Ret. Gen. Jack Keane told Breitbart News that President Donald Trump “is on the mark” in addressing the coronavirus outbreak, contrasting the severity of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009 and 2010 with the current viral spread.
“I think the president is on the mark in dealing with this crisis,” estimated Keane. “I do think it’s unfortunate that people poke at him a politically, and the fact he’s a Republican shouldn’t be relevant at this point. The nation is facing a crisis. We’ve got a leader in charge of it. Let’s get there and support him whether he’s a Republican or Democrat. That’s the way I think we should be approaching the problem.”
Keane contrasted the 2009-2010 response to H1N1 swine flu with that of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
“We’ve kind of been here before,” stated Keane. “When we had the H1N1 swine flu in 2009 and ’10, that was a pandemic. Sixty-one million people were infected in the United States — we have thousands infected now [with coronavirus] — and 12,000-plus died of it in that two-year time frame. We didn’t go to battle stations as we seem to be going now and stopping everything from taking place.”
Keane continued, “I do think there is something of an overreaction, myself, when I look at it. I don’t think there’s enough emphasis on how many people are actually recovering from this. Some people are talking about the fact that they weren’t even seriously sick, but they had the COVID-19 virus, and they wouldn’t have known that they had it if they had not been tested. They were surprised by it. Now, that’s not all the cases, but it is some of the cases. In fact, in many of the cases the recovery rate is very favorable.”
“In the worst case, the CDC saying this is a two percent fatality rate,” Keane remarked. “That’s 98 percent survivability, and they think the denominator isn’t quite right yet because there are more people who have it than what they know, and they think that denominator will change, and it may fall into a category that’s much closer to what the flu is, which is 99.9 percent survivability rate.”
The U.S. has already seen 22,000 deaths from the flu during this past flu season. According to the CDC, as of March 7, “So far this season there have been at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths from flu.”
Keane advised, “I think we should put more emphasis on … the people who are recovering [from coronavirus] and talk to them. Put them on television, and let them tell their fellow Americans what their experience was like. I heard one on television today, and she didn’t have much of anything. She had a cough, and she’s now fully out riding her mountain bike, and she’s exercising. She’s in her sixties. She was in good shape before she got it, and she’s fit as can be now and enjoying life. More things like that, I think, would help contain people’s concern about this.”
Keane concluded, “We’re America. We can deal with this. We’ve got the resources. We’ve got the best healthcare system in the world. We’re, generally speaking, a very healthy people to begin with. We’re gonna be okay.”
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