Trump: 200K Death Toll Is 'a Shame'

But 'we're doing well in reopening,' president says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2020 12:04 AM CDT
Trump on 200K Deaths: 'Well, I Think It's a Shame'
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Moon Township, Pa.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump offered his thoughts Tuesday on the US reaching the grim milestone of 200,000 coronavirus-related deaths, calling it "a shame" in an appearance at the White House, the AP reports. “Well, I think it's a shame," he said in response to a reporter's question about the number, per a Washington Post video. "I think if we didn’t do it properly and do it right, you’d have 2.5 million deaths ... you could have a number that would be substantially more. With all of that being said, we shouldn't have had anybody. You saw my United Nations speech, China should have stopped it at their border. They should've never let this spread all over the world. And it's a terrible thing. But, had we not closed our country down, and reopened, and now we're doing well in reopening, the stock market's up, all of those things."

"But I think it's a horrible thing," he continued. "But if we had not done it right, you could have 2 million, 2.5 million, or 3 million. But it's a horrible thing, should've never ever happened. China let this happen, and just remember that." Then, asked by another reporter whether he thinks the US could see another 200,000 deaths, he skirted the question, instead essentially repeating his first response. Later, at a Pennsylvania rally, he touted his administration's "A-plus job" handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and mocking opponent Joe Biden for wearing a mask, USA Today reports. He did not, during his 90 minutes of speaking, mention the death toll, but he did complain that with the current social distancing guidelines, "You can't meet. You can't congregate. You can't look at each other. You can't give your wife ... a kiss goodnight, you gotta wear a mask. You can't do anything!"

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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