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Kellyanne Conway seems to think there's been 19 strains of coronavirus because it's called COVID-19


Apr. 16 2020, Updated 11:03 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that the United States would stop funding the World Health Organization (WHO) as it investigates their response to coronavirus.

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"I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump said on Tuesday.

A White House press release said that the agency had "failed" Americans.

"The American people deserve better from the WHO, and no more funding will be provided until its mismanagement, cover-ups, and failures can be investigated," it read. 

And on Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, spoke to Fox News about the decision. 

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But one line, in particular, seems to suggest that Conway doesn't fully understand the coronavirus. Saying that the WHO should have done more to stop the spread of coronavirus, Conway remarked: "This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization, facts and figures, would be on top of that." 

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There are only seven strains of human coronavirus. Four of those strains are mild, and only give people common cold symptoms. Three are more severe, and those include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and the current Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The 19 in COVID-19 does not mean that there have been 19 strains of human coronavirus, as Conway seems to believe. It instead denotes the year that that virus was discovered - 2019. 

Rep. Bobby Rush broke down the full abbreviation in a reply to Conway's comments. "Do better," he concludes. 

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And Rep. Rush wasn't the only one to pick up on Conway's mistake. As Bobby Lewis explains: 

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Others took a more comical response to Conway's mistake. "When you think that Malcolm X was the successor to Malcolm IX," one user concluded.

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While another added: "Why should I watch the movie K-9 with Jim Belushi? I haven’t seen K-1 through 8! — Kellyanne Conway, probably." 

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Another joked: "This is POTUS-45, not POTUS-1 folks, and so you would think the people in charge of the 25th Amendment, facts and figures, would be on top of that."

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And another added: "We're going to totally nail COVID-20."

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The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.  


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