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The US President struggled through a televised media interview on Monday, and has come under intense criticism after saying “it is what it is” when pressed on the deaths of 1,000 Americans per day from COVID-19 infections. Nearly 4.87 million coronavirus cases have been reported throughout the US – making up a quarter of the 18.5 million infections around the world, while almost 160,000 people have died from COVID-19, the highest death toll in the world from the pandemic. But when asked during an interview with Jonathan Swan from Axios news on HBO about the rising number of deaths and hospitalisations, Mr Trump said: “They are dying, that’s true. And it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can.”
“It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague that beset us.”
He went on to again insist the high rate of testing in the US is responsible for the country’s surging number of coronavirus cases.
When Mr Swan pointed to the number of coronavirus deaths in US as a population percentage to illustrate how bad the problem was, Mr Trump replied: “You can’t do that” as he tried to argue his own point.
But the US President has now come under fierce attack from Piers Morgan, who attempted to perfectly highlight the error in the President’s defence of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Morgan tweeted to his 7.6 million followers: “You can show us all the charts you like Mr President @realDonaldTrump – but this stat is all that matters.
“America has 4.2 percent of the world’s population but has suffered 22 percent of the world’s coronavirus deaths. You’ve failed your biggest test.”
Mr Morgan also said: “There have been many grim moments during his catastrophic handling of the coronavirus pandemic that may end up defining his presidency.
“But last night, during an extraordinary, toe-curling HBO interview with AXIOS’s Jonathan Swan, he exposed just why the US has become a horrifyingly bad template for how NOT to combat COVID-19.
“In an attempt to defend his indefensible record, and specifically why the US has one of the worst death rates in the world, Trump suddenly produced a collection of graphics.”
He added how Mr Trump said: “‘Look at some of these charts. This one, right here, the United States is lowest…in numerous categories…lower than the world.’
“‘In what?’ said an incredulous Swan.
“‘Take a look,’ said Trump, handing the chart over.
“Swan, a very good and well-prepared journalist, studied the chart quickly and forensically.
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“‘Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases,’ he replied. ‘I’m talking about death as a proportion of population.’
“‘Well… well…’ Trump stammered.
“‘That’s where the US is really bad,’ persisted Swan, ‘much worse than South Korea, Germany etc.’
“‘You can’t do that!’ exclaimed Trump.
“‘Why can’t I do that?’ asked Swan, looking understandably confused.
“‘You have to go by the cases,’ said Trump. ‘We’re last, meaning we’re first!’
“It was a stunning exchange.”
Mr Morgan also lashed out at Mr Trump’s defence that a surge in testing could be behind the high number of coronavirus cases in the US.
He said: “Obviously, as any scientist will attest, you can never do enough testing. It’s the only way to get on top of this virus until there’s a vaccine.
“What Trump actually means is that he wishes America did less testing so they didn’t have so many cases because it makes HIM look bad.
“That’s why he doesn’t want to talk about America’s appalling death toll because, again, it makes HIM look bad.”
Mr Morgan then attacked the US President’s “it is what it is response” when quizzed on the surging death rate in the US.
Writing in his column in the MailOnline, he raged: “‘It is what it is’ – that was the President’s staggering response to the ongoing horrific slaughter of Americans by a deadly virus.
“No empathy, no apology, no expression of sorrow. Just a heartless, dismissive shrug.
“When Swan pointed out that South Korea has a population of 51 million people but has only suffered 300 coronavirus deaths, Trump inferred, with zero evidence, that the statistics were fake news.
“It’s his default response to any facts he doesn’t like, but now he is being exposed by the cold, hard reality of data-backed truth.”
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