Speaking to Sharyl Atkisson, President Trump blasted Columbia University in NY as “a liberal, disgraceful institution.” after their report concluding lives could have been saved if social distancing measures were instituted earlier.
“And I saw that report,” Trump added “It’s a disgrace that Columbia University would do it, playing right to their little group of people that tell them what to do.”
"Columbia is a liberal, disgraceful institution" — Trump to Sharyl Attkisson on Columbia University study that found 30,000 lives could've been saved had his federal government recommended social distancing measures just one week earlier pic.twitter.com/uYvqrpMEmC
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 24, 2020
Per TheHill, the study focused on transmission in metropolitan areas and concluded that social distancing efforts reduced the rates of COVID-19 contraction. The research was conducted with counterfactual experiments, which researchers acknowledged are based on hypothetical assumptions.
The study also found about 54,000 deaths associated with COVID-19 could have been avoided in early May if restrictions began on March 1.
Trump has repeatedly defended his administration’s response to the pandemic, including pointing to his decision in late January to restrict travel from China, while critics have said administration officials downplayed the threat and reacted too slowly.