2,804 Americans died in a single day from the coronavirus pandemic – almost as many as in the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks – Donald Trump said nothing about the harrowing national crisis.
The US president’s silence broke from the tradition of predecessors who have sought to play the role of “consoler-in-chief” to the American public after deadly bombings, school shootings and other tragedies.
Trump instead remains consumed with false allegations that last month’s presidential election, which he lost to Joe Biden, was rigged against him. On Wednesday, when the pandemic death toll hit its record, he released presenting an award to an American football coach. In a subsequent exchange with reporters he did not directly address the unfolding national tragedy, while on Twitter he continued to push baseless conspiracy theories.
Covid-19 cases in the US have doubled within 10 weeks to a total of 14m. Wednesday saw a record of more than 100,000 people in hospital. The day’s death toll of 2,804, recorded by Johns Hopkins University, was the worst since the start of the pandemic. The total stands at more than 275,000.