For the second time in less than a month, President Donald Trump sat down for an interview. It was perplexing. A amalgam of jaw-dropping claims that left many wondering if this is real life.
Much of the interview with Jonathan Swan of American news site Axios covered the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has so far killed more than 150,000 Americans – the highest death toll of any country.
In a particularly bizarre segment, Trump brandished pieces of paper while trying to convince Swan that his administration was winning the battle against the virus.
The president said: “Those people who really understand it say it’s incredible, the job that we’ve done.”
Swan replied: ”Who says that?”
There was no reply from the president. Instead, he continued to insist that other countries were faring far worse.
In a heated back and forth, Trump and Swan sparred over the best statistics to assess the United States’ response to the health crisis:
Trump: “If you look a this chart here, the United States is lower in numerous categories. We’re lower than… the world.”
Swan: “Lower than the world? What does that mean?”
Trump: “Lower than Europe.
Swan: “In what? Oh, you’re doing deaths as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about deaths as a proportion of population. That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse that South Korea, Germany, et cetera.”
Trump: “You can’t do that.”
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?”
Trump: “You have to go by the cases. The cases that are there.”
Swan: “Why not as a proportion of population? Look at South Korea – 51m population, 300 deaths.”
Trump: “You don’t know that, you don’t know that.”
Swan: “You think they’re faking their statistics?”
Trump: “I won’t get into that because I have a very good relationship with South Korea.”
At this point Trump rifled through his pieces of paper and pulled out another chart, saying: “Here’s one right here. You take the United States – we’re last. Meaning we’re first.”
It is not clear what the president was referring to.
It was just one of many mind-boggling moments.
.@jonathanvswan: “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.”@realdonaldtrump: “You can’t do that.”
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?” pic.twitter.com/MStySfkV39
— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020