Donald Trump last night claimed that coronavirus deaths in the United States are ‘way down’ and that America’s mortality rate was ‘one of the lowest in the world’.
Trump declared on Twitter that ‘our Economy is roaring back and will NOT be shut down’ and that any remaining ’embers’ or ‘flare-ups’ of virus cases would be ‘put out, as necessary’.
The death toll last night rose to 124,415 after another 751 deaths in 24 hours while several states including Florida and Texas are seeing an alarming rise in cases.
The U.S. mortality rate of 5.5 per cent – 124,415 deaths from 2,242,312 cases – is below that in many European countries but by no means exceptionally low, with even hard-hit countries such as Brazil and Russia seeing a lower rate.
President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he walks on he South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House, yesterday, in Washington
The U.S. mortality rate of 5.5 per cent – 124,415 deaths from 2,242,312 cases – is below that in many European countries but by no means exceptionally low, with even hard-hit countries such as Brazil and Russia seeing a lower rate
Speaking to his Fox News ally Sean Hannity last night, Trump defended his response to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that his border wall with Mexico is working to stop further spread and doubling down on branding it the ‘China plague’.
‘The Democrats want to open borders, even if you just look at the virus that we’re talking about, look at San Diego where we built that wall – it would be infecting lives like nobody’s ever seen before,’ he said.
Trump said that the United States has one of the best coronavirus mortality rates in the world, despite it being the country with the highest death toll, and said that it was down to a high level of testing.
‘So we have more cases, because we do the greatest testing. If we didn’t do testing, we’d have no cases. Other countries they don’t test millions,’ Trump told the host.
‘If we didn’t do tests, we’d look great. But, it’s the right thing to do.’
The president repeated a timeframe for a vaccine, saying that it would be available for use by the end of the year, despite many experts predicting it could take years for a viable vaccine to be available.
At one point, Trump referred to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn that came as a result of lockdowns as an ‘artificial problem’ .
‘We had to turn off the country to save millions of lives and now we’re switched back on and coming back strongly,’ he said.
Earlier this week Trump posted a video on Twitter telling the families of those lost to coronavirus that their loved one did not die ‘in vain’ because the economy is bouncing back.
Last Friday night Trump recorded a video thanking Americans for their sacrifices in working to resume normality.
A medical worker stands near a row of ambulances parked outside of Houston Methodist Hospital as storm clouds gather over the Texas Medical Center, amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 22, 2020
He opened his remarks by noting that the recent jobs and retail sales figures were encouraging.
‘And now retail sales numbers are incredible.’
Trump said that he had ‘created a tremendous base’ which was easy to build upon when the economy resumed.
Trump thanked the American people, and said the last five months – since the first coronavirus case in the U.S. was detected, in Washington state – had been ‘interesting’.
‘It’s been an interesting period of time, it’s been terrible – so many lives have been lost,’ he said.
‘We will never forget those incredible people.
‘But they will not have died in vain.
‘Our country will go on and we’re going to be stronger than ever before.’
Trump spoke as coronavirus cases are rising in many states, and experts warn that the pandemic is still a serious threat.