A massive Times Square billboard is displaying a ‘Trump Death Clock’ showing US coronavirus deaths in real time, and the creator says he wants to help tour it around the US

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The “Trump Death Clock” seen in Times Square on May 8, 2020. The screen is displaying the number of US COVID-19 deaths as of May 7.
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Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • The “Trump Death Clock” is a giant digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square showing the number of US coronavirus deaths in real time.
  • The 56-foot screen, which has been up since May 8, protests the inaction of President Donald Trump’s Trump administration in the early days of the outbreak.
  • The number is based on work by epidemiologists Britta Jewell, from Imperial College London, and Nicholas Jewell, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • The creator of the “Trump Death Clock” now says he will help facilitate its tour around the country following its success in New York City.
  • “We will help them bring it there – whether it’s projecting it on your house or placing it on local billboards,” organizer Eugene Jarecki told The Daily Beast.
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Since May 8, a giant billboard in New York City’s Times Square has beamed out the number of coronavirus deaths in the US. It’s called the “Trump Death Clock.”

The 56-foot LED screen, organized by Peabody-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki and several friends, was created to protest the inert response of President Donald Trump’s administration to the US outbreak in its early days.

“Starting in January 2020, President Trump and his administration were advised that urgent measures were needed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The President declined to act until March 16th,” the billboard says.

“By then, a crucial chance to contain the virus had been missed. If mitigation measures had been implemented even one week earlier, by March 9th 2020, approximately 60% of US deaths would have been prevented.”

Jarecki told The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern it was inspired by the US Debt Clock, which tracks US government borrowing.

It has garnered substantial attention in New York City, one of the worst-hit places in the US.

On Wednesday, Jarecki told The Daily Beast he wants the clock to inspire copycats, and that he would help bring it to other US cities.

“We want to see people copycat it in small towns and big cities across the country. And hopefully people will find out what we found out, which is that billboard space right now goes for a song, because nobody is outside,” he told The Daily Beast.

“It will be much easier for people to make their communities aware.”

“If people want to have it in their community, they can reach out to us at deathclock2020@gmail.com and we will help them bring it there – whether it’s projecting it on your house or placing it on local billboards,” he said.

“We want people across the country to understand this.”

The number on the clock is based on work by two epidemiologists, Britta Jewell, a research fellow in the department of infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial College London, and Nicholas Jewell, chair of biostatistics and epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“An estimated 90 percent of the cumulative deaths in the United States from Covid-19, at least from the first wave of the epidemic, might have been prevented by putting social distancing policies into effect two weeks earlier, on March 2, when there were only 11 deaths in the entire country,” the pair had written in an April 14 opinion article for The New York Times.

“The effect would have been substantial had the policies been imposed even one week earlier, on March 9, resulting in approximately a 60 percent reduction in deaths.”

The clock reads 50,933 as of 5 a.m. EDT Thursday, according to the Trump Death Clock website.