The director of strategic communications for President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign received harsh questions during a Friday evening appearance on CNN.
"The cases in this country, they're going up," CNN's Jim Sciutto said. "The deaths in this country are going up. The states that have a rising number of cases are going up, it's now most of them. And to be clear, the positivity rate that is the percentage of people tested that test positive for COVID are going up, as well."
"How can the vice president and president claim that the U.S. is beating this virus?" Sciutto asked Marc Lotter of the Trump campaign.
"Well, as you heard from Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, you heard from the vice president and Dr. [Deborah] Birx today, in 34 states, we are seeing a decrease in terms of the positivity rate even as the amount of testing and numbers are going up, it's the positivity rate that's going down. We have a problem in 16 states," Lotter replied.
"It's not going down," Sciutto interjected, putting up a graphic showing the positivity rate nationwide.
"If you're talking about a response to a pandemic nationally and the federal government's national response, nationally the positivity rate is going up. so how can you claim and as you know, the death toll is going up every day. How can you claim to folks listening tonight that that's a win?" Sciutto asked.
"Very easily, Jim," Lotter replied, as the two went back and forth on whether to look at nationwide numbers.
"It's about lives, Marc. It's about lives," Sciutto said.