Trump Struggling To Explain American Deaths Might Be His Worst Interview Yet

by : Cameron Frew on : 04 Aug 2020 12:29
Trump Struggling To Explain American Deaths Might Be His Worst Interview YetTrump Struggling To Explain American Deaths Might Be His Worst Interview YetAxios

Axios’s national political correspondent Jonathan Swan took Donald Trump to task on the nation’s COVID-19 deaths, and it didn’t go well for the president. 

The US is the worst-affected country in the world from coronavirus, with more than 4.7 million cases and 155,000 people dead. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black, Latino and Native communities are also experiencing disproportionate mortality figures.

Swan, Axios’s political correspondent, sat down with Trump for a 35-minute interview covering a range of topics, such as Black Lives Matter, US foreign policy with regards to China, Russia and Afghanistan and also the upcoming election (rather, the hypocrisy of his crusade against mail-in voting when the Republican Party has a well-funded vote-by-mail program).


Check out a clip from HBO’s Axios interview between Swan and Trump below: 

Trump’s rhetoric around the virus – or as he so flagrantly, repeatedly calls it, the Chinese virus – has often veered between confounding and dangerous, whether it be his criticisms of his own infectious diseases expert Dr Fauci, or his brainwave that less tests equals less cases, or as he dubs it: ‘Fodder for the fake news to report cases.’

The most startling segment of the interview came when Swan and Trump went head-to-head on the administration’s outlook on COVID-19 deaths, with Swan looking at mortality based on population and the president looking at deaths versus cases.

Jonathan Swan Donald Trump InterviewJonathan Swan Donald Trump InterviewAxios

Trump tells Swan, while looking at a number of graphs, ‘Right here, the US is lowest in a number of categories… we’re lower than the world.’ At this point, the reporter’s face screams befuddlement. ‘Lower than the world?’ he asks.

Swan then counters: ‘Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.’

Jonathan Swan Donald Trump Interview 2Jonathan Swan Donald Trump Interview 2Cameron Frew

Trump replies, ‘You can’t do that.’ Swan asks, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ What follows in the immediate 10 seconds is Vicky Pollard-esque ‘yeah but, no but’ floundering, before Swan says: ‘It’s surely a relevant statistic to say the US has X population and X percentage of death of that population, versus South Korea.’

Swan then invokes South Korea’s figures: more than 51 million people, 301 deaths. However, Trump says, ‘You don’t know that.’ When Swan asks him if he’s accusing the country of misreporting, he says, ‘I won’t get into that because I have a very good relationship with the country.’

When Trump queries why he doesn’t receive praise for high levels of testing across the country, Swan points out there’s still around 60,000 Americans in hospital and 1,000 people dying every day.

Jonathan Swan Donald Trump Interview 3Jonathan Swan Donald Trump Interview 3Cameron Frew

The rest of the interview includes unfathomable highlights like Trump saying he doesn’t know how the late Congressional Representative John Lewis will be remembered in history because he didn’t come to the president’s inauguration, further well-wishes to accused child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, and more polemic on prosecuting Antifa rather than law enforcement officers doling out excessive force.

Who needs The Thick of It? Life imitates art, it seems. You can watch the HBO’s full Axios interview here.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Axios, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Jonathan Swan, Now, US


HBO/YouTube and 1 other
  1. HBO/YouTube

    AXIOS on HBO: President Trump Exclusive Interview (Full Episode) | HBO

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Health Disparities: Race and Hispanic Origin