Mnuchin belittles fears: 'Not everybody who has sniffles' has coronavirus

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The Trump administration has repeatedly minimized national concerns about the growing COVID-19 epidemic.

From the March 13 edition of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street":

STEVE MNUCHIN, U.S. Treasury Secretary: I want to give you another interesting statistic: In South Korea, they tested 200,000 people with symptoms and 96% of them didn't have coronavirus. So, there will be people who get this but again, I just emphasize, for healthy Americans and for young people they may not even know they have this.

 

Not everybody who has sniffles will have the coronavirus.

 

I'm not traveling this weekend because I'm way too busy, but I'd get on a commercial airline and fly to L.A. if I wasn't working 24 hours a day.

 

DAVID FABER, CNBC: You know, in some ways Mr. Secretary, it's David Faber, I'm surprised to hear you say that though. There are not enough test kits still available apparently for us to actually share in what seems to be your optimism about the lack of actual infection.

 

When are we going to get to the point — and when we do with all those test kits out there — get to the point that we certainly realize there are more people who do have the virus, are you not concerned that that's going to stoke more panic?

 

MNUCHIN: Well people should understand the numbers are going to go up before they go down, I think as you have said. We have heard about the test kit issues, we talked about that, again yesterday at the task force. I can assure you the vice president and the entire team are focused on this and making sure that people have test kits.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.