US President Donald Trump addressed the nation’s economic response to the coronavirus outbreak in a briefing Wednesday, making the case that the country’s economy is performing “significantly better than Europe.”
Referring to various graphs and charts that explained the country's economic results, Trump discussed the stock market recovery, the revival of the construction sector, automobile demand, the “blooming” of the manufacturing sector and increasing employment. He then went on to compare US coronavirus figures with those of Europe.
“While our economy is performing significantly better than Europe, which people have to understand very strongly, it's performing better than any market anywhere in the world, actually. At the same time, Europe is experiencing 40% higher excess mortality than the United States,” he said during his opening remarks. “And I will say that that is a significant number.”
Trump held the press conference following presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his vice presidential pick Senator Kamala Harris’s first appearance together as running mates in Delaware.
Biden and Harris repeatedly slammed Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his inconsistent measures on social distancing and wearing masks and criticized the economic downturn it has caused.
Trump, she said, “inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and then like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground.”
At a press briefing Tuesday, Trump said that Harris was "nasty" to Biden during a 2019 Democratic primary debate, reacting to his choice for running mate.
On Wednesday, Trump repeated that he was surprised that Biden picked Harris because she said "horrible things” about him and “openly mocked him," calling her "very weak on facts."
"I think that's probably one of the reasons she was a terrible candidate and was forced to leave the race, because she got her facts wrong. You know, she's very bad on facts, she's very weak on facts," he said.
The president also called for the reopening of the nation’s schools and pressed Congress to steer future coronavirus funding away from schools that do not reopen this fall.
By Laura Gamba in Bogota