Iím not going to speculate on what the causation is there."
He then said, "Iím not going to get into whoís right and whoís wrong," but noted, "Itís a serious problem that we have."
Asked how many cases were harmless, he said, "Any case, we donít want to have in this country," calling the disease, "a very rapidly moving epidemic."
"And any death, any case is tragic. And we want to do everything we can to prevent that," he added.
Health experts are worried that holiday parties will cause a further spike in cases that could overwhelm hospitals.
Fifteen states have reported record increases in new cases in the first four days of July alone.
The virus has affected nearly 3 million Americans and killed more than 132,000 so far.
Florida reported a rise of more than 10,000 for three out of the last four days, including climbing by 10,059 on Sunday.
In Arizona, California and Texas, cases are also soaring too. Also, in Midwest states, such as Iowa, Ohio and Michigan, where once infections were declining, the number is rising.