President Trump during a town hall from the battleground state of Pennsylvania hosted by ABC, said the coronavirus pandemic has been the most difficult challenge of his presidency.
The final question of the Tuesday night town hall asked Trump “what has been the most difficult part of your presidency? And what have you learned from it?”
“So I think without question, I would say, because things were going so well, I think I’d have to say the whole COVID, the China virus, as I call it, because it comes from China, I think it’s a much more accurate term,” Trump said in response. “But it’s been very difficult, it’s been so sad… nobody’s seen anything like probably since 1917.”
ABC Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos interjected to ask Trump what did he “learn from it?”
The president revealed that he knew six people who have died from COVID-19 and that “life is very fragile.”
“I’ve learned that life is very fragile because these were strong people and all of a sudden they were dead. They were gone. And it wasn’t their fault,” Trump said in a somber tone.
Trump went on to say that he views the “great deal” he made with China “the same way” before the pandemic hit the nation due to the “horror of this disease.”
“It was the fault of a country that could have stopped it and I made a great deal with China,” Trump said. “I feel so differently about that deal. It’s a great deal. It was good for the farmers, good for the manufacturers, but I don’t view it the same way. It was good for us, but I don’t view it the same way because of the horror of this disease, that could have been stopped at the border.”
Stephanopoulos followed up asking Trump, “Could you have done more to stop it?”
“I don’t think so. I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half, maybe more than that lives,” Trump replied. “I really don’t think so. I think we did a very good job. I don’t know if that’s been recognized.”
“We’ve made a lot of governors feel good, we’ve made some reputationally. We’ve enhanced their reputation. They didn’t have anything, we got them the supplies, we got them the ventilators. We’ve made a lot of people look good that shouldn’t look good, to be honest with you,” Trump added.
Several of the questions during the ABC downhill focused on the coronavirus pandemic with certain questions from the small audiences appearing to the “gotcha type.”
ABC News offered to host a similar town hall with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, but according to the network, neither the Biden campaign and the ABC were not able to “find a mutually agreeable date” with less than 50 days before the general election.