Ron Johnson: Getting The Coronavirus Is Not A Death Sentence, Except For Those Who Die
March 18, 2020

Perhaps the dumbest man in the U.S. Senate really outdid himself with some comments he made today to his hometown newspaper. As others were quick to point out, 3.4% of the population is 11 million dead Americans.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin raised some eyebrows last week when he was quoted in The New York Times suggesting the media was devoting too little attention to the high rate of survival among people with coronavirus.

“Right now, all people are hearing about are the deaths. I’m sure the deaths are horrific, but the flip side of this is the vast majority of people who get coronavirus do survive,” said Johnson, chairman of the Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Johnson did not shy away from that kind of calculus in an interview with me Tuesday.

“I’m not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it’s obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population,” he said.

“But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this. But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu,” Johnson said.

Johnson acknowledged that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less,” he said.

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