During a bizarre interview with Axios, President Donald Trump played down the growing number of Americans dying from the COVID-19 virus by falsely claiming it is “under control” (MORE VIDEO BELOW):
They are dying, that’s true. And you have — 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 falsely claimed that the U.S. has more COVID-19 cases because it tests more than other countries. He pulled out several colorful print-out charts to supposedly show that the U.S. death rate as a percentage of cases is lower than that of other nations. Trump failed to note the U.S. is woefully under-testing and still lacks a national plan.
Jonathan Swan of Axios debunked Trump’s claims:
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..
Trump insisted that Swan couldn’t do that:
You can’t, you can’t do that. You have to go by, you have to go by where, look… You have to go by the cases.
Swan debunked Trump with South Korea:
For example. Fifty one million population, 300 deaths.
Swan told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he still can’t believe Trump’s effort to put a positive spin on the COVID-19 death rate in the U.S.:
For me, one of the most striking sections of the interview is when President Trump whips out his own charts to try and make the case in contravention of all available evidence that the U.S. is leading the world on the coronavirus.
The way that clip ends is him saying, “You can’t do that.” What I was doing was pointing out that when you look at death count as a proportion of population, the U.S. is in horrible shape — horrible shape — and when you compare America to other advanced countries like South Korea and Germany, who managed to do testing early and effective contact tracing, it’s not even close.
I just found this, you know, as a matter of history and this moment stunning. You have the president of the United States denying what is in front of him, which is a death count that when you look at it and you match it up against other advanced countries, it cannot in any way be described as a good outcome, but that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. It’s applying salesmanship that works in the worlds of real estate and reality television to the worst pandemic in the century.