More than 3,600 Americans died of COVID-19 during the Republican National Convention

COVID-19 statistics
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/MSNBC)

Visually, rhetorically, and thematically, this week's Republican National Convention treated the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as an economic and health problem President Trump had conquered through strong leadership.

There were very few masks in any of the live audiences, including among the 1,500 guests invited to watch Trump's speech. The White House said "those in close proximity to Trump will be tested," CNN's Jim Acosta reported. "But many will not be tested." And a senior White House official, when asked about the lack of masks and social distancing, told Acosta, "Everybody is going to catch this thing eventually."

Lots of Americans, of course, have already caught the coronavirus, and one statistic illustrated for many the ongoing toll of COVID-19. "As of tonight, coronavirus has infected nearly six million Americans, with more than 180,000 souls lost," MSNBC's Brian Williams noted Thursday night. "It's worth repeating, more Americans have died from COVID-19 during the four days of this Republican convention than the number of Americans killed on 9/11."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

CNN's Jake Tapper made the same point, with numbers to back it up.

See more

The death toll from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was 2,977. It may seem finicky to use that number as the metric to highlight this week's COVID-19 deaths, but 9/11 was the Republican Party's emotional and foreign policy lodestar for most of this century. Joe Biden, when he was running for the Democratic nomination in 2007, memorably said of Rudy Giuliani, then seeking the GOP nomination: "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, and a verb, and 9/11." Giuliani, now Trump's personal lawyer, was a featured speaker at Thursday's RNC.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us