Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is weighing in on the United States’ response to the coronavirus outbreak as he is insisting Americans can return to work sooner rather than later with proper social distancing practices.
During an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday, Mulvaney noted the recent update to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance where the agency noted how the virus can’t be spread easily on surfaces.
According to Mulvaney, the United States may have “overreacted a little bit” with restrictions and shutting down the country.
“The fact that it’s difficult to get this disease from touching stuff… should sort of reset how we look at this,” Mulvaney said. “What it means is that if we are careful about social distancing and putting on masks and so forth, we should be able to go back to work sooner rather than later.”
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director for the Trump administration went on to discuss the coronavirus and the seasonal flu. He noted the 2017 to 2018 flu season, when approximately 80,000 people died. The coronavirus has killed roughly 100,000 Americans in about three months.
“I think we’ve sort of lost perspective on this,” Mulvaney said, adding, “We’ve overreacted a little bit.”
Mulvaney continued, “Not to say that COVID is the ordinary flu, that’s not my point. But my point is that almost 100,000 people died just a few years ago from the flu and the country didn’t shut down.”
“It’s time to sort of deal with this in the proper perspective, and that’s to allow us to get back to work safely.”
See Mulvaney’s remarks below:
"I would be completely comfortable sitting in a center seat of an airplane–if I knew I had a mask on that worked, and I knew the people sitting next to me had on a mask that worked," says Former OMB Director Mick Mulvaney. pic.twitter.com/XC7Ok8L2sC— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) May 26, 2020
Despite Mulvaney’s arguments, Dr. Anthony Fauci previously explained how the coronavirus is distinctly different from the seasonal flu. The top infections disease expert explained that the coronavirus is 10 times deadlier than the seasonal flu.
“The flu has a mortality rate of 0.1 percent,” Fauci noted during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. “This has a mortality rate of 10 times that. That’s the reason I want to emphasize we have to stay ahead of the game in preventing this.”
The United States currently has more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and a death toll of just over 100,000, as of Thursday morning.
Most of the current numbers accumulated occurred during a time of strict mitigation.