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Florida cardiologist believes President Trump is downplaying COVID-19 virus

Dr. Bernard Ashby said new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show the coronavirus is even more deadly to older people than originally believed.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A cardiologist and head of the Committee to Protect Medicare believes President Donald Trump is downplaying the coronavirus pandemic after the president's own COVID-19 diagnosis.

“It's irresponsible, and that is another example of what we call misinformation," Dr. Bernard Ashby said. 

That's Ashby's reaction to a tweet from Trump telling people, in part, "...don't be afraid of COVID."

“We know the virus is mainly spread from human to human through air droplets, and now the CDC recently updated their guidelines to include airborne transmission," Ashby said. 

Ashby said new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show the coronavirus is even more deadly to older people than originally believed and wearing a mask is crucial to prevent the spread. He added statistics show the traditional mortality rate for the season flu is around 0.2 percent, making coronavirus more deadly. 

“The most recent CDC statistics indicate that patients like Trump who are 70 or older have a 5.4 percent mortality rate, so that’s a greater magnitude with COVID-19," Ashby said.

Ashby believes continued coronavirus aid is crucial to help catch and treat the virus early. 

“When Donald Trump got sick, he got diagnosed quickly because he had access to rapid testing," Ashby said. "He got treated quickly because he had access to very high-quality care, and he got treated aggressively due to the fact that he had a quality health care team."

You can read more about COVID-19 cases and deaths at the CDC COVID Data Tracker