Brit Hume predicts 2020 race will depend on whether more voters think Trump or China 'lied and people died'

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Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume joined "Special Report" Monday to weigh in on the latest developments in the 2020 presidential race and predict how Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic would impact the outcome.

"I think it comes down to ... whether people end up believing that Trump lied and people died or more people believe China lied and people died," Hume said.

Hume predicted a strong turnout for Trump if voters "take the view that Trump did the best he could under difficult circumstances and followed his advisers' advice and pulled together a national effort to try to contain the damage from this."

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"It just depends on which narrative people accept," he added. "Obviously, Democrats, they're going to continue to say that he was responsible."

As more states look toward a phased reopening of their economy, Hume shifted to what he called a "sad and troubling" consequence of the nationwide mitigation efforts.

"Remember the reason why these mitigation measures were originally undertaken: We were trying to flatten the curve of the spread of the virus to protect our hospital system from being overwhelmed," he said. "Now, it turns out that as a result of these measures, extended now to lockdown, hospitals all across the country, big ones and small ones, are becoming collateral damage."

While images of an overrun health care system in certain locations were circulating in recent weeks, the reality nationwide has been very different. Beds may be full in New York City and elsewhere, but the coronavirus-induced ban on elective surgeries in many states has damaged much of the rest of U.S. medical system, resulting in empty hospitals, closed medical clinics, and unemployed surgeons.

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"We may end up doing more damage to our hospital system because of undercrowding then we were worried about doing for overcrowding," Hume said.

"It raises this question ... we've known all along about this -- no one is saying otherwise -- that the people who were vulnerable to this are the elderly and those with underlying helath conditions," he added. "If you are not in that category, especially if you are a child, it's not clear how vulnerable you really are and whether [for] those people we really needed to close everything down."

Fox News' William La Jeunesse contributed to this report.