But asked about whether the impeachment effort had distracted him in the early days of the pandemic, Mr. Trump reverted to form, lashing out at Democrats and once again calling it “a phony impeachment” and “a hoax.” He acknowledged that he might have been distracted, but insisted that he still deserved an “A+” for his effort to combat the virus.
The president, who on Sunday extended for 30 days the government’s recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus, made it clear that the data compiled by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx convinced him that the death toll would be even higher if the restrictions on work, school, travel and social life were not taken seriously by all Americans.
Mr. Trump said the virus was a “great national trial unlike any we have ever faced before,” and said it would require the “full absolute measure of our collective strength, love and devotion” in order to minimize the number of people infected.
“It’s a matter of life and death, frankly,” he said, offering a sober assessment of the pandemic’s effect on the United States. “It’s a matter of life and death.”
As of Tuesday, more than 183,500 cases of the virus have been reported in the United States, with more than 3,700 deaths — more than 1,500 of which are in New York, the center of the nation’s outbreak.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Democrat of New York, told residents of the state that things would continue to get worse — the peak was not expected there for another one to three weeks.
On Wall Street, the SP 500 declined 1.6 percent on Tuesday, the end of a month in which the index fell 12.5 percent.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/31/us/politics/coronavirus-death-toll-united-states.html