The United States President Donald Trump is no stranger to arguing with journalists. This time he has done it again during an Axios interview aired on HBO in which he tried to claim that the US was doing better than the rest of the world in terms of coronavirus.
In an interview with journalist Jonathan Swan, a visibly tense and stressed out Trump can be seen sitting hunched with a sheaf of graphs in his hands, trying to convince the journalist about the US's stellar performance in containing coronavirus.
"Right here, it says, United States is the lowest in the world in numerous categories. Lowest in the world".
When the journalist asked Trump what the category the US was lowest in, he handed him a graph.
It turned out that Trump had been talking about the number of coronavirus deaths in proportion to coronavirus cases in the US which was lower than in several countries. Swan, however, wanted to know why the percentage of coronavirus deaths in proportion to the POPULATION was spiking in the US.
Rattled at the question, Trump lashed out saying, "You can't do that".
At first, he refused to understand the question and when Swan chose to quote the example of South Korea which he said had 300 deaths in proportion to its 51 million population, Trump refused to believe that number.
He went on to stress that the only reason the United States had a higher number of cases was that it had higher testing.
"You don't know that," Trump told the journalist.
The video has been going viral on the internet with several people leaving disbelieving comments about the President's lack of sound information and his attempts to whitewash the situation in the US which has so far recorded over 1 lakh 58,000 deaths due to the virus and over 4.7 million confirmed cases.
Not one ounce of sympathy for the sick and dying. No regrets, no shame.
Just number crunching.
As always it's only about him, he always has to be right. Always in denial.
He is one sick psychopath https://t.co/8hntFPl7zB
— Jiyan (@Jiyan134238) August 4, 2020
Hard to comprehend that this is not a parody... https://t.co/hJovGUE3mg
— MartinBostock (@MartinBostock) August 4, 2020
This is the leader of the free world? https://t.co/Rs8b42uHkZ
— Chris Palmer (@chrispalmer54) August 4, 2020
Many praised Swan for holding his cool while Trump desperately tried to rattle him with statistics and even question his journalistic skills. Other non-American Twitter users wondered if such questioning of the head of the nation with a will to hold him accountable was indeed commendable and much needed in other parts of the world as well.
One user wrote, "Journalism. It can be a beautiful thing".
Jonathan Swan handles this so well. This both hilarious and horrifying. Trump is a desperate idiot. He is such a trainwreck here. It would be pathetic to defend him here. He is just incredibly wrong. This is a complete meltdown. WOW. https://t.co/F1eiqGRzCp
— Darren Day (@tootsday) August 4, 2020
Jornalismo. Pode ser uma coisa muito bela. https://t.co/rJFTsJzF1f
— Pedro Goulão (@ppgoulao) August 4, 2020
Coming at a when the US recorded a quarter of the global total of cases, Trump's comments were widely critiqued. Despite Trump's claims of all being well and under control, data recorded by the New York Times showed a spike in deaths in 30 states across the US.