(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — President Donald Trump in a Tuesday interview with Fox television stations called his response to the COVID-19 pandemic incredible” and “tremendous.” While he gave himself an “A+” for his handling of the pandemic, he rated his public relations as “D.”
The president didn’t mention in his interview the 200,000-plus fatalities of COVID-19.
Earlier in a Monday rally in Ohio, President Trump assured most Americans were safe from the virus, saying that “It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems — if they have other problems… thats what it really affects. That’s it.”
President Trump also insisted in recent weeks the nation is “rounding the corner” or “rounded the final turn” despite a rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Alternatively, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, “We have six million-plus infections. You can’t look at that and say that’s terrific.”
The comparisons come after veteran journalist Bob Woodward released audio recordings from his prior interviews with the president, who offered a different tune about the pandemic — saying that “plenty of young people” have been affected and that the virus was serious.
“I wanted to always play it down,” the president told Woodward back in March. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
COVID-19 has infected nearly 6.9 million Americans and killed 200,641, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.