Trump challenged on Covid response, death toll ‘is what it is’

Donald Trump is under fire yet again after an interview in which he said that Covid is under control in the US, the death toll ‘is what it is’, and he disputed comparing deaths to population.

As always it’s difficult too know whether Trump believes what he says or if he is deliberately speaking bull to a specific audience. I think probably at times at least he has come too believe his own bull.

CNBC: Trump says coronavirus death toll ‘is what it is’ as he insists pandemic is ‘under control’ in U.S.

“Numerous categories, we’re lower than the world,” Trump said while reading from a small stack of papers he was holding.

“Lower than the world? What does that mean? In what?” Swan said.

The president handed one paper to Swan, who after a brief examination responded: “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.”

Trump replied: “You can’t do that … you have to go by the cases.”

Swan maintained that it was relevant to look at the number of deaths in the U.S. from Covid-19 in proportion to the population of the country. He compared the U.S. with South Korea, a nation of more than 50 million people that he counted about 300 total death from the coronavirus.

“You don’t know that,” Trump said.

“You think they’re faking their statistics?” Swan responded.

“Uh, I won’t get into that because I have a very good relationship with the country, but you don’t know that,” Trump said. 

President Donald Trump insisted that the coronavirus pandemic is “under control” in the United States even when confronted with the staggering death tolls from the virus.

During a contentious interview, Axios’ Jonathan Swan asked Trump how he could claim his administration has a handle on the virus as it kills 1,000 Americans a day.

“They are dying. That’s true, and — 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,” Trump said in the interview, which took place July 28 and aired Monday night on HBO.

“You really think this is as much as we can control it?” Swan asked. “A thousand deaths a day?”

“First of all, we have done a great job,” Trump replied, focusing on how governors have handled the crisis in their own states rather than him taking personal responsibility. “I could tell you right now who the great ones are and who the not-so-great ones are. But the governors do it. We gave them massive amounts of material.”

Trump’s rosy view of the U.S. response to the pandemic comes as more than 4.71 million cases have been confirmed in the country, as well as at least 155,478 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Both are the highest recorded totals for any country.

Going by Worldometer it looks like the US is heading for another 1000+ deaths today after the usual weekend drop in numbers

The US is getting close to 5 million cases and 160,000 deaths.

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14 Comments

  1. This has been around for a while but is well done as well as scathing and is still relevant.

    Reply
  2. Reply
  3. COVID deaths in US:

    Mar 1: 2
    Apr 1: 4,780
    May 1: 64,943
    Jun 1: 105,165
    Jul 1: 128, 062
    Aug 1: 154,360

    Average daily deaths during the last week of July:
    Italy: 6
    France: 10
    Spain: 2
    US: 1,204

    The lesson in all of this? Trust science not fiction.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th August 2020

      “Average daily deaths during the last week of July:
      Italy: 6
      France: 10
      Spain: 2
      US: 1,204″

      What was the average daily death during the last week of July in Sweden? It seems to be missing from your list for some strange reason.

      ” Trust science not fiction.”

      What science led to this great success in Italy, France and Spain that the US is not doing?

      Reply
      • Sweden: 10
        Didn’t include it as it was irrelevant to a comparison between the US and three of the largest European countries by population.

        What did science do that US didn’t?
        – tested, tested, tested
        – traced
        – quarantined in place
        – didn’t open too early
        – wore masks
        – closed borders to all travellers, not just Chinese

        and the biggies
        – didn’t politicise any of the above
        – didn’t have a leader like trump
        – didn’t put Kushner in charge of a shadow coronavirus taskforce
        – took responsibility for the health of all their citizens, not just the right-leaning ones.

        But I don’t expect you to buy any of that. Because if you have to admit to the above then you have to start facing the fact that Trump screwed America to the wall because of his mismanagement of the pandemic response.

        So, go ahead. Knock yourself out with whatever fakey-fake frothy-righty spin you want to buy into. The cold hard reality is that America has 4% of the world’s population and 24% of the world’s deaths – those are the only two metrics that mean anything.

        Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  5th August 2020

          Based on your figures and Wiki population figures here are the average weekly death rates per million of population

          US 3.65
          Sweden 1.0
          France 0.15
          Italy 0.1
          Spain 0.05

          So Sweden’s weekly death rate per million people is on average 10x greater than France, Italy & Spain.

          The US figure are 3.65 times greater than Sweden’s and 36.5 times that of the France, Italy & Spain per million people.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  5th August 2020

            Apparently there are more cases of COVID 19 in Paris Texas than Paris France

            Reply
        • Pink David

           /  5th August 2020

          “What did science do that US didn’t?
          – tested, tested, tested
          – traced
          – quarantined in place
          – didn’t open too early
          – wore masks
          – closed borders to all travellers, not just Chinese”

          Sweden didn’t do this either.

          Reply
        • Pink David

           /  5th August 2020

          “– tested, tested, tested
          – traced
          – quarantined in place
          – didn’t open too early
          – wore masks
          – closed borders to all travellers, not just Chinese”

          In the US context, California has done all of these things has it not? It’s had shelter in place for months, and face masks have been required there for a long time.

          Why is there no significant difference between states with very different responses to Covid in terms of cases and deaths?

          Reply
  4. Alan Foster

     /  5th August 2020

    Saw the interview – Trump completely out of his depth. Over 160,000 deaths now – 245 yesterday in Florida, 168 in Texas.

    Reply
  5. duperez

     /  5th August 2020

    Sometimes interviews are to elicit information. Sometimes they serve to show what the interviewee knows or doesn’t know, understands or doesn’t understand. The Covid part of the Swan interview was simply ‘business as usual.’ The numbers might be different but the movie is the same sort of one we’ve seen countless times over months.

    To me the most illustrative part of the whole thing was the part about John Lewis. Accordng to one source “Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and he fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States.”

    Lewis was there, actively involved in seminal moments in US civil rights. To questions about Lewis, “Do you find him impressive?” and “Do you find his story impressive,” Trump said
    “No one has done more for dark Americans that I have.”

    That section of the interview, what was said, with the attitudes and sense of perspective displayed, was staggering.

    Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  5th August 2020

    Bob Jones on our temporary fools paradise:
    https://nopunchespulled.com/2020/08/05/a-reality-check/

    Reply

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