President Donald Trump sounded positively triumphant at a news conference Friday, celebrating the stock market and a drop in the total estimated death toll from the disease.
Roughly 18,000 deaths in the United States can be attributed to COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University’s count midday Friday. And the government’s infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said Thursday that 60,000 Americans could ultimately die from the disease — a huge toll, though a downward revision from earlier projections.
After a word on the upcoming the Easter holiday, global oil production and the border wall with Mexico, Trump nearly celebrated the potentially massive death toll.
“Tremendous progress is being made,” he said.
Compared to the White House’s previous projection that at least 100,000 people could die from the disease, “I think we will be substantially under that number,” Trump said.
“Hard to believe that if you had 60,000 — you can never be happy — but that’s a lot fewer than we were originally told and thinking.”
“We’ll see what it ends up being but it looks like we’re headed to a number substantially below the 100,000 that would be the low mark,” he added. “I hope that bears out.”
Just a few minutes later, the President was celebrating the stock market.
“In four days, we had the biggest stock market increase that we’ve had in 50 years,” Trump said. “That tells you that there’s a pent-up demand. That tells you they want to get back.”
“There’s something good going to happen, I really believe that,” he added. “There’s something very good going to happen. We have to get back.”
Despite the “horrible dark period” created by the pandemic, Trump said, “we done well, and I guess the market thinks we’ve done well.”