HomeSportsGolf Legend Jack Nicklaus Questions U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll

Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus Questions U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Jack Nicklaus thinks the COVID-19 pandemic and death toll are being blown out of proportion. The 80-year-old golfing legend recently told The Palm Beach Post that he didn’t trust the figures being given by the media.

Currently, more than 9 million people have contracted coronavirus and more than 229,000 have died in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. also recently added 88,500 new coronavirus cases, a record for one day. Two of those people who’ve contracted the virus are Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara.

Nicklaus told the paper he and his wife both tested positive in March. He got a sore throat and cough, but his wife had symptoms.

“Sure, I was concerned,” he said. “I took hydroxychloroquine. Gone in two days.”

Jack Nicklaus Doesn’t Trust What He’s Told About Virus

But The Golden Bear went further than questioning the severity the virus. He thinks the pandemic is being blown out of proportion by the media.

“I don’t think the deaths are a correct number,” he told the paper recently. “I hate to say that.”

He said he spoke with two friends whose parents died of the virus, and, according to the golfer, the hospital asked to change the cause of death to COVID. The couple declined, he said. President Donald Trump has made similar claims of inflated COVID-19 numbers at his rallies but has offered little evidence to support that.

“The hospital gets more money with COVID death than they do another death,” Nicklaus said. “I’m sure there’s been a lot of that.”

While it is true hospitals do get a small increase in Medicare payouts for COVID-19 deaths, there has is no evidence to suggest that this has created an incentive to inflate those numbers, says. Especially considering many hospitals have lost millions during the pandemic.

Nicklaus said he believes Trump has done as well as any president would have done during the pandemic, adding that Trump’s actions saved a lot of lives. Nicklaus endorsed Trump online recently.

“I don’t know whether anybody could have done any different than what (Trump has) done on the (coronavirus pandemic.),” the golfer said. “Has he saved millions of lives or has he cost us lives? Nobody is going to know that. If you’re objective about it, nobody knows that. I think he’s done the best he can with the people he’s had.”