President Donald Trump stops and answers reporters’ questions en route to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House September 22 in Washington. Drew Angerer / Getty Images
When asked about the coronavirus death toll, which hits 200,000 in the US today, President Trump said, “Well, I think it’s a shame.”
After ignoring a question from CNN’s Nikki Carvajal about his message to the American people, Trump was pushed to cross the 200,000 death threshold and turned the conversation to his standard response to the virus. He blamed China, saying the death toll could have been much worse had he not acted.
“I think if we didn’t get it right and right, you’d have two and a half million deaths. If you look at alternatives, you could end up with two and a half million deaths or something similar. You could have a number that would be much higher, ”Trump told reporters before leaving the White House on Tuesday. “And you saw my United Nations speech that China should have stopped it at its border. You should never have spread this around the world and it’s a horrible thing. “
Trump went on, had he not closed the country there could have been more than 3 million deaths.
“It’s a terrible thing. Should never have happened. China allowed this and remembered it, ”added Trump.
Facts first: It is misleading for Trump to say that he closed the US border to travel from China and Europe as both directives contained several exceptions, including for US citizens and permanent residents. European policy liberated whole countries. Only foreigners who were in China, the European Schengen area, Great Britain or Ireland in the past 14 days were completely banned from entering the USA.