Trump on Covid death toll: 'It is what it is'

Elias Hubbard
August 4, 2020

"Uh, I can't say one way or another", Trump said.

Trump also urged the TVA board to immediately hire a new chief executive officer who "puts the interests of Americans first". This time he has done it again during an Axios interview aired on HBO in which he tried to claim that the USA was doing better than the rest of the world in terms of coronavirus. It's under control as much as you can control it.

The president, who has the authority to appoint the TVA board, said during a meeting of technology workers at the White House that the actions of the ousted TVA members had prompted him to sign the "Hiring American" order, which requires federal agencies to prioritize USA labor in federal contracts, ensure only American citizens are appointed to the competitive service, and stop employers from moving H-1B workers into jobs in a way that displaces US workers.

Trump and reporter Jonathan Swan also sparred over the metrics used to measure the country's battle against the coronavirus.

To date, the U.S., a country of about 328 million, has recorded more than 4.7 million cases and 155,000 deaths amid a new surge in western and southern states.

"You have to go by..." "I don't know. I don't know John Lewis", Trump said.

When Mr Swan pointed to the number of US Covid-19 deaths as a population percentage to illustrate how bad the problem was, Mr Trump said: "You can't do that" as he tried to use a different metric.

In the interview, Trump gave freewheeling responses about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his feelings on Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and his wishes for Jeffrey Epstein's partner Ghislaine Maxwell.

The Supreme Court last month rejected claims by Trump's lawyers that the president could not be criminally investigated while he was in office.

"I really don't know". "He didn't come to my inauguration", Trump said. "He chose - I don't - I never met John Lewis actually, I don't believe".

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order preventing federal agencies from hiring foreign workers via H-1B visas. Trump did not to attend, although Vice President Mike Pence, who had served in the House of Representatives with Lewis, did.

On several occasions, Mr Swan appeared exasperated as he struggled to get Mr Trump to answer his questions. "Don't worry about wearing masks, ' I mean, these are people - many of them are older people".

When asked if he found Lewis' life impressive, Trump responded, "He didn't come to my inauguration".

Swan has not always been a media darling. In 2018, he was pilloried by the press for an interview with Trump that was one of the earliest segments show on Axios' HBO program, which launched that same year. However, in population comparisons (which include confirmed cases and healthy people), the U.S.is seeing 47.5 deaths per 100,000 people; only Chile, Peru and the United Kingdom have a higher mortality rate. He said he plans to publish a book critical of the president before the November election.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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