On Tuesday, writing for The Washington Post's "The Debrief," Anne Gearan broke down how President Donald Trump is trying to deflect from his disastrous inability to contain coronavirus by spreading false narratives about what's happening in other countries.
"In recent days, Trump has increasingly pointed to the experiences of other countries in an attempt to dilute the bad news at home and justify the largely hands-off federal response, which has included no national mandates or lockdowns," wrote Gearan. "Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Israel, India, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and others have been part of a presidential spin-the-globe review of trouble spots, in which Trump makes misleading claims about the U.S. record and talks up the prospects for a cure."
"He has said the United States is doing better than Europe, where infections largely peaked earlier; better than South Korea, which has a fraction of the cases and deaths of the United States; and better than Mexico, where Trump also says his partial border wall is helping keep Americans safe from the virus," continued Gearan. "It’s a familiar pattern of deflection for Trump, who routinely spreads the blame to perceived antagonists including the news media, Democrats or foreigners. But the comparisons don’t always mean what Trump thinks they do, as with his erroneous claim that the high U.S. caseload is a function of more testing rather than wider underlying infection."
In one of the most prominent examples this week, the president attracted national attention during an interview with reporter Jonathan Swan when he demanded the reporter only consider case fatality rates, which are lower in the United States, and not COVID-19 deaths by population. When Swan pointed out to Trump that the United States is among the worst countries by that metric, Trump said "You can't do that, you have to go by cases."
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