“So get this straight — based on the recommendation of doctors Fauci and Birx the US shut down the entire economy based on 9,000 American deaths to the China coronavirus,” said the summary of a story by the hard-line conservative website Gateway Pundit that was retweeted by the president, assailing his own health advisers, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. Deborah L. Birx.
In fact, experts say, the official estimate of deaths may actually undercount mortality attributable to Covid-19. The more accurate figure may well exceed 200,000, according to an analysis by The Times earlier this month.
There were at least 871 new coronavirus deaths and 44,639 new cases reported in the United States on Aug. 29, according to a database maintained by the The Times. Over the past week, there have been an average of 41,924 cases per day, a decrease of 4 percent from the average two weeks earlier. Worldwide, the caseload has passed 25 million.
In an apparent contradiction, Mr. Trump also retweeted a message calling for New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, to be imprisoned because of the high death toll from the virus in nursing homes in the state. “#KillerCuomo should be in jail,” said the message by the actor James Woods, a strong supporter of the president.
Mr. Cuomo responded on his own Twitter feed a few hours later, pointing to the Trump administration’s failure to contain the pandemic. “The White House has learned nothing from COVID,” Mr. Cuomo wrote. “National threats require national leadership. It’s been 6 months without a national strategy on testing or mask mandate. Only the federal government has the power to go to war with COVID. They are failing and the nation suffers.”
Mr. Trump’s tweets were part of more than 80 presidential tweets and retweets, many of them inflammatory comments or assertions about violent clashes in Portland, Ore., where a man wearing the hat of a far-right, pro-Trump group was shot and killed Saturday after a large group of Mr. Trump’s supporters gathered in the streets.