Trump Claims 100M Could Have Died Without Operation Warp Speed, Says Kids Need to Go Back to School

Former President Donald Trump made a series of dramatic and baffling claims on Dan Bongino's Fox News show, including that nearly one-third of the United States could have died from coronavirus by now without Operation Warp Speed.

Trump's interview with host Bongino, which aired on Saturday, addressed the recent Delta variant spike in COVID-19 cases and allowed him to take numerous undercutting shots at current President Joe Biden's leadership.

The former president sought to balance out his desire for people to have the "freedom of choice" not to receive a vaccination while also asking Bongino to "imagine" if he were president during the outbreak of a pandemic—a perplexing remark that immediately drew social media mockery.

Trump offered begrudging support for vaccines, touting himself for their existence due to Operation Warp Speed: "I think I have to be a big vaccine fan because I'm the one who got it done so quickly."

"I think if we didn't come up during the Trump administration with the vaccine, you could have 100 million people dead just like you had in 1917 [pandemic]," Trump added.

But Trump also reiterated his longtime belief, backed by most Republican lawmakers, that schools should return to in-person learning and not force students and teachers to wear masks. He also chastised what Bongino described as a recent "explosion" in COVID-19 cases alongside the "reemergence of mandates" under Democratic Party leadership.

"Children have to go back to school," Trump said. "You know, it's turned out computers are wonderful and all of that. But one thing we've learned through college and school, undergraduate, everything, is that being in the school is much better than looking at a computer screen."

"The schools have to open. These young people are losing a big part of their life and they're not going to recover from it," Trump continued. "The schools have to open. What they're going through socially, I mean, they are not dealing with people. I don't think they ever—it's going to leave a scar on their lives. It's going to leave a psychological scar."

"The kids have to get back to school," Trump reiterated. "Our children need to be educated."

In regards to many conservative lawmakers across the U.S. expressing their ardent opposition to mask or vaccine mandates, Trump appeared to agree.

"I really believe in somebody's choice, somebody's freedom," he said. "I'm a big fan of our freedoms and people have to make that choice for themselves."

Trump then went on to offer the perplexing "hypothetical" of what would happen if he were in the White House when a public health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic were to break out—something that did occur in reality last year.

"First of all, could you imagine if I were president right now and we had this massive attack from the coronavirus, you know, now they like to call it, they have new names and they have other new names, but it's exactly what we had, we had the same thing. If that were me, they would say 'what a horrible thing, what a horrible job.' These are numbers in some cases that are equivalent to what it was, but we don't hear that," Trump continued.

Newsweek reached out on Sunday morning to representatives for the former president for any additional remarks about school re-openings and Operation Warp Speed.

Donald Trump taking off mask
Former President Donald Trump made a series of dramatic and baffling claims on Dan Bongino's Fox News show Saturday night, including that nearly one-third of the United States might have died from coronavirus by now without Operation Warp Speed. In this photo, Trump takes off his mask before speaking to the press after casting his ballot at the Palm Beach County Public Library, during early voting for the November 3 election, in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 24. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty