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Trump claims 'fake news' is ignoring coronavirus mortality while repeating false number debunked by the media

President Trump has some unfounded complaints about the media fueled by some unfounded interpretations of what recent COVID-19 numbers mean.

In a Tuesday tweet, Trump shared a headline from the conservative news outlet The Washington Times that reported a "tenfold decrease" in death rates from COVID-19, and claimed the U.S. now has the "lowest mortality rate in the world." Trump then complained that "the fake news" wasn't reporting "these most important of facts," seemingly unaware that the number doesn't indicate coronavirus victory.

As it turns out, news outlets Trump has called "fake" were reporting on America's sinking mortality rate long before Trump tweeted his complaint. CNN fact-checked Trump's claim by noting data from Johns Hopkins puts the U.S.'s coronavirus mortality rate at 4.5 percent as of Monday morning, the sixth highest rate in the world.

While it's true that the mortality rate has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, The Washington Post explains why that's not necessarily an indication of success. Mortality rate is the percentage of those who've died compared to cases as a whole, meaning more positive tests, especially among young people, will only drive the death rate down. It also doesn't account for the fact that many people with COVID-19 face severe and debilitating illness even without dying.