Fact-checking President Trump’s comments during visit to Morrisville biotech company

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – CBS 17, as part of its Political Pledge, works to fact check the words of candidates on the ballot. That includes President Donald Trump, who was in the Triangle on Monday.

Trump toured a Research Triangle Park biotech company that is working on a COVID-19 vaccine component. Here are excerpts from the comments he delivered Monday. Trump’s words are in bold and fact-check notes are below.

“We are also directing a colossal industrial mobilization to ensure (the vaccine’s) rapid delivery. Nothing’s happened like this since the end of World War II.”

Operation Warp Speed is fast-tracking the process of finding a viable vaccine. Usually, human trials take six to eight years. In this case, it could be 12 months to potentially see mass distribution like with the polio vaccine in the 1950s.

“Due to the medical advances we have already achieved and our increased knowledge of how to treat the virus, the mortality rate for patients over the age of 18 is 85% lower than April.”

CBS 17 could not find the source of that percentage nor verify it. According to Johns Hopkins, the current mortality rate is 3.4% when averaged across the U.S. To put that in perspective, the U.S. the fourth-worst rate of deaths per 100,000 people in the world.

“The United States has conducted over 52 million tests. That’s more than all of Europe put together times two.”

That is true. The U.S. has indeed conducted around 52 million tests. However, when you take into account tests per capita, America typically ranks around 14th in the world.

“Over the weekend, cases for in Florida, Texas, (and) Arizona held steady. Now they’ll (be) heading down in Arizona. They’re heading very substantially down.”

Tuesday Florida reached its highest single-day death count while positive cases also jumped. This as Texas becomes the fourth state with 400,000 cases. However, Arizona does show a decline.

“We’ve completely rebuilt our stockpile, which the previous administration depleted and did not refill. The cupboards were bare, I said often”

According to the Poynter Institute, there was a depletion of N95 masks after the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. When President Barack Obama asked for a budget increase, Congress not only denied it, but they decreased it. Even so, the former director of the stockpile has said the supply of PPE was extensive prior to COVID-19.

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