New US cases of COVID-19 reached record levels over the weekend, but this did little to deter the White House from including “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” in a list of the Trump presidency’s scientific accomplishments.
The extraordinary claim was made in a press release circulated by the White House Office of Science and Technology released on Tuesday.
The press release was sent on the day that over 73,000 new coronavirus cases were reported, along with 985 deaths related to the virus.
Just a few days prior, on Saturday, the US saw the highest number of new cases ever recorded.
The claim is however not present in the full version of the 62-page report.
Requests for comment to the White House to ask on what basis the claim of ending the pandemic was made went unanswered.
Business Insider called the claim “a new, extreme example in a series of inaccurate statements about the pandemic from the Trump administration”.
The assertion conforms to the messaging used by the controversial US president on the campaign trail as he seeks re-election. He has repeatedly insisted that the US is “rounding the turn” of the virus, despite the consistently high numbers.
Trump, who had contracted the novel coronavirus earlier this month, is trying to downplay the seriousness of the virus in a bid to counter the overwhelmingly negative perception of his administration’s handling of the pandemic.
He had privately told journalist Bob Woodward that he had long been aware of how dangerous COVID-19 is, but seeks to minimise this in public.
Reporting by Business Insider