Interview: Trump On COVID-19 Deaths ‘It Is What It Is’

Interview: Trump On COVID-19 Deaths ‘It Is What It Is’
Donald Trump speaking to Axios (screen capture)

Other than Fox News’ Chris Wallace, I think this is the first extended example of a journalist going back and forth with Donald Trump on actual COVID-19 facts and data.

Axios’ Jonathan Swan got a 38 minute sit down with Trump. In this clip, Trump argues about his ‘great success’ in addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump, it seems is comfortable with the ratio of death to diagnosed cases, while Swan is talking about the proportion of deaths to population in countries.

Swan: “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: “You can’t do that.”

Swan: “Why can’t I do that?”

As Swan points out, for example, South Korea has a population of 51 million but has experienced only 300 deaths from COVID-19 which factors out to 0.0005 percentage of the population has died from the virus.

The U.S. has a population of 328,000,000+ but has suffered over 155,000+ deaths from coronavirus which means our percentage of the population that has died is much higher at .047.

You’ll note in the clip, Trump hands Swan a graph with only four countries listed showing the U.S. being ‘the best.’ Talk about pick and choose.

In the second clip below, as Trump argues the virus is ‘under control,’ Swan points out 1,000 Americans are dying on average each day. “It is what it is,” says Trump.

Trump also admits he didn’t attend the funeral of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) because “he didn’t come to my inauguration.” However, Trump does wish accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell “well.”

Full interview at the end of this post.