Donald Trump Dismisses Climbing Coronavirus Death Toll: 'It Is What It Is'

President Donald Trump shrugged off reports that the United States has one of the highest coronavirus mortality rates in the world in a Sunday chat with Fox News's Chris Wallace.

Wallace pointed out that many people have said that the president is downplaying the seriousness of the climbing death toll in many parts of the country, which Trump pushed back on.

"Show me the death chart," he said.

Wallace went on to say that thousands of people were dying every day in the U.S.

"It came from China, they should have never let it escape, they should have never let it out," he said. "But it is what it is."

When Wallace replied that the European Union has a far lower death rate than the U.S., Trump claimed that they aren't conducting tests there.

"They don't test," he said.

Wallace replied that perhaps they don't have the virus as badly as the U.S. does, but Trump rejected the idea and said many of the 75,000 new cases in the country each day heal "automatically."

The president was likely referencing the fact that early on in the pandemic, only people with severe symptoms were able to get a test due to nationwide shortages. Now, people with light or no symptoms are often able to get tested.

He then asserted that the death toll reports were "fake news."

Trump also asked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnnany to get the mortality rate numbers for him to review and then referred to a report that leaves out countries like Russia, showing the U.S. in a better position than reports from places like Johns Hopkins indicate.

Trump has repeatedly made the claim that the U.S. is testing more people than anywhere else in the world, an assertion that he repeated on Sunday, saying that's the reason the country has such a high death rate. But health experts have pushed back on his claims, saying that cases in the U.S. are climbing faster than many parts of the world.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures to Fox News anchor and moderator Chris Wallace after the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Getty Images | Drew Angerer

During the interview, the president also doubled down on the idea that that virus would simply "disappear." Trump originally made this claim back in January and said on Sunday that he was sure he would be "right eventually."

When asked about the issue of wearing masks and the possibility of issuing a national mask mandate, which has become a contentious political issue in recent weeks, Trump said that he believes the wearing of masks can cause problems and the issue should be left up to the state governors. He said many governors have changed their stances in recent days and are now "more mask into."

He then repeated the claim that he will order federal funding to end for education if children don't return to schools.

The contentious interview comes just a day after reports that the president no longer wants to be distracted by the coronavirus.