The White House has defended Donald Trump’s false claims the novel coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” young, as press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters the administration was “expecting two million” deaths in an attempt to seemingly downplay the nation’s death toll of 200,000 Americans.
“The president has never downplayed critical medical information,” she contended, even though he was recorded by journalist Bob Woodward appearing to do just that.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, called the overwhelming loss of life “a really very sobering and in some respects stunning” figure in his warning to Americans to take public health guidelines seriously as daily average infections continue to hover around 40,000.
The US reached more than 200,000 confirmed Covid-19-related deaths on Tuesday; the White House did not commit to any public acknowledgement or memorials.
"We have the capability to do things that we’ve been speaking about for so long … that could prevent the transmission, and by preventing transmission, ultimately preventing the morbidity and mortality we see," he told CNN on Tuesday.
The president has meanwhile confirmed he will name his pick to succeed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court at 5pm on Saturday, ignoring the dying woman’s last wish as senate leader Mitch McConnell was accused of “defiling” the governing body in the pursuit of conservative justices.
Mr Trump’s announcement will follow a week of memorials and other services for the late liberal justice, who died on 18 September.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is among five females candidates in consideration for the lifelong role; the president met with the judge at the White House this week.
The judge was confirmed in 2017 for a seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
“She's one of the people that's very respected, but they're all respected,” Mr Trump said on Monday.
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