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Mr Trump made the claims during an interview for news website Axios that was filmed last Tuesday but only aired on Monday. The President said the pathogen was well-controlled countrywide despite the US recording daily increases averaging around 65,000 new cases and 1,000 deaths.
Mr Trump said: “They are dying, that’s true. And you have – 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.”
Referring to a series of charts and graphs focusing on death rates contrasted with cases, Mr Trump said: “The United States is lowest in numerous categories.
He added: “We’re lower than the world, than Europe.”
After analysing the charts, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan said he was asking about deaths as a proportion of the population, saying: “That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”
Mr Trump responded he “could not do that”.
Holding out one of the charts, Mr Trump added: “You have to go by where – look, here is the United States. You have to go by the cases.”
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Mr Swan enquired why not look at deaths as a proportion of the population.
Mr Trump said: “What it says is that when you have someone where there’s a case, the people that live from those cases.”
The reporter insisted he should look at it proportionally but Mr Trump reiterated “you have to go by the cases”.
Mr Swan mentioned South Korea as an example, which, at the time of the interview, had 300 coronavirus deaths in a population of 51 million.
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The President said: “You don’t know that.”
Asked by the reporter if he thought South Korea could be faking its statistics, Mr Trump said: “I won’t get into that because we have a very good relationship with the country. But you don’t know that. And they have spikes.”
Of the US’ death rates, Mr Trump said: “Death is way down from where it was. Where it was is much higher than where it is right now.”
When Mr Swan said deaths were now rising again nationally after initially dropping throughout May, Mr Trump said “it’s going down again”.
The President added: “It’s going down in Arizona. It’s going down in Florida. It’s going down in Texas.”
Asked by Mr Swan if it was declining in Florida, Mr Trump said: “Yeah it levelled out and it’s going down, that’s my report as of yesterday.”
Florida’s deaths rose to single day highs last week, despite declining case numbers.
Mr Trump then reiterated his previous statement that the US has more cases than any other country because more people are being tested.
Citing the rising numbers in hospitalisations and surging death toll, Mr Swan said: “If hospital rates and deaths were going down I’d say terrific, you deserve to be praised for testing, but they’re all going up. 60,000 Americans are in hospital, 1,000 dying a day.”
Mr Trump said: “Don’t we get credit for that? Because we do more tests, we have more cases.”
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