‘It is what it is’: Trump’s callous coronavirus comments become Biden campaign ad

Withering video highlights lack of empathy from White House for suffering Americans

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 05 August 2020 17:56 BST
Joe Biden turns Donald Trump's callous comments on Covid-19 into campaign ad

President Donald Trump’s callous dismissal of the mounting death toll from coronavirus pandemic has been turned into Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s latest campaign ad.

The withering 27-second video begins with the president making the insensitive comment in an interview on HBO, in which he appeared unprepared to be questioned about the data he had to hand and his assertion that the virus is under control.

When challenged by AxiosJonathan Swan that 1,000 Americans are dying every day, the president said: “It is what it is”.

The ad continues with black and white images of medical personnel in protective gear, patients on gurneys, and ultimately rows of coffins.

Mr Trump’s words remain superimposed on the screen and his statement echoes in the background.

The Biden campaign posted the video with the caption: “Thousands of Americans are dying every week. The president's response? ‘It is what it is,’” highlighting a lack of empathy from the president when it comes to those that are suffering from all of the effects of the pandemic.

Commentators see the Axios interview as another disastrous media appearance for the president, similar to his July interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

If the aim of either was for Mr Trump to appear in control and with a command of the facts regarding the pandemic, the reverse was achieved in both cases.

Both Mr Swan and Mr Wallace were lauded for their journalistic performances in challenging the president over the national response to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with comparisons to other countries.

As of Wednesday, the US has 4.85m confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 159,000 officially recorded deaths.

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