President Donald Trump said the United States’ tremendous loss of life from coronavirus “it is what it is” in another meeting, again giving his organization kudos for its reaction regardless of progressing floods in new cases and a human cost that far outpaces that of some other country.
When defied with the US’ every day loss of life and Trump’s informing on the pandemic during a meeting with Axios that circulated Monday night, the President developed protective and seemed baffled by Jonathan Swan’s inquiries concerning the emergency.
The interview was recorded last Tuesday, before the coronavirus-related death toll in the U.S. surpassed 150,000. The current death toll reached more than 155,000 as of Tuesday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. currently has a seven-day average of 1,069 deaths per day, according to New York Times data.
At times, the interview turned combative as Swan pointed out the data Trump was referencing measured death as a proportion of cases instead of as a proportion of the population.
“I’m talking about death as a proportion of population,” Swan said. “That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”
“You can’t do that,” Trump responded, prompting Swan to ask, “Why can’t I do that?”
The president maintained that the data should “go by the cases.”
“It’s surely a relevant statistic to say if the U.S. has X population and X percentage of death of that population vs. South Korea,” Swan said, citing reporting from Seoul showing 300 deaths out of the country’s population of 51 million.
“You don’t know that,” Trump responded.
“You think they’re faking their statistics? South Korea?” Swan asked.
“I won’t get into that because I have a very good relationship with the country,” Trump answered. “But you don’t know that, and they have spikes.”
To the contrary, officials on the White House coronavirus task force have been warning that the pandemic is worsening in the US. On Sunday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the group, said that the US is in a new phase of the pandemic where the virus “is extraordinarily widespread.” Trump replied on Monday, calling Birx “pathetic.”More than 155,000 Americans are known to have died from the virus, and the death toll is projected to reach 173,000 by August 22, according to a new composite forecast from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s an average of almost 1,000 US deaths every day for the next 30 days.