'We saved more than two million lives and did an incredible job with therapies and therapeutics, and I think maybe with cures.'
Hours before the first polls closed on Election Day, Donald Trump insisted to gathered press Tuesday that his administration's COVID-19 response was "incredible," and blamed bad "public relations" for the fact that no one believes him.
"I think we're set for tremendous success," Trump said in a visit to the Republican National Committee Annex in Arlington, Virginia. "Success is going to bring unity, and it was bringing it before, and then we got hit with the China virus, and that certainly had to go back."
He added that the Trump administration has done an "incredible job" fighting COVID, and complained that the public didn't believe it.
"I think we've done an incredible job with respect to that," he said, "other than public relations, and I'm not sure that it's possible to convince you of it, because you know, you people were not really convincible no matter what we did, but we've done an incredible job."
He claimed that after a brief closure, his administration is now reopening "the greatest economy in the history of the world."
And, he claimed, his coronavirus response saved lives.
"We saved more than two million lives and did an incredible job with therapies and therapeutics and I think maybe with cures, because frankly, some of the stuff is so good," Trump said.
Total coronavirus cases in the U.S. now sit at more than 9.6 million, with a total death toll over 237,000 as the nation has hit a third wave in the pandemic, and Americans dying at a rate far higher than people in any other country.
Trump was complaining about the media's coverage of his coronavirus response again last week.
In an Oct. 26 tweet, he said that the press was interfering with his election bid and reporting on the severity of coronavirus should be "an election law violation."
And the White House occupant's braggadocio is nothing new. Also last week, a White House list of Trump's supposed first-term accomplishments included "ending the COVID-19 pandemic" right at the top.
The next day, a White House press release dialed back the claim and said it was "poorly worded."
Moreover, the only recent concern Trump has expressed about coronavirus is his fear that regulations in effect aimed at stemming the ongoing outbreak in Washington might interfere with his ability to host an election party.
Still, Trump insisted Tuesday, America is "rounding the corner" and a coronavirus vaccine is coming "very soon."
"Next year I think is gonna be more successful than it was last year," he said. "We had the best year we've ever had last year, and I think we're gonna be right in that category for next year. So that's very successful."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.