Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire, and written by Emily Zanotti.
President Donald Trump defended his administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and voiced concerns over mail-in voting in the November elections during a contentious HBO interview with Axios' Jonathan Swan, segments of which were released online Tuesday morning.
The full interview aired on premium cable network HBO Monday night.
Trump brought his own charts on the coronavirus pandemic to the interview in an effort to demonstrate that, while the United States is experiencing an extended battle with the novel coronavirus, other countries are also suffering, particularly European countries that had once believed the virus had all but run its course. Spain, France, and even Germany are all in the midst of an increase in infections.
Trump also suggested that the United States is doing more testing than other nations, resulting in a higher virus count and that children who are experiencing the common cold are being diagnosed as having COVID-19. Although he spoke in defense of these assertions, the White House did not provide proof of either claim.
The United States is experiencing an uptick in diagnoses of COVID-19, however, many states report a lower fatality rate from the virus than during the first cycle, March through May — a distinction which has been covered by The Atlantic
among other left-leaning outlets.
Part of the interview also focused on Trump's opposition to mail-in voting - currently a favorite cause among many Democrats, who contend that the looming threat of the coronavirus should mean that states provide voters the option of voting by mail rather than in person.
The administration, as well as the Republican National Committee, are fighting a fully mail-in election, suggesting that states could have a difficult time verifying, processing, and counting large numbers of mail-in ballots without significant lead time. With just over three months until the election, neither the federal government nor state governments are equipped to handle the possibility of widespread vote fraud, the president said.
During the interview, Trump noted that a full count of mail-in ballots could take more than two months, leaving the election results up in the air until nearly Inauguration Day 2021.
"We went through World War I, you went to the polls, you voted. We went through World War II, you went to the polls, you voted. And now because of the China virus, we're supposed to stay home, send millions of ballots all over the country, millions and millions,"
Trump noted. "You know, you could have a case where this election won't be decided on the evening of Nov. 3. This election could be decided two months later."
"It could be decided many months later,"
Trump continued. "Do you know why? Because lots of things will happen during that period of time. Especially when you have tight margins, lots of things can happen. There's never been anything like this ... Now, of course, right now we have to live with it, but we're challenging it."
The president's concerns are borne out by recent state-level elections, particularly in Wisconsin, where large numbers of mail-in ballots delayed election results for days. Fox News also reports
that there are already incidents of vote fraud associated with mail-in balloting programs: "mail-in voting has led to problems throughout the country, including four men being charged with voter fraud in Paterson, N.J., 100,000 ballots rejected in California during the March presidential primary, and more."