Friday, 25 Sep 2020

Donald Trump in car crash interview while talking about coronavirus deaths

Donald Trump has claimed the United States is ‘lower than the world’ for coronavirus in an interview so bizarre it appeared to be a comedy sketch.

The president was grilled on his handling of the pandemic by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, whose facial expressions during the interview ranged from surprise all the way to sheer disbelief.

When the exchange turned to the spiralling number of coronavirus deaths across the US, Trump furiously shuffled some pieces of A4 paper showing some colourful bar charts.

He then claimed the US is ‘lowest in numerous categories’, by which point, the very confused interviewer tells the President that he was asking about death as a proportion of population, not death as a proportion of cases.

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‘That’s where the US is really bad,’ Swan said. ‘Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.’ 

Trump responds: ‘You can’t do that.’

But Swan hits back: ‘Why can’t I do that?’  

‘You have to go by where – look, here is the United States,’ Trump says, showing off one of his charts.

‘You have to go by the cases.’ 

Swan responds: ‘Why not as a proportion of the population?’

‘What it says is that when you have someone where there’s a case, the people that live from those cases,’ Trump said. 

Swan tries to explain how it’s ‘surely relevant’ to look at the number of deaths compared to a country’s population, and points to South Korea, which has a population of 51 million, but only 301 coronavirus deaths, according to the latest data available.

Trump then suggests South Korea’s figures were so low because they are faking their statistics, telling Swan: ‘You don’t know that.’

A surprise Swan responds: ‘You think they’re faking their statistics? South Korea, an advanced country?’ 

Trump then backs down, saying: ‘I won’t get into that because we have a very good relationship with the country.

‘But you don’t know that. And they have spikes.’

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