As the toll of the global pandemic is tallied in the United States, President Donald Trump, his administration and his allies are all hands on deck in a PR effort to minimize the appearance of the severity of the viral disease.
But on Thursday, the USA hit a few milestones.
In the morning, the death toll topped 1,000. By the time of this writing, that number climbed to 1,182.
By Thursday afternoon, the United States gained the distinction of having more known case of the virus than any other country. With a tally of 81,321 people known to have been infected, that put the USA ahead of China, Italy or any other country.
The total known cases in the USA now stands at 82,523 as of the time of this writing.
But Trump's personal lawyer and frequent media spokesman, Rudy Giuliani, shared a quote from Trump fan and controversial figure, Candace Owens, that sought to downplay the significance of these milestones.
Who cares about 1,000 deaths—so far—in the United States from a single cause in a short period exacerbated by federal public health management failures?
A reporter for The New York Times decided to give Giuliani "Just a little perspective" too.
On September 11, 2001, 2,606 people from around the world died in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area while Giuliani was mayor of New York city. Approximately 2,300 of those killed were from the United States, with about 12% being foreign nationals.
The death toll from this current public health crisis will surely exceed that number if the pandemic is not taken seriously.
People wondered what the magic number was for a global pandemic with no vaccine or approved effective treatment.
Some pointed out other statistically small impacts that occupy an inordinate amount of the Trump administration's time and taxpayers' money.
Although some pointed out those who agree it is no big deal are free to expose themselves to the virus and roll the dice for themselves and their families.
State and local governments issued shelter in place and self-isolation orders, closing non-essential businesses which eventually led to calls for the same from the federal government. But the Trump administration as well as GOP allies began calling for an end to such public health measures by the end of March despite the recommendations of experts in epidemiology.
People in the United States may soon need to decide if they trust a reality show host turned President or the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and innumerable medical and public health experts to protect their lives and the lives of the people they love.
For the untold story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, check out Grand Illusion, available here.