President Donald Trump argued that the interpretation of the United States’ death toll is incorrect as he defended his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
During an interview with Axios’ Jonathan Swan, Trump admitted that people are dying as a result of the virus but insisted that the United States’ coronavirus outbreak is “under control as much as you can control it.”
“They are dying, that’s true. And you have — it is what it is,” Trump said. “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: Right now, I think it’s under control. I’ll tell you what—— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) August 4, 2020
SWAN: How? 1,000 Americans are dying a day.
TRUMP: 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. pic.twitter.com/AViWOt2COJ
The interview was conducted on Thursday before coronavirus-related deaths surpassed 150,000. But as the United States’ death toll approached that milestone, the seven-day average for deaths increased to more than 1,000 per day, according to The New York Times.
Despite the alarming death toll, Trump insists it is being interpreted incorrectly because the United States’ toll is “lower than the world.” However, Swan reviewed the statistics on Trump’s papers and pushed back against Trump’s claim.
“Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. 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.”
Trump responded to Swan’s interpretation of the statistics saying, “You can’t do that.” When Swan asked the president why he couldn’t do that, Trump claimed he was “not reporting it correctly.”
See Trump’s remarks below:
.@jonathanvswan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”@realdonaldtrump: “You can’t do that.”— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?” pic.twitter.com/MStySfkV39
Trump insisted the data should “go by the cases.” However, Swan pushed back.
“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.
Trump appeared to allude to the possibility of other countries’ information being inaccurate, saying, “You don’t know that.”
When asked if other countries’ “faking” statistics, Trump distanced from the allegation, saying, “I won’t get into that because I have a very good relationship with the country. But you don’t know that, and they have spikes.”
Based on coronavirus statistics, the United States has the highest death count due to the virus in the world.