More people have died from the novel coronavirus than those who died in the past five flu seasons combined, sharply contrasting President Trump’s claim that the virus is less dangerous.

About 178,000 people in the U.S. died of the flu from 2015 until 2020, CNN reported Tuesday, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Tuesday, more than 210,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The president, who returned to the White House Monday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he was admitted Friday with his own positive coronavirus diagnosis, tweeted Tuesday that the virus is “in most populations far less lethal” than the flu.

Meanwhile, at least 13 people within or who have had contact with Trump’s family and inner circle have recently tested positive for COVID-19, the potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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