On Sunday, July 19th, 2020, President Trump sat down with the three-time Emmy and Peabody award winning host of Fox Sunday, Chris Wallace.
Fox recently has come under scrutiny with lawsuits claiming it’s “entertainment” as opposed to “news. One thing that is not debated is Chris Wallace and his integrity to fair reporting. The host that started his career as the NBC Nightly News anchor in 1982, has stewarded a career of reporting facts as best he sees them. Wallace’s adherence to balance has been the driving factor to his career and has led him to major interviews with both conservative and liberal leaders.
Sunday’s interview with President Trump was no different.
The interview started with the expected courtesies. We are not here to analyze the hello, however, we are here to give an unbiased account of the interview.
Our mission is to strip rhetoric and give you the meat and potatoes.
Here is our running diary of the Trump-Wallace COVID-19 discussion.
Wallace asked the President about the pandemic and the case spike, to which the President responded, it’s due to us having the “best testing”.
The President also stated, “Thank God we built most of the wall, if not we would have a bigger problem” referring to Mexico’s higher death rate.
** According to the Washington Post, as of February 2020, 110 miles of new wall has been built. The US-Mexican Border is 1,954 miles with 436 miles considered “non-priority” due to Mountain and Terrain. The administration has a 400-mile goal which also includes censors, new roads, and increased agent presence.
Lastly, the President insisted that other countries are doing much worse, inferring Brazil and other South American countries.
Wallace quickly shifted to the death rate and mentioned how high it is. The president took exception and stated we have one of the lowest death rates.
Wallace showed data from Johns Hopkins, placing us 7th in the world.
President Trump quickly countered by asking White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany for countering data. The chart/data handed to the President was from the European CDC, which showed Italy and Spain doing worse, but showing countries like Brazil and South Korea doing better.
** Important to note that the chart outright removed other countries doing better like Russia.
This did not stop President Trump from saying “We have the best mortality rate” and doubling down on his claim.
Wallace referenced how California is on the verge of shutting down again, Florida going down the same path and a slew of new reports of shortages in supplies across the country to handle the increase in spread.
Bluntly asking President Trump “Is this a failure of having a national plan?”
President Trump admitted the buck stops with him. It’s his job to ensure public safety, however, quickly saying “Some Governors did better than others”
**This is accurate. We do see in states where face mask was required, and phased openings were related to health guidelines and statistics, that the outbreak of the COVID-19 has been contained. Leading many to wonder why this wasn’t the national plan for all states.
President Trump said, “99.7% of people are getting better” insisting that cases are up because of testing.
Wallace then said “I am going to do you a favor” giving the President a moment to not “play down” the numbers. The President took the opportunity to pivot to the death rate, again, referring to our death rates as being “one of the best”.
The President then said “One case is too much, China should have not let it out” and said Europe is not testing.
Wallace then showed a piece in which Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC Director, said “Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 will be one of the most difficult time we have experienced in American Public History”
Wallace asked the President “Do you agree?”
President Trump responded, “I don’t know and I don’t think he knows”. Also saying, “World Health got a lot wrong”.
Wallace asked, “Why on earth would your administration go on a campaign to discredit Dr. Fauci?”
President Trump responded “We are not.” saying “Dr. Fauci has made some mistakes”.
Wallace then mentioned a chart released by the White House of all of Dr. Fauci’s “mistakes” and a social media post referring to Dr. Fauci as a “leaker”.
The President said he’s not a leaker but an alarmist that has made some mistakes.
Wallace countered with “You have made mistakes, too”
The President agreed, however after being shown several clips of his bold predictions to a quick COVID-19 resolution, the President said “I will be right eventually”.
After 3.9 million COVID-19 cases and over 143 thousand deaths, we hope he is, sooner rather than later.