President Donald Trump over the last week has taken to crowing about the job his administration has done in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, even as more than 67,000 people have died in less than two months.
"Our death totals, our numbers per million people, are really very, very strong," Trump said during a news conference last week. "We're very proud of the job we've done."
Dr. Carlos del Rio, the executive associate dean of the Emory School of Medicine, told CNN on Monday that no one should be lulled into a sense of complacency to the point where they consider tens of thousands of dead Americans a success.
"30,000 new cases per day and 2,000 deaths per day, it's simply unacceptable," he said. "That is a very, very high number. We have a serious epidemic. Somehow we seem to not be taking it seriously anymore."
Juliette Kayyem, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Intergovernmental Affairs for President Barack Obama, similarly lambasted the president for setting such a low bar for what we should consider a successful response.
"I think to a certain extent, President Trump sort of set this tone by sort of saying there are good numbers -- 60,000, and maybe that good number is 100,000 -- those aren't good numbers," she said. "Those are unacceptable numbers from the perspective of can we actually fight this thing comparatively to other countries."
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