Trump on US coronavirus deaths: 'I don't sleep at night thinking about it'

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President Trump, during in a candid interview with David Muir on ABC's "World News Tonight," admitted he doesn't sleep at night thinking about those who have died from coronavirus.

"To the people that have lost someone, there's nobody -- I don't sleep at night thinking about it -- there's nobody that's taken it harder than me," the president said.

To the families who have lost someone, "I want to say: I love you," Trump added. "I want to say that we're doing everything we can. I also want to say that we're [trying] to protect people over 60 years old."

"We love you, we're with you, we're working for you," the president told those who had lost loved ones and those "who had suffered so badly and just made it."


"No matter how well we do next year those people can never replace somebody they love," Trump said while pivoting to talk of reopening the economy.

While the president said "it's possible there will be some" lives lost in reopening the economy, people are dying in other ways during the lockdown, citing suicides and drug overdoses. He emphasized that social distancing and other mitigation measures would still be in place.

“Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon,” Trump added.


On new models projecting a steep rise in deaths as states reopen, Trump said models have been "wrong" from day one. A new projection from the University of Washington, which the White House has used before, projects 135,000 coronavirus deaths by August.

The new projection coincides with an internal Trump administration forecast obtained by The New York Times that predicts the daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1. It also projects there will be 200,000 new coronavirus cases every day. This is a significant jump from current numbers of roughly 25,000 new cases and 1,750 deaths each day.

“These models have been so wrong from day one. Both on the low side and the upside... They've been so out of whack. And they keep making new models, new models, and they’re wrong," said Trump before adding that their projections had been estimated without factoring in mitigation efforts.


When asked if he was still convinced the country would have a vaccine by year's end, Trump said he "can't be convinced of anything, but there's a really good shot." He pointed to Oxford University scientists who are working to test a potential coronavirus test in humans.