Republican Senator Claims Virus That's Killed Over 155,000 'Not That Much Worse' Than The Flu

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claimed in an interview with a far-right podcast on Monday that COVID-19 is "not that much worse" than the flu.

Over 155,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 so far, and there have been more than 4.6 million cases reported in the United States.

Even for those who survive COVID-19, scientists have found it may cause lingering damage to the body, including heart damage, foggy thinking, loss of smell, fatigue, and achy joints as well as damage to the kidneys, lungs, and brain, according to Science Magazine.

Johnson's inaccurate statement echoes Donald Trump's claim in March that the virus was on par with, and possibly less deadly, than the flu. Thousands have died since then.

From the August 3 edition of "War Room: Pandemic," the podcast started by former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon:

RAHEEM KASSAM, co-host: Do you agree with the general thesis that this is effectively the president running against the pandemic here? And this is the enemy that they're setting up for him to face? It's not Joe Biden, it's the coronavirus, the CCCP virus?

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Well, they realize that the best way to defeat Joe Biden is to reduce the fear on COVID. If people really looked at this disease, and it is worse than the flu, but its not that much worse, it shouldn't be leading to these generalized shutdowns.

If people realize it, we can really go about our lives in relative safety. That really takes an awful lot of the wind out of Joe Biden and the Democrats' sails.

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