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COVID Update: Mixed Messaging, Claims Of A 'Cure' For COVID-19 Alarms Santa Clara Co. Health Officials

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- Recent news coming from the White House on the coronavirus, with President Trump now saying he has been cured of the illness, is leading to confusion as we head into the critical Fall and Winter months.

The conflicting messaging on the pandemic is concerning to health officials in Santa Clara County.

"I'm very concerned that there will be a spike in the case count and the deaths as we move into November and December because people will be gathering indoors, they won't be wearing their masks," said Dr. Jeff Smith, a medical doctor and the Santa Clara County Executive.

President Trump claimed on the Rush Limbaugh show that the antibody therapy he was given is the silver bullet to defeat the coronavirus.

"I'm telling you we have a cure, more than a therapeutic, we have a cure," Mr. Trump said.

But with cases are still rising in much of the country, people have reason to be confused.

"There's a lot of mixed messages going on right now, especially with different platforms and online social media. I think it's something that needs to be taken seriously," said Perry Leong of San Jose.

Dr. Smith says Trump's treatment, however potentially promising, is only about a week old and a lot can still happen.

"At this point, I think it would be premature to say he's cured," said Smith. "The reality, I believe is that he's getting such high doses of steroids that he has a little bit of steroid mania."

Dr. Smith said the President's statements could downplay the virus at a critical time.

"It's nowhere near a trivial disease. It's a very serious disease and not everybody recovers from it," Dr. Smith said.

Santa Clara County's case positivity rate has been dropping, now averaging 1.7 percent. And other signs are trending in the right direction.

Smith says the county could move from a red to the state's less restrictive Orange Tier next week but he is urging the public to keep up distancing and mask wearing because more difficult times could lie in the months ahead.

"The virus could re-institute itself like it's doing in New York," he said.

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