President Donald Trump dismissed coronavirus death toll in the U.S., saying “it is what it is” during an interview with Axios on HBO on Monday night.

Trump discussed his administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming presidential elections in November. When asked about coronavirus death rate, Trump brushed off concerns over the surge of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and country’s response to the crisis.

The interview came amid nearly 65,000 new cases a day and 1,000 deaths per day. More than 154,000 Americans died from the virus and more than four million are tested positive, according to John’s Hopkins University data.

When Axios’ politics reporter Jonathan Swan pressed on Trump over him painting a positive image of the coronavirus crisis and brought up surging death rate, Trump insisted his administration was doing an “incredible” job and claimed the pandemic is “under control as much as you can control it.”


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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,” Trump said.

Trump then showed a chart that said the U.S. had a lower number of deaths per confirmed cases. Swan pointed out the data Trump was referencing measured death as a proportion of cases instead of as a proportion of the population.

“I’m talking about death as a proportion of population,” Swan said. “That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”

“You can’t do that,” Trump responded. “You have to go by the cases.”

Swan then responded that South Korea has had 301 coronavirus deaths.

“You don’t know that,” Trump said of South Korea’s death toll.

“You think they’re faking their statistics? South Korea?” Swan asked.

“I won’t get into that because I have a very good relationship with the country,” Trump answered. “But you don’t know that, and they have spikes.”

During the interview, Trump also repeated his argument that “because we’ve done more tests, we have more cases.”

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