More than 1,000 Americans are dying from COVID-19 every day.
Donald Trump was asked at Thursday's presidential debate what he would do now to curb the spiking coronavirus pandemic. He responded by congratulating himself for his handling of the crisis and reiterating his false claim that it is "going away."
Trump began by saying that 2.2 million Americans were "expected to die" as a result of the virus — a debunked statistic based on an assessment that 2 million people could die if the government took no action whatsoever — and insisted he had "closed the greatest economy in the world to fight this horrible disease."
Trump in fact closed nothing, leaving it up to governors to take the lead as the pandemic hit.
Trump concluded by repeating the same thing he has been saying since April. "It will go away," he said. "We are rounding the turn, we are rounding the corner. It's going away."
By contrast, Trump's opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, responded to the same question by laying out a plan that included contract tracing, instant testing, and widespread mask use to slow the spread of the virus.
To date, more than 8.4 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus and more than 223,000 have died, with more than 1,000 people continuing to die each day.
From the third presidential debate:
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS, MODERATOR: Please be specific: How would you lead the country during this next stage of the coronavirus crisis?
DONALD TRUMP: It is a worldwide pandemic, it's all over the world. You see spikes in Europe and other places now. If you noticed, the mortality rate is down, 85%. The excess mortality rate is way down and much lower than almost any other country. We are fighting, we're fighting it hard.
There is a spike, there was a spike in Florida and it's now gone. There was a very big spike in Texas — it's now gone. There was a spike in Arizona, it is now gone. There are spikes and surges in other places — they will soon be gone.
We have a vaccine that is ready and it will be announced within weeks and it's going to be delivered. We have Operation Warp Speed, which is the military it going to distribute the vaccine.
I can tell you, from personal experience, I was in the hospital, I had it, and I got better. And I will tell you, I had something that they gave me, a therapeutic I guess they would call it — some would say it is a cure — but I was in for a short period of time and I got better very fast, or I would not be here tonight.
And now they say I'm immune, whether it is four months or a lifetime, nobody's been able to say that, but I'm immune. More people are getting better.
We have a worldwide problem. This is a worldwide problem. But I've have been congratulated by the heads of many countries on what we have been able to do.
If you take a look at what we have done in terms of goggles and masks and gowns and everything else, and in particular, ventilators. We are making ventilators, thousands and thousands a month, and distributing them all over the world.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.