Trump's Press Secretary Falsely Claims U.S. Has 'Lowest' Coronavirus Mortality Rate

President Donald Trump's press secretary Kayleigh McEnany inaccurately claimed during a Monday interview with Fox News that the U.S. has the "lowest mortality rate" from the new coronavirus pandemic.

"We as an American society have stepped up. We have the lowest mortality rate, one of the lowest in the entire world," McEnany told Fox News show America's Newsroom. "And that's because of American innovation," she said.

But the U.S. currently ranks ninth highest in the world for its death toll per 100,000 residents, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen about 40 deaths per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, San Marino has seen the highest death toll, with about 124 deaths per 100,000. Johns Hopkins data was last updated on Monday morning.

Additionally, when it comes to just looking at confirmed cases of the virus and deaths, the U.S. has a mortality rate of 4.5 percent. Although that means the U.S. ranks better than 37 countries, it is still among the top quarter of countries with the highest fatality rate from confirmed infections.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment on McEnany's remarks, but it did not respond by the time of publication.

When looking just at the 20 countries that are currently the most affected by the pandemic, the U.S. ranks even worse. In terms of the fatality rate from confirmed cases, the U.S. ranks as the sixth highest out of the 20 countries. When it comes to deaths per 100,000 people, the U.S. ranks second only to the United Kingdom.

During the Fox News interview, McEnany also doubled down on Trump's inaccurate claim that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are nothing to worry about. "But now we have tested over 40 million people. But by so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless," the president said on Saturday.

The death rate from the coronavirus in the U.S. currently stands at 4.5 percent. Although the death rate has declined somewhat as testing has been expanded, due to more mild and asymptomatic cases being confirmed, it is still more than four times higher than Trump was suggesting.

Additionally, hospitalizations have increased in recent weeks. Even if individuals survive their infection, many are hospitalized for days or weeks. The World Health Organization has said that about 20 percent of those infected require hospitalization or oxygen.

Donald Trump and Kayleigh McEnany
President Donald Trump looks on as White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on May 14. The U.S. currently ranks ninth highest in the world for its death toll per 100,000 residents, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Drew Angerer/Getty

But McEnany insisted to Fox News that Trump was making a "factual point" during his independence day remarks. "The president was making a factual point that most people will recover from coronavirus who get it," she said.

As of Monday afternoon, the U.S. continues to have the highest number of new coronavirus infections and deaths of any country in the world. The U.S. has confirmed more than 2.9 million infections and nearly 130,000 deaths, according to a tracker by The New York Times.

As countries across Europe and around the world have successfully reduced the number of new infections over the past couple of months, the U.S. hit new records last week. On Friday, the U.S. reported its new highest single-day increase, with more than 56,000 new infections.

Trump's Press Secretary Falsely Claims U.S. Has 'Lowest' Coronavirus Mortality Rate | U.S.