President Trump defended his administration’s coronavirus pandemic performance in a recent interview, saying “we are doing everything we can” to control the damage and fatalities caused by the virus.
“They are dying, that’s true. And you — it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” Trump said in an interview that aired Monday on HBO.
Trump brandished a chart in the interview, which was taped last week. The paper apparently showed the US case fatality rate.
“Right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories,” Trump said. “We’re lower than the world.”
“Lower than the world? What does that mean?” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan pressed.
Although the US has a lower case mortality rate, it has by far the most declared diagnosed cases and deaths. Nearly 5 million Americans tested positive for COVID-19 and 155,000 died. The second-most infections are in Brazil, which has fewer than 3 million cases.
Trump insisted the US has more diagnosed cases per capita than other developed countries because of higher rates of testing.
“There are those that say you can test too much, you do know that,” Trump said. “We have tested more people than anybody ever thought of. India has 1.4 billion people, they’ve done 11 million tests. We’ve done 55 it will be close to 60 million tests.”
The back-and-forth over US pandemic performance featured the journalist’s protestations that Trump was channeling “positive thinking” instead of a more gloomy realism.
“We look like we have more cases than massive countries like China, which by the way does not report as you know,” Trump said. “Because we are so much better at testing than any other country in the world, we show more cases.”
Swan noted, however, that South Korea has a population of about 51 million but only 300 deaths from coronavirus.
“You don’t know that,” Trump said.
“We’re last, meaning we’re first,” the president said, pointing to his bar graph.
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