It's worth watching the interview in full if you have time.
On Monday night, HBO aired US President Donald Trump’s interview with Axios’s national political correspondent Jonathan Swan.
The interview lasted over 30 minutes and addressed a number of topics, including the coronavirus pandemic and reports about Russia potentially providing arms to the Taliban.
While there were plenty of extraordinary moments in the interview, some of the exchanges surrounding the coronavirus will rightfully make the headlines.
At one point, the pair debated Trump's point that America has a lower number of deaths as a percentage of coronavirus cases.
However, when Swan pointed instead to the number of US Covid-19 deaths as a population percentage, Trump said: "You can't do that".
.@jonathanvswan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”@realdonaldtrump: “You can’t do that.”
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?” pic.twitter.com/MStySfkV39
— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
You can read the transcript of this exchange below.
Trump: “The point is, because we are so much better at testing than any other country in the world, we show more cases.”
Swan: “The figure I look at is death. And death is going up now. It’s a thousand a day.”
Trump: “If you look at death..."
Swan: "And it's starting to go up again."
Trump: “Take a look at some of these charts. Here’s one. Well, right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world.”
Swan: “Lower than the world?”
Trump: “Lower than Europe.”
Swan: “In what? In what?”
Trump: "Right here. Here's case death."
Swan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany etc.”
Trump: “You can’t – you can’t do that.”
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?”
Trump: “You have to go by, you have to go by... look. Here is the United States, you have to go by the cases. The cases of death.”
Swan: “Why not as a proportion of population?”
Trump: “What it says is when you have somebody, where there’s a case, the people that live from those cases.”
Swan: “Sure. It’s surely a relevant statistic to say if the US has X population and X percentage of death of that population, versus South Korea...”
Trump: “No, because you have to go by the cases.”
Swan: “Well, look at South Korea, for example – 51 million population, 300 deaths. It’s like, it’s crazy compared to other countries.”
Trump: “You don’t know that. You don’t know that.”
Swan: “I do. You think they’re faking their statistics? South Korea? An advanced country."
Trump: “Ahhhhh, I won’t get into that, because I have a very good relationship with the country. But you don’t know that. They have spikes.”
Swan: “Germany, low 9000s?”
Trump: “Here’s one right here, United States. You take the number of cases, have a look. We’re last. Meaning we’re first.”
Swan: “Last? I don’t know what we’re first in.”
Trump: “Take a look, it’s cases. And we have cases because of the testing.”
Swan: “I mean, 1,000 Americans are dying a day. But I understand, on cases, it’s different.”
Trump: “No but you’re not reporting it correctly, Jonathan.”
Swan: “I think I am.”
You can watch the interview in full below.
Clip via HBO