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Coronavirus: US President Donald Trump defends handling pandemic

News Agencies | Updated on: 21 July 2020, 9:26 IST
Donald Trump defends handling COVID-19 pandemic

US President Donald Trump in an interview aired on Sunday defended his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far claimed over 1,37,000 lives in the country.

The Washington Post reported, in an hour-long sit-down with "Fox News Sunday" Chris Wallace, President Trump "defended his fumbled management of the pandemic with a barrage of dubious and false claims, and revealed his lack of understanding about the fundamental science of how the virus spreads and infects people."

Trump, the report said, was visible rattled and at times hostile, as he struggled to answer for his administration's failure to contain the coronavirus.

"If we didn't test, you wouldn't be able to show that chart. If we tested half as much, those numbers would be down," the US President was quoted as saying when confronted by Wallace with a chart showing that the number of coronavirus cases last week more than doubled from the spring peak in April.

When Wallace explained that while the testing has gone up by 37 per cent, but the number of cases has increased by 194 per cent, the US President said many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day.

"They have the sniffles and we put it down as a test. Many of them -- don't forget, I guess it's like 99.7 per cent, people are going to get better and [in] many cases, they're going to get better very quickly," replied Trump.

US President hopeful, Joe Biden slammed Trump for remarks in the interview, saying in a statement that the past six months have proven again and again that it's Donald Trump who doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to COVID-19.

A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that the number of Americans' who disapprove of the President's handling of the coronavirus outbreak is increasing. While 38 per cent approve of his performance, 60 per cent disapprove.

During the interview, Trump also claimed that "we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world." When Wallace, replied "it is not true", Trump shouted to aides hovering nearby: "Can you please get the mortality rates?"

The Washington Post reported that when Wallace pointed out that coronavirus deaths in the United States were still about 1,000 a day, Trump said: "It came from China. They should've never let it escape, they should've never let it out, but it is what it is." The US President called Anthony S Fauci, as "as little bit of an alarmist".

The US President, as per the report, also challenged the assessment of Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who again warned last week that the pandemic could worsen this fall when flu season begins, reflecting widespread scientific consensus. "I don't think he knows," Trump said of Redfield. Trump also teased the possibility that he might not accept the election results if he were to lose.


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First published: 21 July 2020, 9:26 IST