Donald Trump’s insistence that the coronavirus will “disappear” is at odds with the recent wave in cases in several states like California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida, and in contradiction of advice by public health experts that predict a long battle with the virus.
“I’ll be right eventually,” the president said in an interview that aired on Sunday with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday after the host played a series of clips that showed Trump making statements about the virus that have turned out not to be true.
“I will be right eventually. You know, I said, ‘It’s going to disappear.’ I’ll say it again. … It’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right,” Trump said of Covid-19, which has killed more than 140,000 Americans over the last five months.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has the seventh-worst death rate from the coronavirus. Countries like Russia and Brazil ranked lower in their own mortality rate, which Wallace pointed out to the president.
“Can you please get me the mortality rate?” Trump said to his staff in an attempt to prove himself correct about having the lowest mortality rate.
Chirs Wallace later pointed out that the White House document the president was using was based on the European Centres for Disease Control and Prevention figures. The chart showed the US had a lower mortality rate than Spain and Italy, but it still was higher than countries like Brazil and South Korea, thus disproving the president’s claim.
A heavily criticized claim from Donald Trump was the increase in cases over the recent weeks is because there has been an increase in testing as well. However, when Chris Wallace brought up the testing during Trump’s Fox News interview and directly said to the president that there has been an obvious increase in the spread of the virus.
“Testing is up 37 per cent,” Trump said.
“Cases are up 194 per cent. It isn’t just that testing has gone up, it’s that the virus has spread,” the Fox News host said in response.
A Positive Sign For The Biden Campaign?
A recent poll by ABC News and The Washington Post showed Americans trusted challenger Joe Biden more to handle the pandemic than Trump. The former vice president holds a commanding 20-point lead over the sitting president in coronavirus response, with 54 percent of those polled trusting Biden over just 34 percent who trust Trump.
A New York Times report released this weekend also indicated that the Trump administration pivoted its coronavirus response as early as April in an effort to declare victory over the virus.
“Over a critical period beginning in mid-April, President Trump and his team convinced themselves that the outbreak was fading, that they had given state governments all the resources they needed to contain its remaining ’embers’ and that it was time to ease up on the lockdown,” the report stated.
Then it took White House officials until early June to realize they were wrong; the virus was not disappearing and case numbers were not declining.
Mr Trump mentioned his “embers” terminology about the coronavirus when speaking to Mr Wallace, claiming that was still the case across the majority of the US.
“We have embers and we do have flames. Florida became more flame-like, but it is going to be under control,” the president said.
Florida has become the epicenter for the virus with the highest number of residents per capita testing positive for Covid-19. An additional 17 states are in the coronavirus “red zone” for their surging cases, according to a White House coronavirus task force document.
What the US has not seen in recent weeks or months, despite Trump’s claims, was any sign the coronavirus was disappearing.
I Did Well In A Cognitive Test, Says Trump
During the Fox News interview, Donald Trump claimed Joe Biden “doesn’t even know he’s alive” while bragging about his own mental health.
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace told the president that according to recent polling, including a Fox News poll, the American people say Biden is more mentally fit to serve as president than Trump.
Trump then referred to a cognitive test he claimed, earlier this month, to have taken at Walter Reed Medical Center and boasted to have “aced” the test so impressively that the doctors were “very surprised” and told him: “That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.”
The president also claimed that not only did he score perfectly on the test, but that it was “very hard” and that he doubted Wallace could do as well. The host chuckled and told Trump that he did indeed take a cognitive test online and it was rather easy. Wallace said the test included drawings of animals to identify and counting backward from 100 by seven.